09/11/05 — Midway tops improving Bulldogs

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Midway tops improving Bulldogs

Published in Sports on September 11, 2005 2:08 AM

PRINCETON -- Princeton High football coach Russell Williamson is ready to take his team from being competitive to being winners -- and he knows they are close.

Williamson's young Bulldog team battled Midway on Friday night before losing 28-7 in a non-conference football game at Fred Bartholomew Field on the Princeton campus.

Midway improved to 2-1, while Princeton fell to 0-4.

The Raiders, of the Class 1-A Super Six Conference, scored once in each quarter while holding Princeton to a lone first-quarter touchdown. Midway scored on its first possession going 60 yards in six plays. The drive included a 23-yard run by Edward McDuffie, a 27-yard pass from quarterback Josh Crumpler to Ryan Butler and a 17-yard touchdown run by Rob Robinson.

Following the kick-off, Princeton countered with its own six-play drive covering 70 yards. The drive was sparked by a key third-down conversion run of 18 yards by quarterback Patrick Gatewood. Running back Decarius Scarboro finished the drive, streaking 43 yards down the right sideline to knot the score at 7-7 with just over 5 minutes left in the first quarter.

The Bulldog offense was hampered all night long by penalties which stalled key drives. Princeton drew two illegal motion penalties before they could run a play at the beginning of the second quarter.

"This is the worse penalty wise we have had all year long. We just shot ourselves in the foot," said Williamson.

Princeton's defense stiffened in the second quarter and forced two Raider punts. "Defensively we are not playing that bad," said Williamson. "We are just giving up the big play."

Following a Bulldog punt to the Midway 32-yard line with 2:36 left in the first half, Midway scored in five plays and Princeton would never recover. Crumpler fired a 21-yard strike to Ryan Butler in the left corner of the end zone just 56 seconds before the first half ended, and Midway led 14-7 at intermission.

Starting the third quarter Princeton seemed determined to fight its way back into the game. From the Bulldog 47 on a fourth-and-1 play, Scarborough ran 21 yards for a first down, however, the play was called back due to a holding penalty. Princeton punted.

Rob Robinson ran 42 yards for a touchdown halfway through the third quarter to put Midway up by two scores. Still the Raiders were unable to deliver the knock out punch until Edward McDuffie broke several tackles and scored on a 27-yard touchdown run with just under nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"Ryan Butler and our quarterback have been hooking up all year long. Our skill players are doing well," said Midway coach Joe Matthews. "We are just trying to get the right people in the right places. Anytime you can win two games in a row that makes you proud of your guys and coaches."

Scarboro led Princeton with 78 yards rushing on 21 carries. The Bulldogs finished with 125 yards of total offense.

Midway's Edward McDuffie led all rushers with 124 yards and one touchdown. Rob Robinson tallied 79 yards and two touchdowns. Raider quarterback Josh Crumpler was 8-13 for 122 yards and one touchdown.

"In all 4 games we have been close, but can't get over the hump," Williamson said. "We just got to keep at it and get better."

Princeton will host Chatham Central next Friday night.