It was a long night at Panther Stadium Friday, but a very successful one as Miami Trace routed the Circleville Tigers, 51-12.
The Panthers led 35-5 at the half.
No one knew when the teams left the field at the break that it would be two hours before the game would resume.
Lightning was visible in the distance to the north and west and that was the cause of the long delay.
Miami Trace scored on each of its first five possessions in the game, while Circleville was stymied until very late in the first half.
After a quick three and out by the Tigers, the Panthers scored on their third play from scrimmage, a three-yard touchdown run by Drake Litteral.
That play was set up by a 42-yard pass completion from Skyler McDonald to DeAndre Pettiford at the 9:27 mark of the first quarter.
It was another three and out for the Tigers, after which Miami Trace scored again, this time on the second play of the possession on a five-yard run by Litteral.
Blake Pittser’s kick made it 14-0 at the 6:52 mark of the first quarter.
On Circleville’s third possession, DeAndre Pettiford intercepted a Circleville pass and returned it 23-yards for a touchdown. Pittser’s PAT made it 21-0 with 5:58 to play in the first quarter.
The Tigers had their first first down of the game thanks to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Panthers.
That series eventually resulted in another Tiger punt.
Early in the second quarter, McDonald lofted a pass to Tyrae Pettiford, good for a 16-yard touchdown with 11:34 remaining in the first half.
Pittser’s kick gave the Panthers a 28-0 lead.
Still, the frustration for the Tigers continued with another quick possession and punt.
Malik Jackson had a nice run for the Panthers that set up their fifth score of the game.
This time it was Litteral again, plunging over the goal line from two yards out. Pittser’s kick made it 35-0 with 4:31 to play until the half.
Circleville had its best field position of the game following the return to the Miami Trace 37-yard line.
A Tigers pass was intercepted at the two-yard line by DeAndre Pettiford.
On the first play of the series, the Panthers fumbled the ball into the end zone. A Miami Trace player dove on the ball, resulting in a safety and two points for the Tigers.
The Tigers got the ball on the ensuing kick off by the Panthers and, with just 1.7 seconds to play until halftime, Grant Hill kicked a 29-yard field goal to make it 35-5.
At the half, the Panthers had 216 yards of offense on 24 plays to 94 yards on 22 plays for the Tigers.
Circleville had 39 yards rushing on 18 carries in the first half.
The Panthers carried 21 times in the first half for 152 yards.
McDonald completed 3 of 3 passes for 64 yards and one touchdown.
The Panthers scored 16 points in the second half on touchdowns by Tyrae Pettiford and Josh Liff and a field goal by Blake Pittser.
Miami Trace will play at Carlisle next week.
The Tigers return to Fayette County next week to take on the Washington Blue Lions.
Washington defeated Northridge last night, 42-26.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1