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The Midway Green Wave hosted their first playoff game since 2007 and the wait was worth it as Joe Campbell’s squad rolled past Unaka, 40-7.
The Green Wave started this season red hot scoring no less than 28 points through the first five games. They had a little lull scoring wise in the next four games but seem to have picked up the pace a little in the last two games, scoring 38 at Greenback last week and 40 Friday night against the Rangers.
“We always felt that we could score on just about anyone,” Midway head coach Joe Campbell said. “But we just needed to tighten up the defense some.”
Midway’s defense has looked pretty good the last two games picking off two passes at Greenback and getting three more picks plus two fumbles recoveries Friday night against the Rangers.
Midway’s do-it-all quarterback, Shandon Lyle, did it through the air against the Rangers, throwing for 149 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 139 yards but didn't find the end zone on the ground.
Mason Woody ran for one touchdown. Justin Dutton was on the receiving end of two Lyle touchdown passes. Zack Qualls caught one TD pass while Tanner Seymour ended the Midway scoring with a 64-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Jonathan Beason also had a TD reception for the Green Wave.
Midway scored on their first two possessions.
Woody plunged in from the one to end a 35-yard drive to put Midway on top for good. Christian Moore set up the short drive with a 15-yard punt return while Woody ran three times for 18 yards in the drive including the one yard TD run.
Caleb Splawn added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Unaka did push to the Midway 12 on the next possession, but ran out of downs after failing to convert on fourth-and-two.
Lyle quickly got the Green Wave out of trouble with a 43-yard run on the first play. Lyle later found Beason with a 16-yard TD toss to make the score 13-0.
The PAT was no good.
The Green Wave pushed to the 17 late in the first quarter, but a Splawn field goal attempt went awry when the snap was bobbled and Woody threw incomplete.
Moore ended the next Unaka possession with an interception, and then the Green Wave offense was off and running again heading into the second quarter.
Qualls gained 19 on a run then Lyle added 21 more before the drive ended with a three-yard pass to Dutton that made the score 19-0 with 9:31 left in the half.
The PAT was again no good.
Unaka did push to the Midway nine yard line on their next drive, but a fourth down sack from Seth Colyer ended the scoring threat.
Unaka had good field position again on their next drive, but Moore recovered a fumble to hold off the Rangers.
Lyle then went to work in the air completing five consecutive passes. The fifth was a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dutton that made the score 25-0.
Midway’s two-point try was no good.
Midway’s defense made the first big play of the second half as Colyer recovered a fumble at the Ranger 28. Lyle hit Qualls for a TD on the next play.
Austin Longmire added the two-point conversion to give the Green Wave a 33-0 lead with 7:04 left in the third quarter.
The score remained the same until both teams scored late in the contest.
The Rangers got on the scoreboard with 3:50 left in the game when Eli Rasnick hit Austin Anderson with a 38-yard touchdown pass.
Midway scored 1:15 later when Seymour found a hole and sprinted 64 yards for the last touchdown of the night. Splawn hit the extra point to make the final score 40-7.
Two more Midway’s interceptions came in the fourth quarter. Dylan Clark got one but fumbled it back to Unaka on the return. Kyle Matthews picked the next one off to set up Seymour's touchdown run.
Midway finished the game with 444 yards of total offense.
While Friday’s victory was sweet, it leaves the Green Wave (8-3) in an unenviable position as they have to travel a long way to play Cloudland (9-1) this Friday. Midway’s only win against the Roan Mountain team came in 1988 when they beat them at home. Four trips since the 2001 season to the remote high school have ended in losses, including last year’s 27-12 first round playoff loss.
Rushing- Lyle 20-139, M. Woody 6-30 with 1 TD, Seymour 2-70 with 1 TD, Moore 3-18, Qualls 3-14, Longmire 5-14, J. Woody 7-9, Narramore 1-1.
Passing- Lyle 13-21 for 149 yards with 4 TDs, M. Woody 0-1.
Receiving- Beason 5-58 with 1 TD, Dutton 4-33 with 2 TDs, Qualls 2-48 with 1 TD, M. Woody 1-1, Moore 1-14.