Not much went right for Midway in their Monday night football game at home against Clinton. After hanging with the Dark Horses 0-0 through the first quarter, the Raiders were outscored 50-8 in the remaining three quarters.
Midway head coach Cory Barnes said his team had a rough three days of practice leading up to the game. Sampson County Schools didn’t return to school until Wednesday of last week. That gave the Raiders a short amount of time to prepare for a Clinton team that is tough year in and year out.
“They had time off too,” Midway Barnes said. “I don’t want to use that as a crutch, that’s where we’ve just got to get better at practice ... .”
The Midway defense looked stout early on in the game. They made a nice fourth-down stop on Clinton’s first possession to give the ball back to their offense. The Raiders moved the ball into Dark Horse territory, but on fourth and six threw an interception.
The defense forced a three-and-out and Midway looked to be in business with favorable field position, until they fumbled the ball during the punt return.
Clinton recovered at the Midway 48-yard line and marched down the field for the game’s opening score to go up 6-0 with 11:40 left in the second quarter.
Again, Midway’s offense didn’t stay on the field long. After getting a first down via a pass interference call against Clinton, the Raiders failed to move the ball an inch. Then a bad snap to the punter gave Clinton the ball at the Midway 22. Clinton running back Davion Smith took it to the house and converted the two-point conversion to make it 14-0 after the game had been 0-0 just a few minutes earlier.
“Our special teams has got to get better,” Barnes said. “That kind of swung the momentum of the game a little bit in my opinion.”
The Raiders offense looked like they might have something going on the next drive. They got the ball down to the Clinton 37 thanks to a nice third-down 18-yard pass from quarterback Carson Calcutt to Carsse Lucas. Midway called a timeout on fourth down and three with 7:36 to go in the half and decided to take a shot down field, but Calcutt’s pass fell incomplete.
Clinton punched the ball into the end zone two more times to make it 30-0 at half.
Midway’s defense opened up the third quarter with a stop and forced another Clinton punt, but the Raiders fumbled for the second time of the night and Clinton scored on one play.
“Offensively, we had things in our scheme that were open, we just weren’t making the plays,” Barnes said.
Oddly enough, with their worst field position of the night, the Raiders finally found the endzone on a screen pass from Calcutt to Dante Blue. Blue blazed through the Clinton defense 92 yards all the way to the house to make it 38-8.
Midway (2-3, 0-1) will look to bounce back in their homecoming game Friday against James Kenan (1-2).