It was another typical day at the office for the 7-0 Middletown Cavaliers in a 57-21 romp over back-yard rival Appoquinimink Friday night on the Jaguars' home field.
The Cavaliers' offense was led by a very talented senior running back Jamar Baynard, who ran over, under, around and through the Jaguars defense for 275 yards and six touchdowns. Junior quarterback Darius Wade ran an efficient offense, throwing for two touchdowns to junior split end Chris Godwin. Combined with Middletown's stifling defense, the determined Jaguars had tough going throughout most of the evening.
Appoquinimink actually led early in the game thanks to an outstanding run by senior running back Andre Connally, who raced 83 yards for the first points of the game. Andrew Jones PAT gave the Jags a 7-0 lead at the 6:48 mark of the first quarter. The Jags defense also slowed down the prolific Cavalier offense, which is averaging more than 50 points per game this season. Middletown finally got on the board at 1:43 of the quarter when Baynard scored his first touchdown on a ten-yard scamper. Josh Leach's PAT knotted the score at 7-7. Baynard's run completed a 10-play, 59-yard drive.
The Jags' offense went back to work and scored on the first play of the second quarter. Junior quarterback Landon Archangelo found Mal Esdale open behind the defense for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Jones' second PAT gave Appoquinimink a surprising 14-7 lead at 11:51.
"We knew we had to come out tonight and play four quarters against our cross town rivals, I expected nothing less," said Middletown coach Mark DelPercio.
"I was happy were were able to do what we did, especially the job Jamar Baynard did out there scoring six times, and the outstanding work of our offense line coaches, he said.
But the Middletown offense was not to be denied the rest of the evening. On the Cavaliers next drive, Wade hit Godwin for a 24-yard touchdown only 40 seconds after the Jags score. About three minutes later, Wade again hit Godwin, who raced 88 yards for the go-ahead score. Near the end of the quarter, Baynard ran 17 yards for his second touchdown of the night at 2:54 and building the Cavaliers halftime lead to 28-14.
The second half was the Jamar Baynard show, as the running back scored all three touchdowns in a dominating third quarter and his sixth and final tally at 10:12 of the fourth quarter.
"We have a great offense line and they did a great job blocking for me tonight. I just followed them and was able to have a good night tonight for my team," said Baynard.
At that point, both coaches cleared their benches to give second and third team players a chance to get on the field. Appoquinimink scored with 1:14 remaining as Esdale scored his second touchdown on a pass from Shane Anderson.
Page 2 of 2 - When asked if he was disturbed about Appoquinimink's early success, DelPercio said he was concerned but not worried. "No, if you're going to go into a panic, you won't be able to coach this sport. You're going to face adversity, but that's when you find out about your team, what kind of character your team has," he said.
The undefeated and rarely challenged Middletown team hosts Salesianum on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Many observers are calling this game a possible playoff preview.
Appoquinimink, now 3-4 on the season, travels upstate to play Charter on Saturday morning at 11 a.m.
Appoquinimink – Connally, 83-yard run, Jones PAT, 6:48 7-0
Middletown – Baynard, 10-yard run, Leach PAT, 1:43 7-7
A: Esdale, 60-yard pass from Archangelo, Jones PAT, 11:51 14-7
M: Godwin, 24-yard pass from Wade, Leach PAT, 11:11 14-14
M: Godwin, 88-yard pass from Wade, Leach PAT, 8:58 14-21
M: Baynard, 17-yard run, Leach PAT, 2:54 14-28
M: Baynard, 7-yard run, Leach PAT, 10:48 14-35
M: Baynard, 30 yard run, Leach PAT, 6:54 14-42
M: Baynard, 7-yard run, 2 pt. Bricker run, 3:38 14-50
M: Baynard, 21-yard run, Leach PAT, 10:12 14-57
A: Esdale, 11-yard pass from Anderson, Jones PAT 1:14 21-57