12—0! A perfect season came to a perfect ending Saturday night as Middletown High School blanked Salesianum 27-0 in the DIAA D-1 Championship game played at Delaware State University's Alumni Field.
The victory gave the Cavaliers their second consecutive title, and it was their third straight appearance in the championship match.
"Overall, it was a great effort by the entire team. I was very pleased with our effort. Back in training camp (in August), everyone was working hard, and I felt that we definitely deserved this, all the hard work really paid off, and we really wanted it BAD," said junior quarterback Darius Wade.
"We wanted to come back and repeat, and we were able to do that tonight," added Wade, who also played defense for the Cavaliers. "That was in the game plan for tonight. I told the coaches I would do whatever I could to help this team get a win, and it worked out," he said.
As the team has done all season, the Cavs got the early jump on their opponents. Junior split end Chris Godwin raced 59 yards for a touchdown to give Middletown a 7-0 lead at 8:48 of the first period.
The relentless Cavalier offense continued to drive on the Salesianum defense, but missed out on another opportunity to score at 2:43 when Josh Leach's 38-yard field goal attempt hit the cross bar dead center, but bounced back.
In the second quarter, Jamar Baynard rumbled in from 4 yards out to double the lead to 14-0 at 9:34. Then, with only 18 seconds remaining until halftime, Middletown went for the kill, as Baynard again scored from close range to increase the lead to 21-0.
In the third quarter Salesianum moved the ball better, but again to no avail ,against the very rugged and disciplined Cavalier defense. While Baynard's second touchdown run may well have put the game out of reach, the Cavs stopped the Sals on fourth and 2 at the 22 yard line at 6:39 of the third quarter in what was likely the defense play of the game. Prior to that play, the Sal's big running back Troy Reeder, was temporarily knocked out of the game, but returned later in the contest. Reeder was unable to play in Sallies 35-0 loss to Middletown last month.
The Sals had a little breath of life in the fourth quarter, when senior wide receiver Jesse June ran back a punt to the Middletown 23, but on 3rd and five at the 18, junior quarterback Matt Sgro threw an interception with only 10:15 remaining.
"Defense wins championships, no doubt," said Middletown coach Mark DelPercio. "We made some big plays on defense when we had to, and that was certainly one of them."
On the ensuing drive, the Cavs iced the game by traveling 80 yards to pay dirt as Godwin scored his second touchdown of the game with 7:02 left on the big scoreboard clock.
Page 2 of 2 - "I'm proud of my guys, they played hard all night. They made some big plays on offense and defense, and we were unable to make those plays tonight," said Sallies coach Bill DiNardo.