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It’s always fun to win on homecoming, and the Midway Green Wave had a lot of fun Friday night as Joe Campbell’s squad downed Jellico, 29-6.
“It’s great to get a win on homecoming,” Green Wave head coach Joe Campbell said following the game. “Our kids came out and fought hard for four quarters tonight and did a good job.”
While the homecoming win was big, what made the win even more important was the fact that Friday’s victory improves the Green Wave to 2-3 overall on the season, and that keeps Midway in the hunt for a playoff berth at the end of the season.
“It’s huge for morale,” Campbell said. “When you know you’re still in the hunt it makes everybody more focused in practice and in games.”
While Midway eventually won by 23 points, the Green Wave had a battle on their hands for more than three periods.
The first period was frustrating for the Green Wave faithful. Neither team scored in the opening period, although Midway did have one drive that ended on downs inside the Jellico 10 yard line.
The drive was a 15-play, 65-yard drive that died in part to a motion penalty at the Blue Devil 12 yard line.
“I felt we should have had a few more points on the board in the first half, but we shot ourselves in the foot a few times,” Campbell said.
Midway’s second drive would also eat up a lot of time off the clock, but this time the Green Wave did not come up empty.
Starting from their own 48, the Green Wave marched 52 yards in 10 plays with QB Shandon Lyle scoring on a one-yard sneak.
Lyle connected with Zach Qualls for the two-point conversion as Midway led 8-0 with 8:37 left in the first half.
The rest of the half was pretty much a defensive struggle, although Jellico did drive deep inside Midway territory to end the half. The Devils had the ball at the 19 before a toss into the end zone fell incomplete to end the half.
While Midway might have missed out on an opportunity to score on their first possession of the first half, that wouldn’t be the case to start the second half.
Starting from their own 47, Midway marched 53 yards in eight plays with Lyle scoring again on a one-yard run.
Lyle also added the two-point conversion as Midway led 16-0 with 8:55 left in the first half.
Jellico, however, answered the bell quickly as the Devils used a 59-yard run to cap a three-play, 78-yard drive that made the score 22-6 with 7:19 left in the third period.
But before the Devils could wrestle away the momentum, Midway put together another long scoring drive. This time the Green Wave marched 73 yards in 11 plays before Lyle again scored on a one-yard run to make the score 22-6 with 2:07 left in the third quarter.
Midway’s two-point try was no good.
Jellico looked ready to answer the bell again on their next possession, but that’s when Midway’s Mason Woody came up with one big play to slam the door shut.
Facing second-and-four from the Green Wave 21, the Devils looked to throw, but Woody jumped the route and raced 75 yards the other direction for a Midway touchdown.
“That play was huge,” Campbell said. “They were driving down the field right there and it was looking like it would go down to the end, but Mason closed the door with that return.”
Tanner Seymour added the PAT to give the Green Wave a 29-6 lead with 10:07 left to play.
Jellico would put together one last solid drive, but the drive ended on downs at Midway’s five yard line with less than a minute to play.
Midway ended the night with 265 total yards on 52 plays. Most of that yardage came on the ground, as the Green Wave ran the ball 44 times for 238 yards.
Lyle led the way with 119 yards and three TDs on 22 carries. Tyler Clark was next in line with 38 yards on 10 carries.
Jellico ended the evening with 196 yards rushing and 207 total yards.
Up next for Midway is a home game with Tellico Plains this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“They’re pretty tough and it’s a big game for us,” Campbell said. “It’s a district game and it’s at home. It would be nice if would could win that one.”
Rushing- Lyle 22-119 with 3 TDs, Beason 3-29, Clark 10-38, Woody 2-23, Longmire 2-6, Brummitt 4-24, Team 1-(-1).
Passing- Lyle 2-8 for 27 yards.
Receiving- Clark 1-17, Beason 1-10.