Playing on a night where the football complex at Midway High School was named and dedicated in honor of legendary head coach Tommy Sloan, who coached the Raiders for more than 30 years and won over 200 games, Midway got back into the win column Friday with a 55-32 win over the Knights of West Bladen.
“Oh man, it was a long game,” commented Midway coach Cory Barnes. “We did well on offense, we stayed balanced. The defense did good in the run game early once we figured them out. They have a pretty good quarterback that kept them in the game late. We were fortunate to hold them off and come out on top in the end. West Bladen has a pretty good football team with good players.”
Midway had the first chance to score and made short work of the Knights defense, scoring a minute and a half into the first quarter. Carson Calcutt hooked up with Deantae Byrd on a 25-yard pass play ending a 55-yard drive with a touchdown. The PAT failed, leaving the Raiders with a 6-0 lead.
West Bladen quickly answered, scoring on a short 1-yard touchdown run after a 59 yard drive. The 2-point attempt was stopped by the Raider defense on a running play with 5:40 left in the first quarter.
On the heels of the Knights score, Calcutt hooked up with Cameron Barefoot on a 35-yard pass to go back up 12-6. Calcutt then ran for the 2-point conversion for a 14-6 lead.
The Knights turned the ball around and quickly scored again on a 56-yard pass play to trim into the Midway lead. They elected to again attempt the 2-point conversion which was again stopped by the Raider defense.
Midway started the next drive at midfield. Calcutt hooked up with Byrd again on a 31-yard pass for another score. Reese Register kicked the PAT to put the Raiders up 21-12 with 1:01 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, the Raiders tallied again to go up 28-12 when Jam Rich scored on a 4-yard run. The Knights fumbled their next possession with Midway recovering in good field position; however, they lost a tunover of their own to a West Bladen interception.
The Knights took advantage of the turnover turning it into a score on a 1-yard run after a 54 yard drive. A procedure penalty moved the ball back to the 8-yard line for the PAT which failed. The score was 28-18 Midway with 4:25 left in the first half.
With 2:10 left in the half, Calcutt hit Carsse Lucas in the end zone for another score. Lucas was surrounded by Knights defenders but managed to keep control of the ball for the score. Register’s kick gave the Raiders a 35-18 lead.
West Bladen’s next possession resulted in another turnover when Lucas intercepted Shy’ron Adams and returned the ball to the 35-yard line, a 25-yard return. With 1:42 left in the half, Calcutt got around the left side of the defense and sprinted 25 yards for the score. Register’s PAT was wide, leading to the halftime score of 41-18 in favor of Midway.
After the break, West Bladen took the Raider kick-off at their 43-yard line. After burning nearly half the 3rd quarter, they came up short on a fourth down giving Midway the ball at their own 35-yard line.
Just over 3 minutes later, the Raiders scored again on a 9-yard run by Dante Blue to cap off a 65-yard drive. Register’s PAT made it a 48-18 game.
The Knights offense then came alive in the final minutes of the third quarter. About a minute later, the Knights scored on a 26-yard pass. The 2-pt run attempt was tripped up by the Raider defense leaving the score at 48-24.
With 11:25 left in the game, Midway scored again on another Rich 2-yard run. With Register’s kick, it was 55-24.
The Knights would get one more score with 9:41 left. They finally succeeded with the 2-point conversion to make the score 55-32.
Leading the way for the Raiders, Byrd had 94 yards on 14 attempts while Calcutt rushed for 188 yards on 15 carries and passed for 112 yards. Rich had 103 yards on 13 carries. Cameron Barefoot was the leading receiver.
With the win, Midway improves to 2-1 overall. The Raiders are set to travel to Lakewood on Friday night for a big test with an undefeated county rival. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]