Dale Smith of Spencerville busts through the line in Friday's win overMcComb. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
Dale Smith of Spencerville busts through the line in Friday's win overMcComb. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
SPENCERVILLE – For the first time in school history the Panthers of McComb and the Spencerville Bearcats battled head-to-head on the gridiron. A strong start by the visiting Panthers was not enough to hold the Bearcats as Spencerville snaps their three-game losing streak to advance into round three of the OHSAA tournament.

Spencerville threw the opening punch with under 5:00 left in the first quarter when DJ Bowens’ found the endzone. Bowens touchdown was set up thanks to Cody Bockey’s 35-yard grab to set the Cats up inside the McComb redzone.

An Emerson Layman kickoff and two plays from scrimmage was all it took for McComb to bring the contest even. Zach Deal received key blocks from his O-Line before sprinting 44-yards down the Memorial Field turf and into the endzone. Grant Dishong added a second first quarter touchdown for the Panthers with 0:11 left to give McComb a 14-7 advantage after one.

The rushing attack of Spencerville was consistent on Friday night, Gunner Grigsby and Dale Smith combined for 37 carries on the night. Smith ran in his fourth touchdown of the season just before halftime and Layman’s extra point brought the teams even heading into halftime.

McComb received the second-half kickoff and marched right down the field. The Panther drive would result in zero points as Chase Woodruff booted a 30-yard field goal attempt wide left. Spencerville pounced quick to gain the second half momentum. Dale Smith added his second rushing score of the night, this time from 34-yards out giving his Cats the 21-14 lead. The Bearcats added one more third quarter touchdown via Keegan Goecke’s 1-yard run. Spencerville led 28-14 going into the final stanza.

Andrew Swisher ran into the Bearcat endzone with 11:07 remaining to give McComb their first points since the opening quarter. Chase Woodruff would pull the extra point attempt far left and the Bearcats held onto the eight-point lead.

Dale Smith appeared to seal the deal for Spencerville with a 21-yard touchdown run, offensive holding negated the score, and the Cats punted away to McComb. Panther QB Grant Dishong attempting to lead a game-winning drive, overthrew his intended receiver and Tyler Koenig snagged the pass out of the air and fell at mid field to seal the 28-20 victory for his Bearcats.

Spencerville will continue play next Friday night versus. The Bearcats will play the winner of Tiffin Calvert versus Crestview game, which will be played this afternoon.