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Wyomissing Denies Middletown’s Quest for a Four-Peat 24-21.

Written by: on Sunday, November 17th, 2019

 

WYOMISSING- Three-time defending District III champion, Middletown, was denied a fourth by a determined Wyomissing group that finally got over the hump to advance in the PIAA State 3A playoffs with a 24-21 win at Spartans Field, before an over-flow crowd Saturday afternoon. Middletiown had ended Wyomissing’s season the past three years.

Turnovers and crucial mistakes at inopportune times seem to doom the defending champions as they had to rally from an early 10-0 deficit. A fumble on the opening kickoff gave the Spartans excellent field position, which led to a Aidan Cirulli 31 yard field goal. A second turnover proved costly as Wyomissing drove to the Blue Raider two yard line where fullback Evan Niedrowski hurled his way into the end zone with 7:43 left in the first half.

Middletown closed the gap to 10-7 going into the locker room as quarterback Tony Powell hooked up with Jarrod Pugh for a 53 yard score giving their squad some momentum coming out of intermission.

The Blue Raiders grabbed the lead at 14-10 early in the third quarter, when Powell connected with Chris Joseph, who out-jumped a Wyomissing defender near midfield and outran several would-be-tacklers for score that covered 81 yards with nine minutes left.

Wyomissing, quickly regrouped and retook the lead right back on their ensuing drive with quarterback Jordan Auman completing a swing pass to Darren Brunner in the flat, Brunner did the rest resulting in a 63 yard score and giving the home side a 17-14 advantage with 7:05 left in the third quarter.

On Middletown’s next possession, they drove deep into Spartan territory, but a Jose Lopez touchdown run was negated by a 15 yard chop block penalty pushed the Blue Raiders in a third-and-goal from the 17. Powell’s pass was picked by Max Hurleman in the end zone, Hureleman decided to run it out and stepped out at the Spartan 17.

Evan Niedrowski, who rushed for 111 yards, then ripped off a 63 yard run to set his team up in Blue Raider territory. Auman, who completed 5 of 6 passes for 118 yards, lobbed a perfect pass to Hurleman from 22 yards to make the score 24-14 with just 12 ticks left in the quarter.

The fourth quarter had Middletown get within three points as Jose Lopez slammed his way to the end zone on a 13 yard run. Lopez rushed for 129 yards on 18 carries.

The Middletown defense force a Spartan punt with 3:30 left in the contest. Lopez had a 38 yard run to put the ball on the Wyomissing 26, but illegal procedure call and Lopez was stopped for a loss made it a fourth and eleven situation, where Powell’s pass was picked off the grass by linebacker Thomas Grabowski to seal the deal for the home squad.

“We got pressure on Powell. He is tough to contain, we knew that coming in. We got him off his mark. Sometimes we only had one guy break through on our planned pressures, but sometimes that is enough.” Wyomissing coach Bob Wolfrum stated.

Wyomissing will advance in the playoffs to face District XI champion Tamaqua at a site and time to be announced.

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