11/23/08 — Midway rebounds against James Kenan

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Midway rebounds against James Kenan

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 23, 2008 12:38 AM

WARSAW -- A winning streak that spanned nearly two football seasons came crashing down in just four quarters Friday evening.

Eighth-seeded Midway upended top-seeded and No. 1-ranked James Kenan 13-10 in their second-round, N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-AA (large-school) playoff contest. The victory snapped the Tigers' 28-game winning streak.

Midway (12-1 overall) avenged its only loss of the season, which occurred mid-October against James Kenan. The Raiders were forced to settle for runner-up honors in Super Six Conference play.

Three turnovers and nearly 100 yards in penalties plagued the Tigers.

After Midway's Chad Allen missed a late fourth-quarter field goal, James Kenan (12-1) took over at its own 20-yard line with 2 1/2 minutes left in its season.

Senior quarterback Shawon Darden misfired on a third-and-6 play and was sacked on fourth down with 68 seconds left in regulation. Midway ran out the clock and handed the Tigers their first home loss since Nov. 4, 2005.

"They played good all night and we didn't play very well," said Tigers head coach Ken Avent Jr. "I think a lot of that goes to what they did. We made a lot of mistakes and they took advantage of it. It just seemed like we could ever get a break.

"It was going to happen sooner or later and you don't want to have it happen in the playoffs, but that's football."

James Kenan led 10-7 at the half until the Raiders marched 85 yards on 11 plays and capped the drive with Corey Clegg's 1-yard touchdown run. Allen missed the extra point and Midway led 13-10 with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter.

An intentional grounding call on Darden doomed the Tigers following possession, and his interception with his club at midfield and nearing field goal range to start the fourth quarter proved to be costly.

Darden, the area's leading passer, was picked off twice, once for a touchdown and finished just 4 of 11 through the air for 48 yards. Kenan had averaged just over 27 points a ballgame entering Friday night's contest but was shutout after halftime.

"There were some other guys other than Shawon who didn't play very well," said Avent Jr. "We just made some mistakes at some critical times and they took advantage of it. They moved the ball on us well."

German Funez-Bonilla's 20-yard field goal as time expired in the first half gave the Tigers a 10-7 lead. Darden's 1-yard score early in the second quarter tied the game at 7-7.

The Raiders took an early lead on Chris Smith's 10-yard interception return for a touchdown midway through the first quarter.