The Midway Raiders traveled into Pender County hoping to end a two-game losing streak Friday night. That didn’t work out for them. When the smoke had all cleared, they were on the short end of 46-13 ball game.
After the opening quarter, it appeared the game would be a defensive struggle. Neither team was able to move the ball and the quarter ended without a score.
Things changed early and often after that. With less than a minute gone in the second period, quarterback Nicky Wells of Pender scampered 15 yards for the game’s first score. A successful 2-point conversion gave the home team an 8-0 advantage with 11:04 to go in the quarter.
Minutes later, following big yardage by Caleb Johnson, Wells ran 12 yards for another touchdown. Johnson ran for the conversion and Pender led 16-0 at the 7:10 mark of the period. The Raiders began their possession at their 35-yard line, but once again were unable to generate yardage.
Following a Raider punt, the Patriots got on the scoreboard again. And again it was Wells who did the damage. He found pay dirt from 2 yards out and a 22-0 lead with 54 seconds remaining in the half. The PAT failed.
The visitors would get the ball back once more before intermission, but a fumble ended the threat. It was 22-0 at the half.
Pender got the first possession of the second half and started at their 20. Wells went back to work and broke loose for 46 yards for a first down. Johnson closed the deal as he ran 19 yards to put the Patriots up 28-0. Another 2 point conversion made it 30-0 with 10:32 remaining in the third period.
The Raiders started the ensuing possession on their 42. A pass play to Troy Spell and a run by Jordan Killett put the visitors at first and goal. Aaron Thurman ran in from 3 yards out to put the Raiders on the board. The PAT failed. It was 30-6 with 5:25 left in the period.
Later in the quarter, Michael Stewart recovered a Pender fumble on the 18 yard line. However, Midway was unable to get past the 11 and Pender took over on downs. The Patriots’ Sam Dixon ran 23 yards for a touchdown as the quarter expired.
The final period began with Midway facing a 32-point deficit. The Patriots final points came as Ryan Jones picked up a Pender fumble and raced 73 yards for a score. The Raiders got a final touchdown when Calcutt found Killett on a 28 yard pass play with 4:58 left in the game.
The Patriots finished with 511 yards rushing. The Raiders totaled 165. Midway’s top rusher was Thurman with 93 yards on 16 carries. Wells rushed 19 times for Pender for 184 yards.
Defensively, Cody Baker led the Raiders with 6 tackles. Jordan Thompson and Luke Clark had 5 each.
“When they fumbled that ball and picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown,” remarked Midway head coach Tommy Sloan, “we knew things weren’t going our way. They’ve got a good ball club and they’re pretty good up front.”
The Raiders fall to 4-4 and will celebrate homecoming next Friday versus James Kenan.