Poe paces Midway past Claiborne, 40-12

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By The Staff


Roane Newspapers

For the second consecutive year, the Midway Green Waves opened football season with a resounding win over AAA Claiborne County.

Midway opened up an 18-0 lead by the middle of the second quarter and led 26-6 at halftime. Two more touchdowns in the third quarter put the visiting Bulldogs away by a final score of 40-12.

After a shaky preseason, Green Wave head coach Craig Moser was pleasantly surprised by the relatively easy win.

“This was a good win, but we have a lot of things to improve on before we get into the region part of the schedule,” Moser said. “We need to get some of the guys healthy and hope that no one else gets seriously injured.”

Friday’s win against the Bulldogs was a debut of sorts for Midway senior Will Poe. The fleet-footed Poe wove through the Bulldog defense for 116 yards on only nine carries. Poe scored four touchdowns in the game, three off running plays and the fourth on a 70-yard punt return.

Senior Quinton Pressley tacked on 59 yards rushing on only four carries and had two rushing touchdowns. Star running back Ray Robinson didn’t find the end zone, but picked up 51 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively Midway had three interceptions and recovered two Bulldog fumbles. Mark Childers and Charles Binger picked off the first two passes while freshman Thomas Viar got the third pick on a two-point conversion attempt late in the game.

About the only negative the Green Waves encountered Friday was 12 penalties for 106 yards. Two of the penalties wiped out scoring runs.

Pressley and Viar completed four of 10 passes on the night for 113 yards. Pressley completed passes to Wakon Roberson for 54 yards and to Robinson for 19 yards. Viar hit Roberson for 34 yards and connected with Pressley for six yards.

Midway’s first two touchdowns came within two minutes of each other in the first quarter.

After an exchange of punts to start the game, Poe quickly went to work with a 34-yard gain to the Bulldog 40.

Two plays later, Viar hit Roberson for a big gain to the 15 then Poe exploded into the end zone two plays later for the first points of the season.

Childers missed the extra point attempt, but would make up for it on Claiborne’s first play of their next possession. Childers picked off a Bulldog pass and almost scored finally being shoved out of bounds at the nine.

Poe scampered in two plays later from the four for the score.

The two-point try was no good, leaving the score 12-0 with 4:14 left in the opening quarter.

The Green Waves lengthened the lead early in the second quarter with an 80-yard drive.

Poe opened the drive with a 33-yard run then three plays later, Pressley showed his toughness when he got the final 35 yards for the score.

The two-point attempt again failed to leave Midway up 18-0 with 9:30 left in the second quarter.

Claiborne County got themselves together and completed a 52-yard drive to cut the lead to 18-6 as David Sweet scored from five yards out.

Midway answered quickly after the kickoff. Pressley hit a streaking Roberson for 54 yards to the 15 then Poe scored two plays later on a 13-yard run.

Pressley kept for the two-point conversion and a 26-6 lead with 5:29 left in the half.

The Bulldogs drove to the seven on their next possession, but coughed up their first fumble that Childers recovered at the 11.

The Green Waves quickly put Claiborne away in the third quarter. They forced a Bulldog punt after the kickoff and Poe returned it 70 yards for the score.

Childers tacked on the PAT for a 33-6 lead with 9:53 left in the quarter.

Midway’s defense forced another Bulldog punt after the kickoff and the offense put together a nice drive to score their final TD of the night as Pressley capped a five-play, 27-yard drive with a six-yard run.

Childers added the PAT for a 40-6 lead with 5:41 left in the third quarter.

Claiborne County scored the final touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run by Anthony Lewis.

Midway piled up 279 yards rushing on 33 carries. Claiborne was not far behind with 275 yards on 44 rushes. Midway had 113 yards passing while the Bulldogs picked up 58.

Midway (1-0) will visit Rockwood (0-1) Friday night. Rockwood won last year's meeting at Midway, 42-20 and that turned out to be Midway's only loss during the regular season.