Week 2 Preview: Miami Trace at Wilmington


By Mark Huber - [email protected]



Malachi Cumberland (82) brings down a Ross ball carrier during last week’s season opener.

Malachi Cumberland (82) brings down a Ross ball carrier during last week’s season opener.


Mark Huber | News Journal

Wilmington renews its long-time rivalary with Miami Trace Friday night at Alumni Field.

Kickoff against the Panthers is set for 7 p.m. at Alumni Field.

Miami Trace won last year’s game 42-28, scoring 21 points in the third period to break a 14-14 halftime tie.

Wilmington won 56-24 in 2019 and 38-7 in 2018.

The Panthers lost a late lead and the game to Waverly last week, 42-39. Wilmington was defeated by Ross 27-7.

“Miami Trace on offense likes to run the football just like Ross,” said Wilmington head coach Ryan Evans. “They have some big boys up front and good receivers. It will be a good match up for our defense to see if we can fix the problems from last week.”

Ross had long drives and big plays in its win over Wilmington to start the 2022 season. The Rams were stout on defense at times but the Hurricane had its share of good play with the ball in its hands. However, turnovers proved to be a bugaboo in thwarting several WHS scoring chances.

Miami Trace will be physical and run to the ball, Evans said.

“We have to make sure that again we are taking advantage of our opportunities when we get them and finish drives,” said Evans. “(Miami Trace) special teams have a good kicking game. Their kicker is a senior and it shows on film. They also have good returners as well. We have to make sure that we are assignment sound against this team or they can hurt us in this area.”

After last week’s game, Evans said turnovers and penalties were the key.

“I felt our discipline, when it mattere,d got in the way of our success in the Ross game,” he said. “We beat ourselves with critical penalties which will not be tolerated. Championship level football teams have to win the turnover battle and have fewer penalties.

“I thought our offensive line played very well. I was proud of their efforts and the physicality they brought to that game. We have to do a better job of finishing drives on both sides of the ball. In order to win with our schedule we have to produce points and cut back on all the mental mistakes.”

With that in mind, Evans said it’s time for his players to get better in situational football.

“Big time players make big time plays in big time situations,” he said. “However we have to know and understand those situations. We are focusing a lot more on situational football in our practices when kids are tired and worn down. Everyone is good when they are not tired and 100 percent. I want the guys that will step up physically and mentally when they feel like they have nothing left to give. Those are champions and that’s what we will continue to instill in our players. A lot of our drive killers last week were due to penalties and mental breakdowns. Championship programs do not allow those things in their programs.”

Malachi Cumberland (82) brings down a Ross ball carrier during last week’s season opener.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/08/web1_FB1_wilCumberland0819me-1.jpgMalachi Cumberland (82) brings down a Ross ball carrier during last week’s season opener. Mark Huber | News Journal

By Mark Huber

[email protected]

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports