No. 2 Middletown beat No. 3 Smyrna 48-28 Nov. 22 at Cavalier Stadium in the state semifinal game.
It only took two minutes of game time in the fourth quarter for the Cavaliers to score four touchdowns and seal their fate.
No. 2 Middletown Cavaliers beat No. 3 Smyrna Eagles in the state semifinal game 48-28 Nov. 22 on MHS turf to move on to the Division I championship.
It was looking to be a nail-biter when the Eagles tied the game 20-20 minutes into the third quarter, but Middletown ran away with the fourth quarter, outscoring them four touchdowns to one.
Middletown coaches asked players to take a knee at the end of the game to congratulate them, but also to remind them they still have one more challenge ahead of them: claim the state title.
Zach Blum, head coach, said the players should enjoy beating their rival, but their goal is not just to get to the championship game but to win it.
“To me, that is the biggest blessing in this,” he said. “We get to do this one more time.”
This is the eighth time in the last 10 years Middletown has made it to the finals, most recently in 2017. Middletown and Smyrna competed for the state title in 2016 and 2017 with Smyrna coming out on top both times.
The Cavaliers led the entire first half, but the Eagles kept it close. The teams scored back-to-back touchdowns in the first quarter, but Smyrna’s 2-point conversion attempt failed, ending the quarter 7-6.
Middletown scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to state the largest lead in the game at that point.
Sophomore quarterback Braden Davis (5) was nearly sacked on his team’s own 39 but tossed the ball to senior tight end Jaheim Wing (8) who ran it for more than 35 yards for touchdown to take control of the first half 20-6.
Smyrna responded with a touchdown and 2-point conversion to close the gap and end the second quarter 20-14.
Cavaliers and Eagles faced off in the regular season opener with Middletown winning 17-6.
Middletown finished 9-1 on the regular season, falling only to Hodgson who was their only loss during the regular season last year.
Smyrna started off with two losses but finished the regular season 8-2.
Eagles came into the night with a nine-game winning streak after beating No. 6 Salesianum 52-32 in the first round of the playoffs.
Middletown will play No. 1 Hodgson Vo-Tech Nov. 30.
Middletown - Najair Smith 4-yard touchdown run (kick good)
Smyrna - Wayne Knight 7-yard touchdown run (conversion failed)
Middletown 7, Smyrna 6
Middletown - Jaheim Wing 39-yard touchdown reception from Braden Davis (kick good)
Middletown - Jaheim Wing 51-yard touchdown reception from Braden Davis (kick no good)
Smyrna - Marcus Cajuste 1-yard run (Knight 2-point conversion run)
Middletown 20, Smyrna 14
Smyrna - Wayne Knight 14-yard touchdown run (conversion failed)
Middletown 20, Smyrna 20
Middletown - Jaheim Wing 3-yard run (kick no good)
Middletown - Najair Smith 60-yard touchdown run (Davis pass to AJ Pepper for 2-point conversion)
Smyrna - Devin Smith 81-yard kickoff return (Knight pass to Espie Hart for 2-point conversion)
Middletown - Isaiah Griffin 49-yard touchdown reception from Davis (kick good)
Middletown - Michael Pearson 20-yard fumble return (kick good)
Middletown 48, Smyrna 28
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