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Middletown Midgets take Super Bowl, win National Conference championship

Posted 11/15/17

The Middletown Blue Raider Midgets beat New Cumberland in the National Conference Super Bowl on Sunday at the Susquehanna High School field, besting the Saints 14-12 in a hard-fought …

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Middletown Midgets take Super Bowl, win National Conference championship

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The Middletown Blue Raider Midgets beat New Cumberland in the National Conference Super Bowl on Sunday at the Susquehanna High School field, besting the Saints 14-12 in a hard-fought contest. 

This was the Blue Raiders’ third Super Bowl in three years for the program. The Pony and Midget teams both won Super Bowls in 2015.  

The Super Bowl was a rematch from a tough Raiders loss to the Saints in the regular season. The Raiders previously lost 48-6, one of the two Raider losses this season.

The Raiders turned the ball over on downs on their first drive. On the Raiders’ opening defensive series, defensive lineman Tajae Broadie dropped the Saints quarterback for a 10-yard loss, but the Saints continued driving the ball and found the end zone first on a quarterback keeper. The score was 6-0.

Broadie emerged again on the extra point attempt, blasting his way through the middle and blocking it to keep the score 6-0.

The Raiders on the following offensive series continued to drive with running backs Bamm Appleby and Audric Bryant taking turns eating up yardage for the Raiders to the New Cumberland 1 yard line. Quarterback Tate Leach surged his way into the end zone making the score 6-6. The extra point attempt was missed.

The Saints would strike back before the half, scoring on a 45-yard jet sweep to make the score 12-6. The Saints attempted to throw the extra point in but the pass was intercepted by corner back Tate Leach and the score remained 12-6.

In the third quarter, after kicking to the Saints, Broadie shined again and knocked the ball loose with a big hit. Linebacker Noah McNeal recovered the fumble, getting the ball back for the Raiders offense.

The Raiders while driving fumbled the ball but it was recovered by a heads-up Appleby and the drive remained alive. Bryant would explode from the backfield and into the end zone for a 10 yard touchdown to tie the game at 12. 

Broadie would blast the ball through the uprights for 2 points, which would be the 2 points that won the game for the Raiders.

The Saints had one more chance on offense to score and were driving when safety Bamm Appleby broke up a Saints pass play, but the Saints still had another opportunity to score. 

However, defensive back Nyzir Arango caught a wayward pass by the Saints QB and his interception returned the ball to the Raiders and killed the Saints drive. The Raiders kept the ball on the ground until they were able to set up in the victory formation, kneel down and run the clock out.

Appleby and Bryant led the Raiders rushing attack. Each carried the ball 14 times. Appleby led the ground attack with 117 yards rushing and Bryant gained 86 yards rushing and one touchdown. Bryant was selected as the Super Bowl MVP.

Fullback Caden Paul and quarterback Tate Leach also contributed to the Raiders ground attack.

Broadie collected six solo tackles on defense and the entire Raider defense played a hard-fought game.

All-stars

Five Middletown Midgets players were named to the conference all-star team: Audric Bryant, Tate Leach, Bamm Appleby, Jayson Stoner and Tajae Broadie. The East plays the West at 3 p.m. Sunday in Hummelstown.

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