Pender shocks Midway

By Daron Barefoot - Sports Writer

Midway’s Derrick Loftis sacks the Pender runner in the backfield.

Sha’King Warren tries to shake off the Pender defense.

Midway traveled to Pender on Friday night, hoping to get back on track and end a two-game skid. That didn’t happen. After taking an early 7-0 lead, the Raiders would surrender 26 unanswered points to the Patriots, falling by the score of 26-7.

Midway got the scoring started quickly, capitalizing on a big pass play from Austin Raynor to Carson Calcutt. With 8:54 showing on the clock in the first quarter, Sha’King Warren ran in for the score. Raynor would add the PAT and Midway led 7-0.

Twice on the ensuing Pender drive, Midway stopped the Patriots on third down to force a punting situation, but, both times the Raiders were flagged for personal foul penalties to keep the Pender drive alive.

In the second quarter, Pender took advantage of the Raider miscues as Latrell Brown was in the end zone for his first touchdown of the night with 11:08 left in the quarter. The PAT failed, preserving Midway’s lead at 7-6.

Each team would trade possessions multiple times throughout the second quarter but neither team would threaten and the half would end with Midway clinging to its 7-6 lead.

After receiving the opening kick of the second half, Pender was able to cap off the 55-yard drive with a short touchdown run with 8:14 left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion try was unsuccessful but Pender was now in the lead at 12-7.

The Raiders were able to move the ball down field on the ensuing drive but the drive stalled after failing to convert fourth down at the Pender 35-yard line.

Facing fourth-and-short on their own 44-yard line, the Patriots found the end zone once again as Brown exploded up the middle with a 56-yard touchdown run. The PAT was successful and Pender now led 19-7 with 1:36 left in the third quarter.

Several times throughout the night, untimely penalties negated big plays by Midway. This was the case once again on the next Raider drive late in the third quarter as a solid run on first down was called back due to holding. Now faced with first and 25, the Raiders were able to convert for a first down and would punt back to Pender as the third quarter came to a close.

The Patriots would score one more time with 9:50 left in the game after Brown found the end zone for the third time. After adding the PAT, Pender led 26-7.

Midway would threaten no more as the final two Raider drives would end on an interception and a failed fourth down conversion.

After the game, head coach Jason Fussell noted that his team didn’t do themselves any favors.

“Every chance we had, we shot ourselves in the foot,” he said. “We have to try to regroup and move forward.”

On the night, Midway had 150 yards of total offense – 99 rushing and 50 passing. The Raiders had nearly that much in penalty yards, amassing 120 yards on 11 penalties.

Defensively, Derrick Loftis led Midway with nine tackles while Jake Clark had eight.

With the loss, Midway drops to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the Four County Conference. The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for the Raiders as they travel to take on Clinton.

Midway’s Derrick Loftis sacks the Pender runner in the backfield.’s Derrick Loftis sacks the Pender runner in the backfield.

Sha’King Warren tries to shake off the Pender defense.’King Warren tries to shake off the Pender defense.

By Daron Barefoot

Sports Writer

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