Midway ends four-game skid

By Daron Barefoot - Sports Writer
Mike Warren looks to cut upfield. -

Back in action for the first time since Hurricane Matthew visited North Carolina two weeks ago, the Midway Raiders were looking to put an end to its four-game losing streak when they traveled take on Trask on Friday night. Perhaps the unexpected week off was exactly what the doctor ordered, as a much more determined Midway team took the field and was able spring the upset, toppling Trask 28-19 to spoil the Titans’ homecoming.

Each team traded possessions early but it was Trask that struck first, capitalizing off of a Midway fumble at the Raider 12-yard line. With 6:15 remaining in the first quarter, BJ Jordan found the end zone on a short scamper. Midway blocked the PAT but Trask was in the lead 6-0.

Trask forced another turnover on the ensuing Midway drive as an Austin Raynor pass was intercepted at midfield. The Titans cashed in once again as Stephen Jordan found pay dirt on the first play of the second quarter. After the failed 2-point conversion, Trask led 12-0.

On the ensuing drive, Midway’s offense finales came alive as the Raiders were able to move the ball down the field, but the drive stalled after a Raynor to Sha’king Warren long pass play was called back due to an illegal block in the back.

The game was about to take a dramatic turn following a huge punt that pinned the Titans on against their own goal line at the 1. Midway cashed in, stopping the runner in the end zone to get the safety, making the score 12-2 with 7:31 left before the half.

Midway drew even closer, capping off a 53-yard drive when Warren took it 29-yards to the house. The PAT was blocked but Midway was within 12-8 with 4:38 left in the first half.

The Raiders were right back in business just a minute later when Shaquille Bailey recovered a Titans fumble at the Trask 20-yard line. With 21.4 seconds showing on the clock, Raynor connected with Tonge from 8 yards out for the go ahead score. The PAT was successful and Midway would carry a 15-12 lead into the half.

The game took another big turn early in the second half. Trask appeared to be on the verge of reclaiming the lead as the Titans were lined up for first and goal at the 6-yard line. However, instead of scoring the touchdown, the Titan ball carrier fumbled the ball and it ricocheted right into the hands of Shaking Warren, who returned it 94-yards for the defensive touchdown. Raynor’s PAT was good and Midway now led 22-12 early in the third quarter.

The rest of the game would prove to be a defensive struggle as each team traded possessions throughout the remainder of third and fourth quarters.

Things got a little interesting, however, late in the game. With 2:20 remaining, Stephen Jordan notched his second touchdown of the game for the Titans and after the successful PAT, Trask was back within 22-19.

Trask was unable to recover the onside kick and was forced to rely on its defense one more time. With 6 seconds showing on the clock and the Raiders facing 4th and short, Midway called a timeout to assess the situation. Out of the timeout, Warren broke free for a very unexpected 44-yard touchdown run on the last play of the game, bringing the final score of 28-19.

After the game, Midway head coach Jason Fussell credited his team’s determination for the win.

“We got some tough guys that went out and made some good plays. I’m proud of them,” Fussell said.

Statistically for Midway, the Raiders were led by Warren who rushed 13 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Tonge had three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Midway was led by Carson Calcutt with eight tackles. Derrick Loftis and Jake Clark each had six.

With the win, Midway is now 4-4 overall and 1-3 in league play. Trask falls to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the conference.

Midway is back in action Friday, hosting West Bladen where the Raiders will celebrate Homecoming. Trask will travel to take on Clinton.

Mike Warren looks to cut upfield.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_Mike-Warren-Copy.jpgMike Warren looks to cut upfield.

By Daron Barefoot

Sports Writer