Fans knew it was going to be nail-biter from the kickoff. County junior varsity rivals Lakewood hosted the rowdy Raiders on Thursday and the score was tied for most of the football game. In overtime, the Leopards managed to put 6 points on the board and then stop Midway from crossing into the end zone for a final hard-fought-for score of 20-14.
It was a 3 possession first quarter, with Lakewood holding onto the football until about the 5 minute mark, when Midway took possession. Then at about the 1 minute mark, a turnover put the ball back into Leopard hands.
But by 9:06 in the second quarter, the ball was back in Raider hands with a touch down pass by quarterback Austin Raynor to Dillion Lee. A pass from Raynor to Paris Smith for the 2 point conversion put Midway on the scoreboard first, 0-8.
Lakewood spent the next five minutes driving back down field and at 4:52 in the second, Akili Underwood crossed the end zone from about 12 yards out. Dillion Kinlock scored the extra two points with one of his many rushing attempts to tie the score at 8-8.
Despite threatening to score, the Raiders turned the ball back over on downs with about 2 minutes left in the first half. Three successful rushes by Kinlock moved the Leopards to about the 6 yard line and then a pass from Tanner to Leopard Spencer Ray gave Lakewood the lead, 14-8 going into halftime.
Fans knew Midway meant business from the opening second half kick-off, as Smith ran the ball back to about the 15 yard line. On the very next play, Raider Terrell McGee scored for 6 points to bundle the score up again, 14-14.
Both teams threatened to score, and both had several good long rushes into the red zone that were called back due to penalties.
The Leopards managed to hold the Raiders back in the final seconds as they had 3 attempts to cross into the end zone from about 10 yards out. This brought on the overtime.
Each team had four downs to get across the end zone. The Leopards ran it in on the second play, but was unable to score the 2 point conversion. Once again, Lakewood stopped Midway and on their fourth down, Underwood intercepted the pass into the end zone to give Lakewood the 20-14 win.
Leading rushers for Lakewood were Kinlock with 173 yards in 30 carries; Tanner, 6-29; and Trevon Wilson, with 5- 26. For the Raiders, Megee was 14 for 100 yards; Larry Blanks was 8 for 27; Lee was 4 for 25; and Jake Clark was 1 for 15.
Tanner threw 4 passes for 19 yards. Receiving was Nyquan Murphy for 13 yards and Ray for 6 yards.
Raynor threw 6 passes for 55 yards. Receiving for Midway was Smith, 3 for 37 yards; and Javier Escalera 1 for 8 yards.
On defense for Lakewood, Ethan Blackwell had 10 tackles; Trevon Wilson had 5 tackles; Kinlock had 3 tackles and 1 fumble recovery; Tanner had 2 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 interception; Nyquan Owens had 2 tackles and 1 sack; Jody Conrad had 5 tackles; and Akili Underwood had 1 interception.
The JV Leopards are 4-0 and will travel to North Johnston next Thursday. The Raiders have an open date next week.