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Midway rolls past Greenback, 38-21

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By Brownie Rose

 There was much at stake Friday night when two old, traditional rivals, Midway and Greenback, met for the 50th time in history.

Both Midway and Greenback had qualified for the upcoming TSSAA Class A playoffs, but the winner of Friday’s game would get a number three seed and would host a first round game. Midway would get that home field advantage when they belted the Cherokees early and got the knockout punch late on their way to a 38-21 victory.

Green Wave QB Shandon Lyle had a monster night Friday as he ran for 177 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 191 yards and three TDs.

Lyle also delivered the knockout blow when he intercepted a Greenback pass and returned it 80 yards to put the Green Wave up 38-21 midway through the fourth quarter.

Jonathan Beason caught two of the Lyle TD throws and had six catches for 106 yards.

The Green Wave came out ready to play while it appeared that Greenback was slow to get out of the gate. Midway punched in two first quarter touchdowns and led 14-0 at the end of the quarter.

After a Greenback punt to start the game, the Green Wave put together a quick five-play, 73-yard scoring drive that ended in a 35-yard run from Lyle.

Caleb Splawn added the PAT to give Midway a 7-0 lead.

Greenback put together a solid drive after the kickoff, but the drive ended at the Green Wave 15 following a Justin Dutton interception.

Six plays and 85 yards later, the home faithful were stunned as a 19-yard pass from Lyle to Beason gave the Green Wave a 14-0 lead with 2:27 left in the opening quarter.

Greenback began to find their footing and scored on the first play of the second quarter as Samuel McCloud hit Tanner LaForce for a 14-yard TD pass that made the score 14-7.

After an exchange of punts, Midway put together another quick scoring drive as the Green Wave needed six plays to cover 80 yards. The touchdown came on a 57-yard pass from Lyle to Beason as Midway held a 21-7 lead with 6:03 left in the first half.

Greenback, however, answered with an 11-yard TD run from LaForce to cut the lead to 21-14 late in the half.

Midway added three points to their lead early in the third quarter when Splawn hit a 39-yard field goal to make the score 24-14 with 8:34 left in the quarter.

After the kickoff, Greenback would close the gap to 24-21 when McCloud hit Moore for a 23-yard TD pass.

After hitting on seven of eight passes to end the first half, Lyle was in the midst of a one completion in 11 attempts in the third quarter and into the fourth period.

With the passing game off target, Midway went back to the ground and it would pay off. After the kickoff Lyle ran for 43 yards on six runs. Austin Longmire added 29 yards on five runs.

Even though the passing game was off somewhat Lyle’s last toss of the game would be the one that counted. After grinding it out to the three, Midway was hit with a procedure penalty. On second-and-goal from the eight, Lyle hit Zack Qualls with an easy touchdown throw to put the Green Waves up 31-21 after Splawn’s point after.

With 6:37 left to play, Greenback set out again to cut into the lead. However, less than a minute later the Cherokees would be stunned when Lyle picked off a McCloud pass. Lyle almost slipped, but took off with a convoy of blockers. Eighty yards later, Lyle had drove in the last nail and Midway would take a 38-21 lead.

Midway ended the night with 436 yards total offense. Lyle (177 rushing, 191 passing) had a hand in 368 of those yards.

With the victory, Midway improves to 7-3 on the season and enters the postseason as the No. 3 seed in Quad 1 of the TSSAA Class A playoffs. The Green Wave host No. 6 seed Unaka Friday night.        

Greenback (6-4) will play at Sunbright (7-3) in another first round game on Friday.

Midway Statistics

Rushing- Lyle 23-177 with 1 TD, Longmire 13-57, Qualls 1-10, Woody 1-1.

Passing- Lyle 12-29 for 191 with yards 3 TDs

Receiving- Beason 6-106 with 2 TDs, Qualls 2-34 1 TD, Woody 2-19, Moore 1-21, Dutton 1-11.