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Midway falls in heartbreaker, 33-32

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By Brownie Rose

It has been a few years since the Midway Green Waves failed to get a win during a football season, but it happened this season after a tough 33-32 loss to Tellico Plains Friday night at Midway.

A non-win season did occur in the infancy of football at Midway. The first two seasons in the mid 1950s were no-win years. The Green Waves finally got their first ever win in the third year followed by a no-win season the fourth year. But since then the Green Waves have always managed to pull out at least one win every year.

The possibly of not winning a single game was a concern for Midway head coach Craig Moser all season as he knew they were low on depth and any injuries along the way would hurt worse than usual. 

Depth played a key role in most of Midway’s 10 losses. In those games, they Green Waves were either tied or close at halftime, but the depth issue always came up especially late in the games.

Depth was an issue again Friday night as the Bears were able to drive for the final game-winning touchdown with less than 30 seconds left to get their first win.

Midway was back at almost full strength against Tellico Plains, however, as QB Thomas Viar was back after hurting his shoulder three weeks ago. Sophomore receiver Clay Clower returned to see some action after sitting out several games. 

Junior receiver Dillon Davidson had the biggest night of all, catching eight passes for 144 yards and scoring four touchdowns.

Fullback John Sloan was the Bears go-to guy especially after Tellico lost speedy Deion O'Dell earlier in the season with a knee injury. Sloan scored three touchdowns in the game.

Midway came out gunning hard for the win and scored first after the opening kickoff. The Green Waves would hold a 19-14 lead at halftime and led with less than three minutes left before the final Tellico Plains drive for the game-winning touchdown.

The Green Waves scored first on a 17-yard pass from Viar to Davidson. Earlier in the drive, Viar hooked up with Davidson for 10 yards in the 13-play drive. Viar also found Jake Parkison for gains of seven and 15 in the drive.

Larry Risner booted through the point after for a 7-0 lead.

Tellico Plains tied the game late in the first quarter on a 14-yard run from Eric Croft.

Midway went back ahead early in the second quarter after a series of penalties forced them into a second-and-25 from their own 45, but that’s when Viar went deep and found Davidson for a 55-yard touchdown.

Risner missed this point after attempt to leave the Green Waves up 13-7.

The Bears went on top briefly when Sloan scored his first TD on a 13-yard run.

Midway had enough time to regain the lead 19-14 by halftime. 

Viar to Davidson for 18 yards completed the 8-play drive that began at the Midway 43. Viar had a 12-yard run in the drive while Risner (13 yards) and Aaron Collins (11 yards) also had big runs in the drive.

Tellico Plains almost pulled away with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. Sloan scored the first on a 13-yard run then Dale Phillips scored the second on a one yard run to put them up 26-19 after both extra points were missed.

Midway dug deep and tied the game then retook the lead in the fourth quarter. 

Viar scored on a 4-yard run and Risner booted through the extra point to tie the game early in the fourth. This drive began late in the third quarter and was moved forward by Collins who had runs of 8, 10 and 23 yards to the six.

The last score came on a 12-yard throw from Viar to Davidson with about three minutes left. Risner’s extra point failed and left Midway up and in seemingly good shape at 32-26. 

Risner did have a huge 31-yard gain in the drive.

Tellico Plains would answer the bell one last time as they completed several passes to drive 63 yards. These would be the only passes Tellico completed the entire game. Sloan scored on a short run and they got the extra point to give them the win.

Viar completed 12 of 18 passes to lead Midway’s offense on the night. 

 Risner led the Green Waves on the ground with 15 carries for 72 yards while Collins added 61 yards on 10 carries.