Knights crusade past Hubs

October 11, 2008|By CURT HORNBECKER

MIDDLETOWN, Md. -- How ironic is it that a game filled with offensive fireworks may have been decided by a defensive stop?

The Middletown football team stopped a 15-play North Hagerstown drive late in the third quarter to preserve a tie game, only to capitalize seconds later when Rob Michels connected with Jaraad Yates on a 54-yard touchdown pass, sparking the Knights to a 42-28 MVAL Piedmont win on Friday night.

The critical defensive stand came after Middletown wrestled the momentum from the Hubs late in the first half.

Leading 21-7 with more than four minutes left in the half, the Hubs (1-5, 0-1) appeared poised to add another score. Yates turned the tables by picking off Steve Coccodrilli's pass and returning it 67 yards to cut the lead to seven.

"That was a momentum changer," said Knights coach Kevin Lynott. "Up until that point, we were in a hole. And with as many weapons as North has, that play gave us life."


North went four-and-out after the ensuing kickoff. Michels took control and guided Middletown 46 yards to tie the game on a 20-yard strike to Pat Ryan.

That was the second of seven straight scores for the Knights, who put the game out of reach on a 24-yard Michels run for a 42-21 lead with 5:05 remaining.

"We were getting pushed around pretty good up front," said North coach Danny Cunningham. "We were bigger than they were, but they were really quick and they really took the game away."

After Middletown (4-2, 1-0) scored on its first offensive play of the game - a 66-yard pass from Michels to Will Lyons -- the Hubs rebounded with three straight scores. Coccodrilli hit Anthony Winters with a 22-yard scoring pass, followed by a a 47-yyard toss to Tyler Spencer and a 33-yard TD run by Jordan Ricketts.

Michels finished with 253 yard passing, completing 12 of 25 passes. Coccodrilli finished with 179 passing yards and three TDs, but was picked off three times.

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