MIDDLETOWN The Middletown football team took the game of keepaway to a next level on Friday night.
The Cavaliers allowed Mount Pleasant to possess the ball for only 2:06 of a 22-minute period stretching from late in the first quarter to late in the third quarter. Middletown scored all of its points during that stretch and cruised to a 36-7 victory in a big Blue Hen Flight A matchup.
Kedrick Whitehead rushed 17 times for an even 100 yards and three touchdowns as the fourth-ranked Cavaliers (5-2, 4-1) enhanced their Division I playoff chances.
The fifth-ranked Green Knights (5-2, 4-2) got off to a flying start, as Rob Myrick took the opening kickoff, hit a seam up the middle and cut to his right to beat the last Middletown defender for a 96-yard kickoff return. Spencer Read’s extra point gave Mount Pleasant a 7-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game.
The Green Knights forced a punt and threatened to score again, moving from their own 11 to a second-and-3 at the Cavaliers 21 in 12 plays. Quarterback Jashawn Johnson did his best to scramble on fourth-and-12, but came up a yard short as Mount Pleasant turned it over on downs at the 11.
Then Middletown took over – and almost never gave the ball back. The Cavaliers took 14 plays to move 89 yards, with Whitehead running it in from the 2 to tie the game at 7 with 8:40 left in the second quarter.
The Green Knights managed to run four plays on their next drive before Middletown’s Isaiah Mitchell intercepted a pass at the Mount Pleasant 49. The Cavaliers took 7:07 off the clock with 14 plays before quarterback Vincent DelPercio took advantage of an unbalanced formation to score on a 5-yard keeper with 5.2 seconds left in the half.
The Cavaliers took the second-half kickoff and munched 5:19 off the clock with a 10-play, 72-yard drive, capped by Whitehead’s 3-yard run for a 21-7 lead.
Then a Mount Pleasant player alertly recovered an onside kick, but fumbled it during the return. Middletown’s Steven Sapp came up with the recovery, but the Green Knights intercepted a pass five plays later.
The turnover didn’t matter, as Ernest Washington got the ball back for Middletown three plays later. The sophomore defensive back jumped a pass route and took the interception 70 yards for another score. A two-point run pushed the Cavaliers’ lead to 29-7.
Then Mount Pleasant fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Middletown recovered at the 1-yard line. Whitehead cruised around the left side for an easy touchdown on the next play, and the Cavaliers went up 36-7 with 4:00 remaining in the third quarter.
Middletown was balanced on offense, gaining 163 through the air and 151 on the ground. DelPercio completed 9 of 14 throws for 155 yards before taking a seat late in the third quarter.
The Green Knights had some early highlights, but finished with 24 rushes for only 89 yards. Johnson completed 6 of 14 passes for 87 yards.
Contact Brad Myers at [email protected] Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ