Midway survived a varsity football battle with visiting South Brunswick on Friday night, edging the Cougars for a 28-24 win.
“That’s just a great job by our team rallying,” said Midway coach Cory Barnes. “We had to fix some things on the back end at halftime. We almost got caught, but we didn’t. And we’ve got a resilient bunch, who didn’t lay down. Defense held them to three points in the second half and we got enough to get the job done. I’m proud of our guys and their effort. It was a great job by our guys across the board in the second half to seal the deal.”
Sophomore quarterback Wyatt Holland completed 12-of-17 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception, and ran for 10 yards on eight carries and senior Deantae Byrd ran for 109 yards on 20 carries and returned a kick for a touchdown to lead the Raiders (2-0).
Cameron Barefoot had five receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown and also had an interception on defense. Jaden Covington had two receptions for 48 yards. Thornton Baggett had four receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown. Lane Baggett had two receptions for 22 yards and a touchdown. Cal Tyndall completed a 36-yard pass. Isaiah McClendon ran for 13 yards on nine carries. Junior Acosta was a perfect 4-for-4 kicking extra points.
Junior Roman Dilgard was 10-of-19 passing for 208 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception, junior Miguel Miller had five receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns and senior Rodney Thomas-Price had three receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cougars (1-1).
Midway immediately took the lead in the contest, with Byrd returning the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
“(Byrd)’s a special kid,” Barnes said. “He’s been fighting the injury bug (Byrd missed Midway’s season opener because of injury). We tried to limit him, but when it was crunch time, he said, ‘Coach, put me in.’ And he gave us what he’s got.”
Later in the quarter, an interception by Bishop Brown led to Dilgard completing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Miller to tie it.
Midway took the lead back on the ensuing drive, with Holland completing a 28-yard touchdown to Barefoot, and led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, South tied it again when Dilgard threw a 27-yard touchdown to Miller.
Midway reclaimed the lead late in the second when Holland found Lane Baggett for a 13-yard touchdown.
But South answered again, with Dilgard connecting with Thomas-Price for a 50-yard score to tie the game 21-21 at halftime.
Midway opened the third quarter with a defensive stand in the red zone, forcing a turnover on downs at the Raiders’ 20-yard-line. The Raiders then drove 80 yards, scoring on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Holland to Thornton Baggett.
Late in the third, South entered the red zone again, but was held to a 23-yard Noah Harrell field goal.
The Cougars looked to enter the red zone again on the ensuing drive, but were stopped by a Barefoot interception.
“That’s what you expect from senior leadership, making plays when they’re supposed to,” Barnes said. “We thought we had busted coverage and then he comes out of nowhere to pick it off and kind of turn the tide of the game.”
With Midway looking to run clock late in the fourth, South’s defense forced the Raiders into a third-and-18 situation at the Cougars’ 37-yard-line and called a timeout. Midway used that timeout to draw up a trick play, with Holland pitching to Tyndall, who completed a 36-yard bomb to Covington. That play, along with an 18-yard run from Byrd on the next play, allowed the Raiders to run out the clock to secure the win.
“We worked on that play all week,” Barnes said. “We said we were going to pull it out at some point in time tonight. It just worked out for us tonight. I told Cal his time was coming to make a play offensively and that was his time and he made it. And Jaden Covington made a heck of a play with the catch in coverage.”
Midway will be at home again on Friday, hosting Harnett Central (1-1).