LEWISBURG — Tri-County North hosted a dedication ceremony for its new track and turf, and a community pep rally, on Thursday, Aug. 18, at TCN’s Miami Valley North Field, the day before the football Panthers opened the season at home against rival Brookville.
The district invited back and honored any TCN alumni who has played football or soccer, run track, cheered, or marched in the TCN band on the school’s field.
The game didn’t go as well for the Panthers the next night.
Brookville turned five Tri-County North turnovers into 33 first-quarter points and rolled to a 54-20 victory over the Panthers.
“You can’t turn over against a good football team,” North coach Trace Smitherman said. “They’re gonna take advantage of that. And they’re good football team. They’re well coached. And our guys are learning how to play and really get after it. I
The game was not only the first of the 2022 football season but was the first-ever game on artificial turf at the Lewisburg Community Association Stadium.
Brookville got the opening kickoff and scored in five plays. Tim Davis capped off the drive with a six-yard run to score the first points on the new field. Grady Lamb booted the PAT and Brookville led 7-0.
North took the kickoff and on their snap fumbled the ball and Brookville recovered inside the Panther twenty. Keeghan Mehr converted a third and goal at the three with a keeper, diving over the goal line for a second Brookville touchdown.
On the next kickoff TCN fumbled and Brookville recovered again. Several plays later Grady Lamb powered his way into the end zone, and it was 20-0 Blue Devils.
A penalty backed up North inside its ten on the next series, and a fourth down stop by Brookville gave the Blue Devils the ball at the North nine.
Keegan Mehr dropped back to pass and found Gabe King open in the back of the end zone and his pass was accurate. King snagged the ball and at the 5:46 mark it was 26-0 Blue Devils.
Again, Brookville started in North territory and after three plays Brookville had scored again. This time it was Seth Hoover grabbing a pass from Mehr from five yards out. Lamb again was true and with 2:24 left in the first frame Brookville had all but sealed the win leading 33-0.
North was finally able to put points on the board. Colton Vanwinkle capped off the opening drive of the second half with a nine-yard jaunt, powering his way into the end zone for the first ever Panther score on the new artificial surface.
Madison Jeffers booted the PAT for North. Jeffers became the first female to score for TCN in their history. The score came at the 7:50 mark of the third stanza.
On the ensuing kickoff Tim Davis snagged the ball at the 25, lugged it ten yards then cut to his left, crossed the field and bolted down the sideline. Near the 25-yard line Davis cut back to his right and went into the end zone for the first special team touchdown of the season for Brookville. Grady Lamb’s boot made the score 54-7.
It would be the final points Brookville would score on the night.
With 1:24 left in the third period Logan Flory scored on an eight-yard run for North. Jeffers booted the PAT and it was 54-14.
North scored the final touchdown of the game with 5:05 remaining. Flory scored on a twelve-yard scamper to close out the scoring at 54-20.
“I didn’t think effort was an issue. I thought we got after it. We played hard. But we’ve got to get consistent. That’s something we’ve been fighting in practice,” Smitherman said. “And, I think you saw a shell of the football team (in the second half) that we’ll see probably next week, and throughout the rest of the year.”
North will return home this Friday (Aug. 26) to host National Trail, who lost 41-0 to Milton-Union last week.