JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Eighth-ranked Middletown made the trip to New Jersey worth it by beating Hudson Catholic 23-12 Friday night.
The Blue Dragons got 178 yards rushing from Xzavier Reyes and a touchdown plus three field goals of 32, 38 and 37 yards from Mike Aresco to highlight their eighth win.
After an Aresco field goal game Middletown a 3-0 lead, Hudson immediately answered on an 87-yard kickoff return to the 8-yard line by Aziz Wilson.
Wilson scored on the next play.
Aresco tied the game with another field goal before Middletown capped a six-play, 52-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown by Tyreese Lumpkin.
Hudson scored just before the half to cut the lead to 13-12, but Middletown’s defense held Hudson (4-5) to just 65 yards in the second half while getting a 1-yard touchdown from Reyes and a third field goal by Aresco.
With the three field goals, Aresco tied the state record with 21 career field goals.
“That’s the best team we’ve played physically and athletically, “ said Middletown coach Sal Morello. “Our kids rose to the challenge. We were able to close out a tough, close game. We showed real mental toughness.
“I thought our defense was great in the second half and Reyes ran tough against a big, physical defense.”
Middletown had 262 yards rushing on 38 carries and quarterback Stone Belzo was 7- for-11 for 68 yards on a very windy night.
Hudson had only 75 rushing yards and 115 passing.
“I thought our kids played hard,” said Hudson coach Lou Zampella. “We play a tough schedule and this was a good game between two very good teams.”
Middletown (8-0) is home Friday with Platt.