Middletown’s big plays sink Scranton Prep presented by Hughes Awards
BETHLEHEM – Middletown was leading 7-6 with 2:46 remaining in the first half when Tyreer Mills took the punt return and went 90-yards for the score. On Scranton Prep’s next drive, Blake Jacoby of Middletown intercepted a Jake Ryan pass and took it 42 yards for the score. Just like that the Blue Raiders big play ability put them up 20-6 in a blink of a eye.
The Blue Raiders never looked back in a 40-13 win over Scranton Prep (12-2) in the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals at Frank Banko Field at BASD Stadium Friday night. Middletown (13-0) will play the winner of Notre Dame GP and Delaware Valley Charter next weekend.
Scranton Prep’s opening drive ended on a Ryan incomplete pass. The Blue Raiders took over on their three. But Prep got the ball right back. Ryan intercepted a Chase Snavely pass with 5:12 left in the first quarter to setup the first score of the night.
Ryan completed passes of 17 and 16 yards down to Middletown’s 12. Matt Gilmartin took the handoff and went 12 yards for the score. They led 6-0 with 1:47 left in the quarter.
Middletown started their second drive late in the first quarter. The 15-play, 70-yard drive was led by Snavely, Jaelen Thompson and Brady Fox who combined for 40 yards on 10 carries as Snavely found the end zone from one-yard out. Donovan Brady’s kick put the Blue Raiders up by one with 8:27 remaining in the first half.
Scranton Prep’s next possession, a 16-play drive, ended on a punt. But the problem was the kick went right to Tyreer Mills who took the punt, broke several tackles on his way to a 90-yard touchdown return for Middletown.
“As soon as the ball went up in the air, I just really focused on it like I do in practice,” said Mills. “I broke some tackles, cut back and trusted my blockers all the way to the end zone.”
On Prep’s next drive, Middletown’s Blake Jacoby intercepted a Ryan pass and returned it 42-yards for the score. Just like that, the Blue Raiders led 20-6.
“The interception was really big for us,” said Head Football Coach Brett Myers. “Blake did a great job reading the play and our coach put him in a good spot to make that play.”
Right before halftime the Cavaliers kicker tried a 47-yard field goal right that just fell short.
Middletown got the ball to start the second half and drove right down the field. Snavely’s 39-yard pass to Mills extended the Blue Raiders lead to 27-6.
“It was big to get the score to start the second half,” said Myers. “That is why we defer, to open the half and get some momentum and tonight we did that.”
Snavely hits Mills on a 39-yard slant. There is 8:39 left in the third. Middletown leads 27-6 pic.twitter.com/WmM0kuFbgr
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Middletown kept the pressure up when Snavely hit Malik Noon for a 54-yard pass down to Scranton Prep’s 12. Two plays later the Blue Raiders went to their bag of tricks as Tre Leach took the hand off and hit Snavely for the five-yard touchdown pass with 3:30 left in the quarter.
Scranton Prep tried some trickery of their own when Jake Grady tried to find his receiver but Tristen Maxwell picked the pass out of the sky for the interception with 11:52 left in the game.
Turnovers turned into points for the Blue Raiders. Snavely hit a wide open Thompson for a 70-yards bomb putting Middletown up 40-6.
Scranton Prep added a score late in the game. Ryan hit Tommy Doherty for a 42-yard score.
Note: Middletown’s Quarterback Chase Snavely completed 8 of 13 for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Brady Fox and Jaelen Thompson combined carrying the ball 26 times for 113 yards.
“Brady is a tough physical runner that runs so hard and does everything you ask,” said Myers. “Jaelen runs hard and is a little more shifty running the ball and gets things done. Also Jose Lopez, Corbin Stetler and Tre Leach are all getting touches and doing good things. You have Justin Mayersky our fullback who leads the way for those guys.”
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