The second of three state title games today pits the Middletown Knights of Frederick County against the Frederick Douglass Eagles of Prince George’s County. Since neither of these teams are truly in the Baltimore metro area, my updates will be less frequent than in the previous two games.
Middletown enters with a 12-1 record, and Douglass comes into the game at 11-2. Middletown is considered the favorite, but Douglass has gone on an impressive state playoff run, winning three consecutive games on the road.
I’ll use this space to post periodic updates, mostly consisting of scores and analysis points. Follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates.
6:20 PM- 43-6, Middletown. FINAL. It’s over, and Middletown made it ugly in the second half. Only 16-6 at halftime, the Knights rattled off 27 consecutive points, dominating both sides of the ball. Zach Welch had the performance of a lifetime, putting up 237 total yards (165 rush, 58 rec, 14 return), to along with four total touchdowns, a field goal, and four extra points.
6:15 PM- 43-6, Middletown. This one is winding down, and Middletown fans and players are beginning to celebrate. Zach Welch and Michael Pritts both have left the game. Middletown is ecstatic that they’ll win this state title after losing last year in the state championship to McDonough.
6:08 PM- 43-6, Middletown. Touchdown, Middletown! Michael Pritts scores on a one-yard quarterback sneak, and the Knights open up a 37-point lead. The clock is running now, with 9:30 left in the game.
6:03 PM- 36-6, Middletown. The third quarter ends, and Middletown is still holding a 30-point lead, with the ball on the Douglass 9-yard line. Another touchdown would start the running clock for the Knights. Victory is nothing more than a formality now, and this state title will be Middletown’s first.
5:57 PM- 36-6, Middletown. Touchdown, Middletown! Zach Welch gets back to the end zone for the fourth time today, this time from one yard out. After the extra point, the Knights open up a 30-point lead. Welch has now eclipsed the 150-yard mark for the game. About a minute remains in the third quarter.
5:46 PM- 29-6, Middletown. Touchdown, Middletown! Zach Welch reaches the end zone for the third time on a 3-yard punch. The touchdown was set up by a nice 20-yard rush two plays earlier. After hitting the extra point, Welch has 206 total yards, and has scored 23 points (3 TD, 1 FG, 2 PAT). The Knights now lead by 23 with 5:52 remaining in the third quarter. This one is getting more and more lopsided by the minute.
5:42 PM- 22-6, Middletown. Douglass has no answers for Zach Welch. He has now passed the 100-yard mark for the game, gaining 110 yards on 12 carries (9.2 average). Welch, a junior, now has 182 total yards (110 rush, 58 receiving, 14 return) to go along with a field goal and an extra point.
5:29 PM- 22-6, Middletown. Touchdown, Middletown! Ben Lewis runs for a 53-yard touchdown on a counter play to the left side. Douglass blocks Zach Welch’s extra point, and the Knights hold a 16-point lead with 10:50 to go in the third quarter. Douglass’ defense needed a stop to start the half, and couldn’t get it. Look for Middletown to assert their dominance from now on.
5:03 PM- 16-6, Middletown, Halftime. At the half, Middletown deserves their double-digit lead. They’ve dominated play, and frankly, Douglass is lucky to still be in a position to win this game.
Zach Welch has been the player of the half, scoring all 16 points for Middletown (2 TD, 1 PAT, 1 FG). He has already put up 124 total yards (66 rush, 58 pass), and if not for ill-timed holding penalties, he’d also have a 54-yard kick return and two 20+ yard runs under his belt.
I don’t see Douglass hanging around much longer in this one. I think Middletown will push the pace in the second half, and their size and depth will wear down a small Douglass squad.
4:56 PM- 16-6, Middletown. Touchdown, Douglass! Taitor Reynolds hits Kyle Smith for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Reynolds threw a beautiful ball, and Smith pulled it in right around the pylon. Following an unsuccessful two-point conversion, Douglass trails by ten points. Only 28 seconds remain in the first half.
4:44 PM- 16-0, Middletown. Zach Welch continues to do it all for Middletown, kicking a 27-yard field goal with 2:34 remaining in the first half. This one could get ugly.
4:33 PM- 13-0, Middletown. Touchdown! Zach Welch takes a swing pass and runs it 58 yards for a touchdown, capped off by an insane stiff arm at the 5-yard line for the final push. Welch misses the point after, and the Knights lead by 13 with 8:31 remaining in the second quarter. The touchdown is Welch’s second on the day.
4:27 PM- 7-0, Middletown. Douglass has taken a timeout, as they face a 3rd & 7 from the Middletown 27-yard line. Taitor Reynolds is showing his ability on this drive, running and passing the Eagles into scoring position.
4:17 PM- 7-0, Middletown. The first quarter ends with Middletown holding the lead. Douglass is currently driving, and their line is getting a solid initial push, opening up holes for running backs Josef Hinnant and Emmanuel Smith.
4:15 PM- 7-0, Middletown. Touchdown, Middletown! Zach Welch scores on a one-yard rush for the Knights. The touchdown breaks the scoreless tie with 1:08 remaining in the first quarter.
4:11 PM- Tie, 0-0. A failed fake punt attempt from Douglass’ Paul Harris gives Middletown the ball back. Immediately, quarterback Michael Pritts completes two passes to running back Ben Lewis, a Syracuse commit, and then runs for 14 yards of his own to get Middletown into the red zone.
4:01 PM- Tie, 0-0. Fundamentally, Middletown is very, very good. Great kicking game, and good execution on blocking assignments. For what it’s worth, they have insane fan support, with nearly everyone decked out in orange and black. About seven minutes remaining in the first quarter.
3:55 PM- This one is underway, with Middletown imposing their defensive will on Douglass’ first possession. The Eagles will have a tough time gaining many yards today against a tough Knights defensive unit.