After suffering consecutive blowout defeats, Middletown had the ball and several opportunities in the final minutes of Friday night’s game at West Haven to get into the win column.
But the Blue Dragons ran out of chances on their final drive, which proceeded to the West Haven 25-yard line with 39 seconds left.
A spike of the ball to stop the clock, followed by two incompletions, and then penalties for an ineligible receiver and a false start pushed Middletown back to the 35-yard line. On fourth-and-20, sophomore quarterback Colin Skene threw incomplete in the end zone as the Westies held on for a 20-16 victory.
The Blue Dragons fell to 0-3, extending their worst start to a season in Sal Morello’s 10 years as coach.
Trailing 13-10 at halftime, and after a scoreless third quarter, Middletown took the lead on Skene’s pass to Matt Steuerwald down the sideline. The play covered 71 yards with 7:43 remaining in the game. Griffin Ladd’s PAT failed.
West Haven (2-1) marched downfield on its next possession, with a 60-yards-plus gain that set up shop inside the 10. Three plays later, Trevor Tompkins ran it in from 2 yards and Raul Sanchez’s kick put West Haven up 20-16 with 4:58 to go.
West Haven piled up 363 total yards – all on the ground – to Middletown’s 310. Deven Robinson rushed for 162 yards on 16 carries and Avian Evans had 137 yards on 16 carries.
In just his third varsity start, Skene completed 22 of 35 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown.
Evans scored on a 17-yard run with 4:43 left in the first quarter to give West Haven the early lead. The Dragons evened it up on David De’Leon’s 11-yard rush early in the second quarter.
Tompkins scored from 6 yards on the ensuing possession to put the Westies back on top 13-7. Sanchez’s kick was blocked.
Griffin Ladd put Middletown within 13-10 with a 36-yard field goal with 40 seconds left in the half.
Steuerwald had four catches for 96 yards and Chace Petgrave hauled in 11 for 90 yards. De’Leon led MHS in rushing with 12 carries for 41 yards.
Middletown’s defense played well. The Dragons stopped the Westies on downs twice inside the 5-yard line and also forced and recovered a fumble at the Westies’ 3-yard line on the opening drive of the game.
Friday night, no lights: Morgan leads CREC 8-0; game resumes Saturday
CLINTON — Morgan, fresh off its first win of the season last week, ran into an unexpected roadblock Friday night during its Pequot Conference game against CREC.
Exactly 5:32 into the opening quarter, with the Huskies sitting on an 8-0 lead, the game was suspended when the lights failed to turn on at Robert Brigockas Field. After a 35-minute delay, during which both teams and the officiating crew waited for the problem to be resolved, the game was postponed until Saturday at 1 p.m.
The game will resume at the point it was suspended, with Morgan holding the lead and kicking off to CREC with 6:28 to play in the first quarter.
There will be no admission charge for fans who want to attend.
Morgan drove 47 yards in three plays on its first and only possession to grab the early lead. The drive consisted of a 31-yard bomb from quarterback Drew Nye to Alex Fratamico that brought the ball to the Colts’ 16, a four-yard completion to Ethan Ranaudo and a smart, explosive 12-yard touchdown burst by Casey Corrigan to put the Huskies on top at 6-0.
Corrigan took a handoff on a running play designed to probe the middle of the Colt defensive front, met a brick wall there and adroitly recoiled off the pile in the middle of the field and bounced the play to the outside to score standing up.
Drew completed the scoring sequence by hitting Fratamico in the end zone for the two-point conversion that stretched the lead to 8-0.
The drive was set up by Garret Garbinski’s interception of Colt quarterback Nehemiah Gonzalez and 19-yard return to the CREC 47.
The CREC team is a co-op program among Hartford area magnet schools based at CREC Civic Leadership High School in Enfield.