It was Homecoming at Midway on Friday night when the Raiders hosted James Kenan in East Central 2A Conference action. Midway entered the game riding a two-game losing streak and were hopeful that Homecoming could spark a turnaround. James Kenan, though, made enough plays to hold the Raiders off from a late-game surge and took the win, 47-34.
The Raider offense was threatening midway through the first quarter when the Tigers came up with a huge defensive play turn things around in their favor. James Kenan’s Carlton Peterson intercepted Carson Calcutt’s pass attempt at the 23-yard line and returned it all the way to end zone for a 77-yard pick-six touchdown. The PAT failed but the Tigers led 6-0 with 4:43 on the clock in the first quarter.
Midway didn’t fold, however, and neither did Calcutt. Calcutt capped off the ensuing Raiders drive with a 1-yard quarterback keeper into the end zone to tie the game back up. Their PAT also failed but the game was now tied 6-6 with 1:08 left in the first.
James Kenan quickly answered, though.
The quarter ended with the teams tied at 6-6 but as the action shifted to the second quarter, the Tigers were already threatening. Tyquan Henry put James Kenan on the board again with 11:21 on the clock in the second quarter with a 3-yard run. This time, the PAT was good, and the Tigers were back out in front 13-6.
After a failed Midway possession, Henry helped his team extend that lead to 20-6 after sprinting 27-yards for another score with 4:56 left in the half.
The Raiders, though, got back into contention with 2:56 left in the half when Calcutt scored his second touchdown of the game to make it 20-12. The 2-point conversion failed leaving the score at that margin.
One more time before the half, the Tigers would extend their lead once more. Peterson once again found paydirt from two yards out with 39.1 seconds left on the clock to make it 26-12. The PAT was successful to make it 27-12.
With their defense continuing to struggle, 27-12 would be the halftime tally.
Out of the halftime break, the Tigers poured it on some more when quarterback John Thomas Avent recovered a mishandled snap and connected with Deoveon Harris for a 32-yard touchdown pass. The PAT failed but James Kenan was in command with a 34-12 lead.
Midway still fought and didn’t let the three-score deficit intimidate them. Calcutt and Carsse Lucas hooked up on a 73-yard touchdown pass play cut into the Tigers lead. Cameron Barefoot converted the 2-point conversion and Midway was back within 34-20 with 3:32 left in the third quarter.
James Kenan, though, quickly responded as Henry was in for his third score of the game on a 71-yard rushing touchdown. The extra point was good and the lead was right back to 41-20 with 3:13 still left in quarter number three.
Still in the third quarter, Lucas intercepted a pass at the goal line and ran it all the way back for Midway score, returning the favor on pick-six of their own with 36.8 left in the third. Barefoot again helped the Raiders convert the two point conversion to make it 41-28 with action headed to the fourth and final quarter.
Peterson scored his final touchdown for the game, as well as James Kenan’s final touchdown, with 10:05 left in the game as he ran it in from 14-yards out. The conversion failed as the Tigers were back out in front 47-28.
Moments later, Deantae Byrd countered the touchdown with a 13-yard run of his own to get Midway back to within 47-34.
That score held up the remainder of the way as James Kenan turned Midway’s comeback attempt away, driving the nail in the coffin when Christian Wells intercepted a Midway pass attempt in the end zone with 1:57 left.
Leading Midway statistically was Calcutt going 15 for 38 in the passing game with a touchdown. He also ran for two scores but surrendered three interceptions, including the pick-six.
Lucas was the leading receiver with 149 yards on four catches while Byrd was Midway’s leading rusher with 118 yards on 15 carries.
With the loss, Midway drops to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in East Central Conference play. They face another Duplin County opponent on Friday when they travel to take on Wallace-Rose Hill.
Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]