MIDDLETOWN — Xzavier Reyes led the way.
The junior running back scored Middletown’s first three touchdowns and finished the game with 190 yards on 21 carries in leading No. 10-ranked Middletown to a 38-16 win over Hartford Public in front of 1,300 at Rosek-Skubel Stadium Friday evening.
The Blue Dragons (3-0) raced to a 38-0 lead and piled up 398 yards of offense in what coach Sal Morello called his team’s best game thus far.
“I thought we played well,” he said. “I don’t care about the fourth quarter when they scored as we were playing a lot of young kids. I thought we executed well on both sides of the ball, we protected the football and yes, it absolutely was our best game so far.”
Reyes, in his first year at varsity running back, scored on runs of one and three yards in the first quarter to give MIddletown a 14-0 lead. He then scored on a 35-yard bolt up the middle on the second play of the second quarter and Middletown was cruising 21-0.
“I think Reyes is getting better every week,” said Morello. “That’s because he’s one of our best practice players. He’s got a great work ethic in practice and it’s paying off. He’s not just running to holes, he’s breaking tackles. I’m very happy with him.”
Middletown built the lead to 28-0 at the 7:29 mark of the second quarter on a 7-yard TD pass from Stone Belzo (9-for-17, 107 yards) to DeAaron Lawrence (5 catches, 44 yards), and capped the first half scoring with Mike Aresco’s 21-yard field goal.
Aresco was 5-for-5 on extra points.
The Dragons built the lead to 38-0 with 4:01 to play on Tyreece Lumpkin’s (six carries, 66 yards) 26-yard touchdown run.
Hartford Public (0-3) scored in the fourth quarter on a 16-yard run by Lavarey Banton and on a 9-yard pass from Joemar Scott (12-for-17, 119 yards) to Jermaine Jones. Scott threw for both two-point conversions to Jones.
Middletown held the Owls to 51 yards rushing, minus six in the first half.
“Our defense was solid,” said Morello. “Our strength is up front. And I’m very pleased with how Belzo managed the game. He is another kid with a tremendous work ethic. He is so coachable. He’s getting better each week and hey, remember, this was only his third varsity start at quarterback.
“I was also happy with how we distributed the ball.”
Four different players ran the ball and four different players were on the receiving end of Belzo’s passes.
Middletown plays at Farmington next Saturday at 6 p.m.