For the sixth time in seven years, the Middletown Cavaliers will play in the DIAA Division I Football State Championship Game.
The No. 1 Cavaliers fought through costly penalties and turnovers, while the Middletown defense held strong helping them knock off No. 4 Salesianum 25-7 on Friday night.
Middletown opened the scoring late in the opening quarter when quarterback Drew Fry scrambled to the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown to give the Cavaliers a 7-0 lead.
Salesianum tied things up at 7-7 thanks to a 10-yard touchdown run by Josh Patrick, who carried the load in the backfield for Sallies the majority of the night.
With time winding down in the opening half, the Cavaliers were driving but needed a fourth-down conversion from Fry to Jalen Whitehead to keep it going. A few plays later, Fry left the pocket and found an open Nick Johnston in the end zone to put Middletown up 13-7 after a blocked extra point with just 4.9 seconds left in the half.
Middletown’s offense struck again early in the third, aided perhaps by a questionable call of a completed pass for the Cavaliers. Later in the drive, Fry threw his second touchdown of the game, this one to Anthony DelPercio from 10 yards out to put Middletown up 19-7 with just under nine minutes to go in the third quarter.
The two teams remained scoreless the rest of the third and throughout the first-half of the fourth until Middletown sealed the victory with another score. After a forced fumble by the Middletown defense, the offense went to work. Kedrick Whitehead capped off the drive with a four-yard touchdown on the ground, giving the Cavaliers a 25-7 lead with just over six minutes to go.
Middletown now moves onto the DIAA Division I Football State Championship Game next week at the University of Delaware. The Cavaliers will play the winner of Saturday’s second semifinal matchup between No. 2 Smyrna and No. 3 William Penn.
Tickets for the state title game are on sale at statechamps.com/DIAA