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Midway’s return to the TSSAA Class 1A playoffs did not turn out as well as they hoped, dropping a 28-12 decision to Cloudland Saturday afternoon.
This was Midway's fourth try at getting a win in Roan Mountain and their fourth loss to the team from far northeast Tennessee.
The game was supposed to be played Friday, but with the Hurricane Sandy helping to drop nearly a foot of snow on Roan Mountain, the game was eventually played on Saturday afternoon.
Midway was used to taking long trips this year, but Saturday's trip was the strangest of all. Midway's bus also broke down twice and the Green Wave team had to transfer three times on the trip .
Neither team did much on their first possession, but the Green Wave did put together a solid drive on their second possession.
Starting from their own 39, Midway QB Shandon Lyle picked up 11 yards on the ground and later hit Jonathan Beason for a 16-yard gain. Midway eventually pushed to the 19 before running out of downs.
Midway's next possession started at their own nine, but the Green Wave didn't stay their long as three plays later, Lyle faded back and launched a pass down field to Zach Qualls, who raced the rest of the 80 yards for the touchdown.
The extra point was no good, but Midway led 6-0 early in the second quarter,
The fun didn't last long though as Cloudland's Cody Birchfield grabbed the kickoff at the 30 and was finally brought down at the Midway two. The Highlanders tied the game after Taylor Whitehead picked up the touchdown on a one yard run.
The rest of the half would see each team drive past midfield, but neither would score.
Cloudland would control the ball for much of the third quarter and would take a 12-6 lead after Jeffery Rhinehart hit Austin whitehead with a 30-yard scoring pass.
Cloudland scored again early in the fourth quarter on a 62-yard run from Birchfield.
Rhinehart ran in the two-point conversion to put the Highlanders up 20-6 with 9:32 left in the game.
Midway bounced right back with a 62 yard drive after the kickoff.
A 13-yard pass from Lyle to Jonathan Beason capped the drive with a 25-yard pass from Lyle to Cody Schommer setting up the score.
Midway's conversion was no good, leaving the score 20-12 with 5:03 left to play.
Midway's defense held and forced a punt, allowing the Green Wave one last chance to tie the game. But four straight incomplete passes gave the Highlanders the ball at the Midway 13.
Rhinehart tacked on a late scored and the two-point conversion was good as Cloudland picked up the 16-point victory.
Lyle had another solid night for Midway as he carried the ball 18 times for 66 yards while completing nine of 24 passes for 161 yards and two TDs. Lyle ends the season with nearly 1,100 yards rushing and more than 1,300 yards passing.
Beason had a big day catching six passes for 44 yards. Qualls added two catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Schommer had one catch for 25 yards.
While the loss was disappointing, it could very well become a turning point for head coach Joe Campbells' young team. Midway loses only three seniors this season and returns the bulk of the starters, some that have started since they were freshmen. The Green Wave will also welcome a large bunch of eighth graders that won the Clinch Valley Conference Class A Championship.
Midway ends the season with a 5-6 record while Cloudland (8-3) will play at Coalfield (9-1) Friday night in the second round of the TSSAA Class 1A playoffs.