Dario Highsmith leads Middletown football past Farmington

Middletown junior quarterback Dario Highsmith cuts through the Farmington and ran for a total of 298 yards against Farmington Friday night. The Blue Dragons won, 21-7 and remain undefeated 8-0. Catherine Avalone - The Middletown Press

Middletown junior quarterback Dario Highsmith cuts through the Farmington and ran for a total of 298 yards against Farmington Friday night. The Blue Dragons won, 21-7 and remain undefeated 8-0. Catherine Avalone – The Middletown Press

Middletown junior quarterback Dario Highsmith fends off Farmington’s Jayson Martin and ran for a total of 298 yards against Farmington Friday night. The Blue Dragons won, 21-7 and remain undefeated 8-0. Catherine Avalone — The Middletown Press

Middletown junior quarterback Dario Highsmith fends off Farmington’s Jayson Martin and ran for a total of 298 yards against Farmington Friday night. The Blue Dragons won, 21-7 and remain undefeated 8-0. Catherine Avalone — The Middletown Press

MIDDLETOWN >> Football games are won in the trenches and at the end of the day, that’s how Middletown defeated Farmington 21-7 in front of 2,000 fans at Rosek-Skubel Stadium Friday night.

That, and of course, Dario Highsmith.

The Blue Dragons quarterback ran for 288 yards on 26 carries as Middletown piled up 352 yards on the ground while holding Farmington to just 36 rushing yards. With the win, Middletown improved to 8-0 and tightened their grip on a Class L playoff spot.

It was the guys up front for Middletown that both coaches saw as a key difference.

“I thought our offensive line was awesome,” said Middletown coach Sal Morello. “David and Anthony Bednarz, Derek Bonaparte, Rajahn Johnson and Jeff Woodcock were great tonight.”

[Photos: Middletown 21, Farmington 7]

Farmington (7-1), which finished with 204 yards offense – 168 through the air – and just 55 total yards in the second half, knew what hit them.

“We weren’t ready for their physicality,” said Farmington coach Chris Machol. “We knew what they do, but they do it so well. Once we settled in, I thought we played well, but we couldn’t get much going on the ground. They were more physical than we were.”

What Morello didn’t like about the game was his team’s penchant for committing penalties. The Blue Dragons were flagged 11 times for 80 yards. One wiped out a 33-yard touchdown by Highsmith, another killed a Middletown interception that was returned to the Farmington 20-yard line and back-to-back penalties set up Farmington’s only score.

“We survived,” said Morello. “I said before the game that we had to avoid silly penalties and we didn’t. But what I did like is that we hung on through adversity. We didn’t panic and kept on playing and that’s a sign of both a good football team and a veteran football team. It was not our best game, but we played very hard.”

Middletown took a 7-0 lead on its second play from scrimmage when Highsmith ran 62-yards for a touchdown and with Van Uk’s kick, MHS had the lead just 57 seconds into the game.

On its next possession was when Highsmith had a touchdown called back and from that point until late in the half, neither team scored.

Farmington got to the MHS 15-yard line midway through the period, but the drive stalled and MHS took over at its own 16.

The Blue Dragons marched 84 yards in 13 plays with Yaamal Jackson (11 carries, 56 yards) scoring from 6 yards out. With Uk’s kick, Middletown led 14-0 with just 48 seconds left in the half.

But two egregious penalties – a 15-yard personal foul and a 10-yard defensive holding call set the Indians up on the MHS 39-yard line and quarterback Jeremy Buck (10-for-27, 168 yards) hit Ivan Guadalupe for a stunning touchdown with 18 seconds left to cut the lead to 14-7 at the half.

“Except for that one play, I thought our defense played very well,” said Morello.

The second half was a defensive struggle as neither team could score until Middletown put the game away late in the fourth quarter.

Middletown began the fourth quarter with a drive that began at its own 23 and in 15 plays and eight and a half minutes, moved to the Farmington 12. But with 3:27 to play in the game, Uk missed a 28-yard field goal.

But Farmington picked up only two yards in three plays and on fourth down had no choice but to go for it from their 22 yard line. Buck’s pass fell incomplete and on the first play from scrimmage, Jackson ran 22 yards for the game-wrapping touchdown.

“We survived our self-inflicted wounds,” said Morello. “Farmington is a very good football team and we gave them things. Too many penalties. Hey, there aren’t many plays in the playbook for third and 20.”

Middletown plays at New London Friday.

Link to original article


  1. James says

    Nice win against Farmington a team that has done nothing n football in the last twenty years lol. I honestly did even know they had a footbsll team until tonight. What a complete joke I pray for a hand or new canana matchup so the state will see you get completely embarrassed nothing against the kids mhs but the people that hype this team up

    • ciacfollower says

      you made little grammatical sense at that hour. Is this post for MHS, FHS or niether ?? Must be a drunk X fan out celebrating too late.

  2. Boss man says

    Mark my words. New London will beat Middletown in a close game. All MHS does is QB keep. Nothing against MHS but I have new London over u!

        • Marcus Da Truth says

          My friends son is on CP. And I watched the scrimmage from his video camera. If I’m not mistaken Capital was up on Middletown 14-7 until the last play in which the offense scored on the 2nd unit to TIE the scrimmage and end it. I’m not saying Middletown is bad but I don’t believe they got rocked. And food for thought 4 out of their 5 linemen plus their starting RB didn’t participate in the scrimmage vs Middletown.

          • JR says

            You are 100% wrong, Sal pulled the starters once our DE lite up the CP QB twice, once drawing a PF. Mike Jones had one good run and was shut down….. Just to clarify…..

          • D Money says

            The Truth (Marcus Da Truth) is, you do not know what you are talking about (and probably never played on team or for a championship).

            To give you some perspective, I started both ways on a team that played for a state championship. You cannot make predictions of match ups based strictly on preseason scrimmages for a multitute of reasons.

            During the season, looking at results via common opponents is a better gauge, but also is not fail safe. The good news, Middletown will be playing for a state championship, with games against New London ahead and possibly New Canaan. So the proof will be on the field.

          • JR says

            You are out of your mind and clearly you don’t know who the Middletown starters are, I just watched the film on Hudl and MJ had a run of 7 yards and that was it. Two huge hits on your QB and out went the starting DL & OL. Sal has been very strategic as to what he shows early on. Hey this is for the kids, but you really do not know that much about MHS Football. So when Middletown beats NL, Simsbury and Windsor please be an adult anD one admit you were wrong and two acknowledge that MHS is a powerhouse… On a side note, thank you for giving the boys extra motivation… Not that they need it……….

      • Boss Man says

        I seen that game the prep team has some size and speed. And that kid they call the “HULK”. Mike Jones!!! WoW!! He hurt 3 new london players in the first half. Guys a beast. I believe there is YouTube clip of him. But Middletown don’t have a Hulk. They have some speed but not enough

        • JR says

          Your right, we have the bus.. Mr . Jackson… Our DLine and OLine are maybe the biggest and most physical in the state. All starters from CP did play against us and the Hulk as you called him did not do anything against our DLine. MJ is a good RB but this is a great Middletown team!

          • Marcus Da Truth says

            Hey man now. Now your talking to talk. Check the starting line now and if u get film of the scrimmage look at the linemen who are playing. And I just spoke to my friends son and he told me they were trying new plays with 2 different. QBs. And I watched the film again Middletown starters played the whole scrimmage. Those 2 tall kids aren’t as physical as u say. The QB is that dude for Middletown but he was getting no runs off. In addition to that mike carried 4 times. 3 times for about 10 yards and 1 he was tackled in the backfield. Outside of that I believe u want to talk. So man whatever puts u to sleep I’m cool with it. Clearly u don’t know football and is just a very hyped Middletown fan!!! Have a good day

          • D Money says


            CP may be a nice team. As i indicated earlier, scrimmages mean nothing.

            That being said, in checked the CIAC web site for playoff rankings, and CP has played a signifcantlyt weaker schedule than Mddletown. For instance, Middletown has already beaten 2 of the top 5 teams in the CIAC Class L ratings by a combined 61 to 7 (Bristol Eastern 40 – 0 and Farminton 21 – 7). Middletown primarily plays LL and teams (one M team on schedule). I went to both of these games and they were beat downs. In the Farmington game, the ref’s probably cost Middletown 3 TDs (1 for sure) in a game that was really not that competitive.

            Middletown’s worst enemy is itself. As they committed 11 penalties against Farmington. If they can clean this up, they can compete with any team to CT.

        • JR says

          The D-Line and O-Line are very physical, and as far as they two tall kids you are referring to, you are a hater….. I can send you film of your staring QB from CP getting lite up if you like? I can send you film of your starting O-Line getting pushed back if you like…. I guess all of the coaches that played MIDDLETOWN are lying about MIDDELTOWN being more physical, you must be clearly be a football genus. Please…. You are talking just to hate on Middletown, I don’t normally do this but feel the need to defend the MHS team as I am extremely proud of all of them!

          • D Money says

            My earlier comments meant no disrespect to CP. We should note, the principal of CP is a Middletown native (Steve Perry). I believe he was a captain of the 1987 Middletown football team.

  3. High School Footbal Fan says

    Middletown has a nice team and has come a long way from where they were 5 years ago.I would be shocked if New London beats them.That being stated,New Canaan is at another level or two above the Blue Dragons.

    • D Money says

      Save your comments in hyping NC appears. They may have to deliver when they face Middletown, who has the best defense in the state, with size, speed and toughness to affect any offense. This is not a good class S team that has to play up to match NC.

      • The Truth Hurts says

        No hype needed for New Canaan.My comment was just a”Heads Up” for what is down the road for the Blue Dragons come December.You ,WITHOUT A DOUBT”will see it with your own 2 eyes very soon.I would like to see Middletown defeat New Canaan but would be very surprised if they did.

  4. JR says

    Time will tell, New London should be a good game… Middletown has heart, size and they are very physical up front which people don’t realize. If you went to that game last night, you know the game was not as close as the score…. Not really sure if New Canaan is on another level based on the tape I have reviewed. Good match up for Middletown based on their style of play.

  5. James says

    Didn’t we hear this before ?? Oh yeh last year right before x best you by 40 pts. Lol still a joke win a playoff game first

    • JR says

      You were playing against Sophmores and Juniors last year, who had the best record in Middletown this year? Go Blue Dragons as the true fans of Middletown Football are proud of you!

  6. Parent says

    Everybody who’s talking negative about Middletown Football keeps saying “NOTHING AGAINST THE KIDS”, the last time I checked it was the kids that played the game you are speaking of. Shame on you and you know it.

  7. parent says

    James is an Xavier fan that’s why he brought up the Xavier game from last year. Spend more time cheering on your team rather than disrespecting kids playing a sport. Thanks for the compliment that Class L is the toughest division in Football

  8. D Money says

    Went to the MHS vs Farmington game yesterday. Game was not as close as the score. Middletown pushed Farmington around on both sides of the ball, and you never felt Farmington had chance to win the game.

    Question: Farmington’s punter repeatedly took the snap and raised the ball as if he was a QB for a throw, and at the last second, he would kick the ball. On one occasion, the punter actually invited contact with a defender, which was a personal foul against Middletown.

    Why can’t a defender attempt to block a kick when it is clear the kicker is baiting and poses the treat of going for the first down?

  9. JR says

    Blue Dragons were are proud you, this senior class was 1-8 as a Freshman team, now they are 8-0 as Seniors….. Started from the bottom, you know the rest :)

  10. Tom says

    Kinda sucks that this was the year they decided to cut the Xavier/Middletown game. Would have been a good one. MHS should take care of business against NL and Windsor. I honestly feel like NC would be MHS’ only competition in Class L. That being said, New Canaan is without a doubt the best team in the state, and I’m an MHS alum, but that would be a VERY tough game for Middletown. But you gotta BELIEVE

  11. jeb says

    Middletown could outpoint New Canaan for the Number one seed in the Class L tourney if they win out.
    If Darien losses to North Haven and New Canaan then Darien is out. Hand will be in if it wins two of its remaining three games. Naugy should get the eighth spot if it wins two of its remainng three games. They will get crushed by Ansonia.
    The L tourney should be very good…Farmingrton, Platt, Bristol Eastern should round out the field. Windsor could sneak in but they have to upset two teams to qualify.

    The Class LL is wide open…not sure if West Haven can get by Prep, Shelton or Hand. Xavier vs.Prep will determine The X mens fate. Hope Coach McCarthy gets it done though. Go Westies!

    Can you believe that if Trumbull had beaten Staples then they would have played New Canaan in the FCIAC final. Never had a fifty point spread in a championship game before. Now it looks as though New Canaaan will be playing St. Joes again. Forget that 62-21 score..St. Joes is awesome and will be gunning for the Rams. No one wants to play
    St. Joes and I mean no one.

    They should erect a statue for the Daniel Hand Coach..after that debacle against NC they have turned their season around and could challegnge everyone,including New Canaan, in the class L tourney.
    I think the entire state is rooting for Middletown to reach the final..everyone except Xavier fans.

    How about a 10 team round robin tourney with Ansonia, Xavier, West Haven, Prep,Middletown, St.Joes, Glastonbury, Southington, Hand and New Canaan. WOW!!!!!

  12. says

    Middletown dropped Xavier??? They play nobody and dropped their only competitive game? That Rosek guys is the DC and he cost Berlin their 2nd state championship – he will mess it up in the end………….just wait

  13. Jon Jon says

    For everyone who talks as New London ain’t tough. Didn’t see them play before. New London beat the breaks off of Middletown. ECC has tough teams!!

    • The Truth Hurts says

      The ECC has only 1 true Title contender and that is NFA and the “LL” division has 8 Bonafide contenders.

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