Eight down and two more victories to go for the Middletown Cavalier football team as the 2012 regular season winds down after the Cavaliers dismantled the previously undefeated Salesianum squad 35-0 Friday night at Bill Billings Stadium in front of an estimated standing room only crowd of nearly 6,000 spectators. The loss was the first of the season for the Sals, who's record fell to 7-1.
“We have a hard working group. This team is used to adversity,” said Salesianum coach Bill DiNardo, who, incidentally, is a former Middletown coach.
“This game was like a punch to the gut, but we will bounce back. “We have to get right back to work and prepare for our last two games, said DiNardo.
As they have done all season long, Middletown's terrific trio of senior wide receiver Chris Godwin, senior running back Jamar Baynard and junior quarterback Darius Wade performed flawlessly on offense for the defending state champions. As the season draws to its conclusion, it seems likely that the Cavaliers will return to the Division One state championship game in December and have a great opportunity and loads of talent to defend their title.
This week, it was Godwin who had an outstanding night, scoring three touchdowns for Middletown.
His first was an electrifying, 78-yard punt return after Salesianum punted after a three and out on their first possession. Godwin grabbed the ball, broke to his left, broke several tackles, then flew down the left sidelines, in front of the ecstatic home fans. Josh Leach's extra point gave the Cavs' a 7-0 lead with 9:33 remaining in the first quarter.
“That punt return was special, Chris is a special young man,” said Middletown coach Mark DelPercio.
It was really a heck of a play, I'm glad he's wearing blue for us. He's that type of kid, a very fine young man and a very fine football player,” said DelPercio.
Middletown got back on the scoreboard early in the second period when Wade hit Godwin with a 12-yard touchdown pass at 11:17. As the clock wound down to the end of the first half, Baynard slipped around the left side behind a wall of blockers and scored a 4-yard touchdown with only 24 seconds remaining until halftime. Leach's two PAT's gave the Cavs a 21-0 lead heading into the halftime locker room.
The Cavalier's continued their relentless pressure on offense and defense in the second half. While the offense was racking up yardage and points, the defense was shutting down a Sallies team that was averaging nearly 40 points per game, but not on this night, against this team.
The home team added to its point total on a 12-yard run by Wade at the conclusion of a long, 6-minute drive to build the lead to 28-0.
Page 2 of 2 - Midway through the fourth quarter, Sallies had their best scoring chance, but was stopped on downs at the six yard line by the tenacious Cavalier defense. With 6:39 remaining, Godwin scored his third touchdown of the evening on a 7-yard pass from Wade.
“I can't say enough about the job the defensive coaches and the team did tonight. They had a great game plan , and the players are passionate about what they do and learning the game plan, and I couldn't be happier about the way they played tonight,” said DelPercio.
Next Saturday, Middletown travels to New Castle to battle William Penn in a Flight A contest. The kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Sals ninth game of the season is against Concord on the road Saturday afternoon, also at 2 p.m.