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home : sports : sports
October 18, 2017

10/6/2017 3:59:00 AM
FOOTBALL Week 7 - Ironmen travel to Miami Trace to face the Panthers in a FAC game tonight

Sports Editor

The Jackson Ironmen will travel to Fayette County to face the Miami Trace Panthers in a Frontier Athletic Conference matchup on Friday night.

Friday's contest will be the second of a three-game road swing for the Ironmen.

The Ironmen opened play in the newly formed Frontier Athletic Conference in grand fashion last week with a 31-20 win at Washington Court House.

Jackson (5-1, 1-0 FAC) outgained Washington Court House 360-343 in total offensive yards for the game, led by Blake McCoy, who rushed for 174 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns.

Jared Icenhower threw for 87 yards and a touchdown, while Payton Speakman had one catch for a 70-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

On special teams, Michael Benson was 4-for-4 in extra-point attempts and booted a 35-yard field goal late in the second quarter to send the Ironmen into the locker room with a 24-14 lead at halftime.

"It all starts up front and we have four different running backs who can carry the load for us," said Jackson head coach Andy Hall. "We're trying to work the passing game into our scheme more, but everyone knows we are going to run the football and that's our goal each week.

"I thought our passing game looked better last week, although, we had two big pass plays called back because of penalties or Jared (Icenhower) might've had 200-250 yards passing for the game. But things are getting better. Payton (Speakman) and Reid Evans are starting to make more plays out on the perimeter and Devon Ball has been a really nice surprise for us in the slot."

Defensively, the Ironmen held the Blue Lions to 134 rushing yards in the game and forced two turnovers.

Quarterback Richard Burns threw for 209 yards on 12 of 22 passing and a touchdown to lead the Blue Lions. He also had 100 rushing yards on 17 carries and scored on a 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Friday's game will be only the fifth meeting all-time between the Ironmen and Panthers and the first as conference opponents, with Miami Trace holding the advantage in the series with a 4-1 record against Jackson.

The Ironmen won in the first meeting 42-6 back in 1974, but the Panthers won the next three games in 1975, 1976 and 1977.

vinton County Bank

Most notable alumni at Miami Trace include quarterback Art Schlichter, who would go on to play four years at Ohio State from 1978-81 and then had a professional career with the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts from 1982-85 and the Buffalo Bills in 1986.

Glenn Cobb, who was a two-time captain at Ohio State in 1981 and 1982 is also a Miami Trace alum.

Although, the Miami Trace football program has an abundance of tradition, the Panthers have struggled the last couple of years.

This season, they are 1-5, as they captured their first win of the season last week in their FAC opener against Greenfield-McClain, 46-0.

"They (Miami Trace) play a lot of young kids. They have only one senior, who starts on defense and four on offense," Hall said. "It's a rebuilding year for them with a new coaching staff. But for our kids, we've never played Miami Trace. Even though it's a rebuilding program, this is still a new experience for our team.

"It could be a trap-game in a sense we have Hillsboro coming up next week, which has had a really good season up to this point. But for our kids, this is a brand new experience, which I think can help us."

Through the first six games, the Panthers have averaged 16.6 points per game, while their opponents have scored 31.5 point per contest.

In last week's win at Greenfield-McClain, the Panthers (1-5, 1-0) outgained the Tigers 418-179, led by tailback Brady Wallace, who finished with 168 rushing yards on 13 carries and three touchdowns.

Quarterback Tyler Taylor completed 9 of 12 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns and had 43 rushing yards on five carries.

"They are a spread team and they have nice speed with their two running backs. Their quarterback also does a nice job running on the perimeter as well," said Hall. "They do a lot of run-pass-option, which is almost like the old triple-option but instead of pitching the ball, they throw it out, similar to what Gallipolis tried to do against us a couple of weeks ago.

"Defensively, they can give you problems, because they will show you a lot of different fronts. We've seen a 5-2, a 5-3 and a 5-1, along with a 4-3 and a 4-2. They give you almost everything you can possibly imagine. The key will be with our guys up front, who are going to have to identify those fronts and then we have to attack it.

Kickoff for Friday's game is set for 7 p.m.

If you are not going to the game, it can be heard live on WKOV 96.7-FM with Dan Dobbins, Dan Morrow and Pete Wilson calling the action. Fans can also follow the game online by going to mixlr.com. Just type in WKOV in the search bar and join the WKOV 96.7 FM chat line, while you listen.

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