The Midway Raiders observed Senior Night Friday night and maintained a 13 point lead with just over 5 minutes left in the game. Moments later, the cross county rivals from Union had erased the lead and sent the game into overtime. A field goal by the Spartans won the game 16-13.
Before the game, Midway’s 15 seniors were recognized.
The first half was controlled by the defenses. Each team had opportunities to punt. Finally near the end of the first half, the Raiders got as far as the Union 24. But quarterback Austin Raynor was sacked on a 4th down play and the Spartans took over on downs.
Moments later, a J. D. Lockamy interception gave the Raiders another shot, but once again the possession ended in a punt. The score remained 0-0 at intermission.
The game’s first big break came when the Spartans fumbled on their own 13 yard line. Raider James Hardee pounced on it, and with 4:04 remaining in the 3rd period, Larry Blanks found pay dirt from 5 yards out. The PAT was delivered by Jackson Carr giving the Raiders a 7-0 lead. That score would hold into the final quarter.
Midway began the 4th frame at midfield, but progressed to the 13 yard line. Raynor then found Marelle Bullock for a touchdown pass and a 13-0 lead. The PAT failed.
Following an onside kick, the Spartans started on their 47. Quarterback Nadir Goodwin then hit Shyquan Brunson on a 50 yard scoring pass. The extra point by Omar Martinez made it 13-7 with 5:02 remaining in the game.
The Raiders took possession on their 35. On 4th and 2, they elected to go for the first down and were stopped by the Union defense with 2:50 left. The Spartans, however, lost the ball on downs, and it looked hopeless for the visitors.
But with just 49 seconds remaining, the Raiders fumbled and Union was back in business. The Raiders stopped the Spartans on a 4th and 9 play, but a roughing the passer penalty gave Union new life. Goodwin found Warren Gay in the end zone from 6 yards out to knot the score at 13. 6.3 seconds remained in the game. Midway’s Blanks then led a determined defense and blocked the PAT, sending the game to overtime.
The Raiders got first crack in overtime and the Union defense held them scoreless. The Spartans’ Martinez nailed the game winning field goal on 4th and 6, for the 16-13 Union victory.
“I’ve been telling the guys all year long, just give us a chance at the end,” asserted Union head coach Doug Burley. “They kept believing and they kept their composure. We dropped a pass and then the same kid came back and scored the touchdown. We get the PAT blocked and the same kid comes back to win the game. I’m proud of them. We’ve had a successful season.”
For the Spartans, the leading ball carrier was Goodwin. He carried 11 times for 23 yards. Union rushed a total of 29 times for 60 yards.
Their top receiver was Brunson. He had 2 catches for 51 yards. Goodwin completed 3 of 8 for 53 yards. The Spartans tallied 118 yards of total offense.
Midway was led by Larry Blanks with 82 on 21 carries. Bullock was the top receiver with 13 yards. Raynor was 3 for 7 for 37 yards. The home team had 157 total yards.
The Raiders had 10 first downs. The Spartans had 2.
Union finishes the regular season with a 6-5 overall record and 3-4 in the Four County Conference. Midway ends up 7-4 and 3-4. Both teams will wait for the NCHSAA playoff pairings to be released to find out where they will play next weekend.