Monday’s Armchair Quarterback

Middletown overpowers East Pennsboro 42-7

Game Recap

Middletown ran past and around East Pennsboro all night at George Saxton Memorial Stadium.  Controlling the Blue Raider’s offense proved to be hopeless task for the East Pennsboro defense.  The Blue Raiders routed East Pennsboro 42-7 to stay unbeaten in the early stages of the 2017 season.

The Blue Raiders’ dynamic one-two punch, running backs Brady Fox and Jose Lopez, combined for 370 rushing yards and six touchdowns.  East Pennsboro standout Onasis Neely was held in check by the Middletown defense and limited to 94 tough yards on 26 carries.

East Pennsboro had the opportunity to gain the early lead in the 1st quarter, but was denied when Neely was stuffed for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-1 from Middletown’s 9-yard line.

After a scoreless 1st quarter, East Pennsboro swung the early momentum after a Middletown drive was halted by a fumble on 3rd down and recovered by Neely deep in Panther territory.  The Panthers took advantage of the turnover, Neely running in the Wildcat formation, scored on a 15-yard TD run to give East Pennsboro a 7-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter.  Neely found daylight and totaled 56 yards on this possession, but that was only time that he really was able to shake loose from the stout Middletown defensive front.

Jose Lopez scampered 70 yards to the end zone for Middletown’s initial score and evened the game up at 7-7 with 5:56 remaining in the first half.  Brady Fox then sprinted 51 yards down the sideline for a TD on its next possession and put Middletown ahead for good.  The Blue Raiders took a 14-7 lead into intermission and scored 42 unanswered points.

Fox scored on a 4-yard TD run midway through the third, capping an eight-play series to extend the lead to 21-7.  Fox then scored on a 43-yard TD dash, scoring his third of four touchdowns on the night, on its following possession.  Lopez and Fox totaled two more touchdowns for Middletown on their way to trouncing East Pennsboro by a score of 42-7.

Turning Point: The Panthers trailed Middletown by a touchdown at halftime and received the ball to start the second half.  East Pennsboro couldn’t generate any offense on their possession and the hulking Middletown defense forced the Panthers to three-and-out.  Therefore, East Pennsboro wasn’t able to respond and answer Middletown’s crucial TD before the half.

Offensive Stars of the Game: Middletown’s entire offensive line, they seized control of the line of scrimmage and won the pivotal battle in the trenches, getting stronger as the game went on.  Fox scooted for a season-high 240 yards on 21 carries and scored four times on runs of 51, 4 , 43 and 41 yards.  Lopez tallied 130 yards on 12 attempts and scored from 70 and 7 yards out.

Defensive Stars of the Game: Linebackers Antonio Gamble and Gage Radabaugh prevented East Pennsboro from threatening to score and the Panthers weren’t able to engineer any offense in the second half.

Neely had 92 yards on his first 13 carries, but the senior was held to 2 yards the rest of the game. Gamble picked up two tackles for loss.  Tyreer Mills and Chris Plummer impacted the game with several critical tackles for loss.

Key Statistic: Middletown ran for 388 yards, averaging 9.5 yards an attempt.

Up Next: Middletown (4-0) hosts Trinity, while East Pennsboro (3-1) visits Mid-Penn Capital foe Steel-High.

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