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The Midway Middle School Green Wave officially became the Clinch Valley Conference Class A champs Thursday with a 14-0 win over Oakdale.
This would be the first-ever championship for Midways middle school football team. They have played several times in the championship games in the old TMSAA league, and last year in the Clinch Valley league, but had never won the title.
The Clinch Valley title was somewhat tougher to claim than Midway and head coach Randy Steele anticipated. Thursday’s game against Oakdale was a rematch of the regular season, which was won easily by Midway, 45-12.
“We knew it would be tougher this time around and it wasn't totally unexpected,” Steele said. “I'm elated that the team did it, and they are very happy,”
Midway finishes the season with a sparkling 8-1 record. The only loss was to Class AAA Cherokee early in the year.
The game started about as usual for the Green Waves. Zane Moser returned the opening kickoff about 45 yards to the Oakdale 25 and Midway scored quickly.
Midway’s scoring drive lasted seven plays and ended when QB Skyan Lyle found Moser from 19 yards out on third-and-14.
Jake Woody ran in the conversion to put the Green Wave on top 8-0 with 4:25 left in the opening quarter.
After an Oakdale three-and-out, Midway set sail again form the 30. A combination of runs from Woody and Drake Romines pushed them to the Oakdale nine early in the second quarter. Midway would not score, however, as Oakdale’s Austin Helton picked off a fourth down pass and returned the ball to the 42 before Lyle ran him down.
The Eagles then drove to the Midway 23 where they ran out of downs.
Midway had little time on the first half clock, but Lyle did find Moser for a big gain to the Oakdale 40. Lyle then threw incomplete on the final play of the half.
After stopping Oakdale to start the second half, Midway appeared headed toward the end zone again.
Starting from their own 23, Romines picked up 16 and 10 yards runs to start the drive, then Woody reversed field for a 39-yard pick up. Woody’s face mask was grabbed on the play and the Green Wave had it first-and-goal from the Eagle five.
Lyle scored three plays later on a one-yard sneak to make the score 14-0 with 2:57 left in the third quarter.
Midway’s two-point conversion attempt was no good.
Midway’s defense would take over from there.
Moser ended one drive with an interception, but after a fumble on the return, Oakdale retained possession. It didn’t matter, however, as the Eagles would run out of downs at the Green Wave 40.
Oakdale would get the ball one more time before the end of the game, but the Eagles failed to pick up a first down.
Woody had a good night on the ground for Midway as he carried the ball 17 times for 99 yards. Romines added 60 yards on 10 carries.
Lyle was two of five passing for 59 yards with at TD and interception. Moser caught both passes.