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In several games this season, the Midway Green Waves have put up good numbers and have been close to several opponents in yards gained. But while they were close statistically in those games, they have usually not been very close on the scoreboard.
Friday night at Hancock County, the Green Waves won the overall statistical battle by more than 100 yards, however, they still lost their ninth consecutive game, 14-12, to the Indians.
The big difference was the Indians had a short field twice when they scored their two touchdowns. Midway's two touchdowns came in the third quarter and covered 71 yards and 74 yards.
The other big difference was the Indians hit both extra points while Midway had their first one blocked and the two-point try on the second failed.
If there was some good news in the game it was the emergence of freshman QB Christian Moore. Moore completed 5 of 11 passes with an interception for 144 yards. Moore's first pass of his high school career was for a TD to Dillon Davidson.
Moore was playing in place of Thomas Viar, who was injured in a recent game and was limited to mostly defense.
The Green Waves did not get much done in the first half. They crossed midfield only twice. The last possession of the first quarter began at the Indians 43 after a 54-yard punt return by Davidson. However, they were penalized for holding on the first play of the possession and then fumbled the ball on the next play.
Hancock County punted the ball to the 2 yard line and Midway could not push out. A short Larry Risner punt and a 10-yard return by Sheldon Sexton gave the Indians a first down at the 15. Hancock County scored five plays later on a 5-yard run by Mitch Cantor.
Midway responded with a drive that eventually reached the Hancock 19.
A 45-yard run by Davidson moved the ball to the 26. Risner gained six on second down to move the ball to the 19. However, an illegal procedure penalty pushed Midway back and the drive ended on downs.
Trailing 7-0 at the half the decision was made to go with Moore at quarterback and it paid off on the first possession.
Starting at the 29 after the kickoff, Midway ran the ball eight times until they reached the Hancock 44. On third-and-11 from the 44, Moore almost threw to Davidson far down then field. Davidson had slowed down awaiting the throw, but he picked up speed again and skipped into the end zone for the touchdown.
Risner's extra point attempt was blocked and sailed off to the left to leave Midway down 7-6.
The Green Wave defense held Hancock to three plays and a punt after the kickoff.
From the 26, Moore and Davidson would go to work again. This time they connected for 37 yards on the first play. Four plays later, Aaron Collins scored on an 8-yard run to give the Green Waves a 12-7 lead.
Moore's throw toward Davidson on the two-point attempt fell incomplete.
After the kickoff, the Indians drove to the Midway 40 before punting Midway inside the 10.
Midway gained only three yards before Risner punted again and after the return, the Indians set up shop at Midway’s 27.
The Indians covered that distance with Cantor gaining all 27 yards by himself. He scored on a 7-yard run to make the score 14-12 with 6:07 left to play.
Midway pushed across midfield after the kickoff. Davidson returned the kick to the 37 then Moore hit Risner for 15 yards to the Hancock 48, but the drive ended on downs four plays later.
Hancock County tried to run out the clock, but Sexton would fumble at the Midway 30 with Jacob Miller recovering for Midway.
Moore hit Davidson for a 34-yard gain to the Indians 35 on the first play. Moore took the shotgun snap on the next play and saw Viar deep in the middle of the field. Moore launched the throw, but Sexton jumped high and picked off the pass to secure the victory for the Indians.
Midway will try again next week in the last regular season game of the year to get that first win when they host Tellico Plains.