MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown High coach Sal Morello said that he feels like it’s still preseason as he’s just beginning to get several of his key injured players back. If that’s so, then based on what happened Sunday, it’s bad news for the other teams on the Blue Dragons’ schedule.
Middletown piled up 448 yards offense — 410 on the ground — in hammering East Lyme 41-14 at Rosek-Skubel Stadium at Middletown High Sunday afternoon. The game was suspended by a thunderstorm Thursday night and resumed Sunday.
“We played hard, but we were sloppy,” said Morello. “We had three fumbles and we have to fix that. We also had a couple of missed assignments, but we will fix that, too. It still is almost an extension of preseason as we are getting players back and seeing them play together for the first time.”
Middletown took a 7-0 lead on Thursday on Dario Highsmith’s 71-yard run. Highsmith went on to score two more touchdowns and finished with 185 yards on 17 carries.
But he wasn’t the only one.
Yaamal Jackson ran for 91 yards on 12 carries and Sal Fazzino added 84 yards on 11 rushes. Back Isaiah Thompkins, counted on to be one of the club’s top runners, is just getting back into action after a preseason injury and he had three carres for 23 yards and a touchdown.
“I thought Fazzino, Jackson and Thompkins all ran hard,” said Morello. “I also thought our defense was excellent. We made some adjustments after Thursday and they worked very well. I was pleased how we maintained our focus over three days.”
East Lyme moved the ball 45 yards against Middletown in its opening drive Thursday. But after that, Middletown held the Vikings to seven yards offense while building a 41-8 lead. The remaining yards of East Lyme’s 128 — all on the ground — came on the final drive of the game that resulted in a touchdown against Middletown’s subs.
Morello also moved Highsmtih from quarterback to running back from time to time and had Austin Meeker run the offense at QB.
“Meeker is a good quarterback,” said Morello. “Dario has a special skill set. We think we’re better when we use both of them and move Dario around. You’ll see more of that.,”
Meeker competed a pass (Highsmith was 3-for-4) and ran for a touchdown.
MHS built the lead to 21-0 at the half on a 1-yard run by Highsmith and an 8-yard TD pass from Highsmith to Jacob Homar just before the half.
The Blue Dragons (1-0) made it 28-0 on a 6-yard run by Highsmith at 7:43 of the third and after East Lyme converted a 63-yard kickoff return by Ben Chmielewski and a personal foul by Middletown into a 5-yard TD run by Ben Watts. MHS scored twice more after that to take a 41-8 lead in the fourth quarter
Meeker’s 15-yard TD run came with 4:39 left in the third and Thompkins scored on a 6-yard run with 11:54 to play in the game.
East Lyme’s (0-1) Mitchell Murphy scored on a 6-yard run with 10 seconds left in the game.
“We were timid,” said East Lyme coach Rudy Bagos. “I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because of Middletown’s high state ranking. They are big and strong and that’s a tough combination. Middletown is going to win a lot of games.”
Middletown is home Friday night with Wethersfield at 7 p.m.