MERIDEN >> The Middletown football team has a fleet of running backs and are dangerous on the ground, but the Blue Dragons passing game is coming along as well.
That balanced offensive attack was just too much for Maloney Friday night at Falcon Field as the No. 4 Blue Dragons defeated the Spartans 47-16 in a CCC Division II West contest.
It wasn’t all Dario Highsmith, but the two-way quarterback led the way for Middletown with 111 yards rushing (3 TDs) and 178 yards passing (1 TD), all in the first half.
“I’ll do whatever it takes so that we can win, do whatever it takes to give us a better advantage,” said Highsmith.
Middletown received the opening kick and on the first play from scrimmage Highsmith found Jacob Homar for 30 yards. Two plays later they hooked up again for 33 more setting up a 3-yard touchdown run by Yamaal Jackson.
On their very next possession, Jackson carried the ball three times for 45 yards before Highsmith took it himself for a 7-yard score.
Midway through the first quarter, Middletown (7-0) was in control.
“We may not be throwing the ball a lot, we’ve been really efficient and that’s the key,” said Middletown coach Sal Morello. “I think offensively the plan is take what the defense is going to give us.”
Maloney’s most impressive possession of the game followed. The Spartans started on their own 29 yard line and after 16 plays and 71 yards, including 30 yards from Jaron Cogdell, they found the endzone on a 5 yard pass from Chris Dingwell to Angel Rivera. Cogdell, who finished with 134 yards on 30 carries, ran in to complete the 2-point conversion.
“I thought Maloney played hard, they could have laid down, but they fought and they played hard all game,” said Morello.
The Blue Dragons offense was just too fast.
Immediately after the kickoff, Highsmith used his signature run to the left, down the sideline for 65 yards and after one quarter, Middletown led 20-8.
London Highsmith ended the next Spartan drive in a hurry, intercepting Dingwell along the sideline to set up yet another Blue Dragons strike.
After an incomplete pass and illegal formation penalty, Highsmith hit Homar for a 65-yard touchdown. Highsmith added an 11-yard TD run before turning to backup Austin Meeker.
With 3:33 left in the first half, Sal Fazzino ran in from 2 yards out giving Middletown a 40-8 halftime lead.
The Middletown defense stepped up on the first sequence of the second half, halting a 14 play, 51 yard drive at the 12 yard line.
Meeker began to show off his legs, but it was Calvin Mackey Jr. who finished the drive off with a 15 yard run, ending the scoring for Middletown.
Maloney (1-5) reached the end zone once more, just as the fourth quarter began. Dingwell found Caleb Jean for 22 yards down to the Middletown 8 yard line before hitting Thomas Gonyea in the back right corner of the endzone.
Middletown hosts Farmington on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.
“We’re getting into the grind of the season right here,” Morello said. “Farmington’s a great football team, we’re going to have to really prepare well for them.”
MIDDLETOWN 20 20 7 0 — 47
MALONEY 8 0 0 8 — 16
MID–Yamaal Jackson 3 run (kick failed) 10:59
MID–Dario Highsmith 7 run (Van Uk kick) 6:59
MAL-Angel Rivera 5 pass from Christopher Dingwell (Jaron Cogdell run) 2:54
MID-Highsmith 65 run (Uk kick) 2:32
MID-Homar 65 pass from Highsmith (Uk kick) 11:53
MID-Highsmith 11 run (kick failed) 9:32
MID-Fazzino 2 run (Uk kick) 3:33
MID-Calvin Mackey Jr. 15 run (Uk kick) 2:53
MAL-Gonyea 6 pass from Dingwell (Rivera run) 11:49