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In a night when almost everything went right for Rockwood, and almost everything went wrong for Midway, the Tigers pounded the Green Wave 35-0 in the final game of the regular season for both teams.
Rockwood hit the magic 35-point lead late in the first half to put the mercy rule in effect for the entire second half.
The Tiger win assured them for a TSSAA Class 2A playoff berth, and the Tigers will travel to Boyd-Buchanan next week for a rematch of last year’s second round game that was won by the Buccaneers, 17-13. Midway secured their Class 1A playoff berth after they beat Hancock County last week. The Green Wave will play at Cloudland Friday night in their playoff opener.
Rockwood (6-4) and Midway (5-5) both enter the playoffs as No. 6 seeds. Boyd-Buchanan (9-1) and Cloudland (7-3) are both No. 3 seeds.
It didn't take Rockwood long to get control of the game against Midway. Kyron Inman gained 58 yards on the first play of the game, then from the 11, Clay Cisson punched it for the first touchdown only 32 seconds into the game.
Midway, on the other hand, had no answers for the Tigers on this night. The Green Wave were limited to three first downs in the game and ended up with minus four yards rushing. Quarterback Shandon Lyle entered Friday’s game with more than 1,000 yards rushing and passing, but he finished with zero yards rushing and only 20 passing.
Meanwhile, Rockwood scored on five of their seven first half possessions.
After holding the Green Wave to a three-and-out on Midway’s first possession, the Tigers scored again on their second possession. Drake Long scored the TD on a 15-yard run with 6:34 left in the first quarter.
Midway’s next two possessions ended with Tiger interceptions. Long got the first one, but the Rockwood possession ended with a three plays and a punt from the Midway 32.
Midway got a little forward motion going and picked up one first down, but Lyle would be picked off again, this time by Jarrod Neerman, who returned it about 10 yards to the Midway 30.
Tiger QB Jared Breazeale scored from 15 yards out on the first play of the second quarter to up the lead to 21-0.
After another Midway punt, Rockwood put together a 61-yard scoring drive that ended in an 18-yard scoring run from Tyler Skidmore to widen the lead to 28-0 with 7:36 left till halftime.
A 33-yard punt return from Breazeale set up Rockwood’s next chance to score, but the drive ended in a missed 32-yard field goal.
Midway desperately tried to get something going as Lyle completed two passes, one for 15 yards to Josh Brummitt and a second to Zach Qualls for five, but they would manage to get only one first down and ran out of downs at their 47.
Breazeale then hit Hayden Freels for two big gainers that moved the ball to the two. Cisson scored two plays later on a one yard run to put the Tigers up 35-0 with 23.2 seconds left in the half.
With the mercy rule in effect, the second half flew by.
Rockwood did have one chance to score in the second half as they started a drive at the Midway nine yard line following a solid punt return from Long, but Midway’s defense held on downs.