The Midway Raiders traveled to Pender County Friday night for their first taste of Tri-County Conference action. The Raiders went in as the favored team versus the winless Heide Trask Titans, but had to withstand nasty weather and a barrage of penalties to pull out a 22-19 victory. The fourth win matches the total number of wins Midway had last year.
The game began in a downpour, but for both teams it was more like a fog. Aaron Thurman ran the opening kickoff 80 yards to the Trask 11 and then scampered 6 yards to the end zone two plays later. After the Jansen Wrench PAT, Midway was off to a good start.
That would change quickly.
Derrick Love of Trask returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a Trask touchdown.
A 2-point conversion run by Jakita Lane made it 8-7, Titans barely a minute into the game.
With 2:12 left in the opening period, the Raiders held Trask on 4th and 2, but seconds later the Titans brought down quarterback Taylor Calcutt in the end zone for a safety.
The 10-7 Trask lead would hold through the end of the quarter.
The visitors lost a scoring opportunity when a Cody Baker touchdown run was called back on a holding penalty. However, on 4th and 13, Calcutt connected with Troy Spell for 19 yards and first and goal from the 2. Baker’s score counted this time as he crossed the goal line with 6:23 left in the half. Wrench kicked the extra point to put Midway up 14-10.
That would not be the halftime score.
Midway got the ball back late in the half and was pushed back to the 2-yard line. With 16 seconds remaining, the Raiders recovered their own fumble in the end zone for yet another Trask safety. Midway led 14-12 at intermission.
With rain no longer falling, neither team scored in the third period. However, the Raiders did have another score called back at the 4:41 mark. That led to an additional flag and they would eventually punt on 4th and 40.
To begin the final quarter, Trask had possession, and on 4th and 5 kicker Matt Sherman attempted a 25-yard field goal. The field goal was good, but the Raiders were called for roughing the kicker. The Titans chose to take the automatic first down and quarterback Larry Johnson ran it in on 2nd and goal from the 1. The PAT gave Trask a 19-14 lead with 10:04 left in the game.
The Raiders took over on their own 37 and went to work. A completion to Thurman, 2 carries by Thurman, and a rush by Baker put Midway at first and goal from the 2. Baker scampered across for pay dirt and the Raiders had regained the lead. Calcutt ran for a 2-point conversion. With 5:45 left in the game, it was 22-19 Midway. The defense took over and choked the Titan offense the rest of the way, which was two more possessions.
For Midway, Thurman ended up with 143 yards on 15 carries. Baker rushed 15 times for 60 yards. Calcutt gained 43 yards on 7 carries. Dalen Faison led Trask with 63 yards on 17 carries.
The Raiders had 12 first downs, while Trask had 14.
Luke Clark led the Raider defense with 15 tackles. Atlantis Warren had 7 tackles.
Midway was penalized 6 times for 70 yards, while Trask was flagged 3 times for 30 yards.
The Raiders are 4-1, and 1-0 in conference play. They will host Wallace-Rose Hill next week. The Titans fall to 0-4.
“The defense played a lot a better,” remarked Midway head coach Tommy Sloan. “We gave up some points, but the defense didn’t give up anything. They bent, but they didn’t break.”