One-Two punch of Seals and Banks lifts Taft over McClain.

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CINCINNATI, Oh (WOUB) – The McClain Tigers’ historical season came to an unfortunate end on Friday, as the Taft Senators won 39-7 in the first round of the OHSAA Division 4 Playoffs. 

Things got going early for Taft, as the Senators’ quarterback Armoud Seals lasered it to a wide-open Nijia Hill in the corner of the endzone to draw first blood for the Senators and give them a 6-0 lead with 6:29 remaining in the opening stanza. 

McClain responded with a long, methodical drive, where they found major success in running the ball with their star running back Andrew Potts. This drive was put to a halt, however, as Taft’s defense stopped the Tigers on fourth-and-1 on the Senators’ 10-yard line. 

Just four plays later, Seals rolled out to his right side and launched it to his star wideout and Pittsburgh commit Tayshawn Banks for a 77-yard touchdown, giving Taft a 12-0 lead. 

McClain did not back down, though. They answered right back with another long drive, grounding and pounding the rock all the way down the field, with Potts capping off the possession with a 1-yard rushing touchdown, cutting the deficit to just 12-7 with 3:03 remaining in the first half. 

On the next drive, Taft nickel and dimed their way down the field, and Seals connected with Banks yet again for a 22-yard touchdown through the air. The Senators’ lead extended to 18-7 with just 40 seconds remaining in the second quarter. 

Disaster struck for McClain on the ensuing kickoff, as the Tigers failed to field it, giving Taft the ball on McClain’s 3-yard line. But, despite the immaculate field position, the Tigers’ defense stood tall and slammed the door on a scoring opportunity before halftime. 

McClain started out with the ball in the second half, but a strong showing from the Senators forced a three-and-out. Fortunately for the Tigers, Taft’s punt returner muffed the punt, giving McClain the ball on the Senators’ 31-yard line. The Tigers pushed the ball downfield, but on fourth-and-5 an interception was thrown, giving Taft the ball on their own 22-yard line. 

The very next play, Seals chucked a pass downfield to Jahvion Jarmon for a 78-yard touchdown to put the Senators up 24-7. 

Taft’s defense continued to show out, and after a Banks punt return touchdown and a Charles Hawkins rushing touchdown, the Senators emerged victorious by a score of 39-7. 

McClain will look to carry their recent success into the next season.