Middletown junior Drew Fry tossed three touchdown passes, including one to Jeff Lockwood to break a late tie in a 35-28 win over Smyrna in the season opener for both teams.
The return of Harvest Bowl was an offensive showcase, as Smyrna’s Will Knight ran wild through the Cavaliers’ defense at times.
His 70-yard touchdown, his third of the game of 60 or more yards, tied the game at 28 with 11:14 left after Stephen Whaley ran in a 2-point conversion.
Middletown’s game inning drive culminated four minutes later, when Fry scrambled to his right, and found Lockwood on the sideline. He cut inside at the 10, and found the end zone to put the Cavs back in front 35-28 after the extra point.
Smyrna had one last chance, but Alexis Green intercepted a long pass attempt to reverse the outcome of last year’s state championship.
Middletown led 14-12 at halftime after Kenny Edelin’s 33-yard touchdown run and Fry’s pass to Nick Johnson were countered by Knight’s sprints of 60 and 68 yards, but the Eagles missed both conversions.
Knight gave the Eagles their first lead at the 7:34 mark of the third quarter when he rushed in from 34 yards out, but a muffed punt return after his defense went 3-and-out turned the tide.
Fry threw a pass to Johnson, who bounced off three Smyrna defenders and made them go tilt on a 21-yard connection to put the Cavs back up 21-20, and then Kedrick Whitehead extended the lead to 28-20 after a 61-yard score, setting up the late-game drama.
Middletown gets back to action next Saturday, when they play at Flight A rival William Penn at 1pm. Smyrna will look to shake off their first loss since the infamous 76-56 2015 regular season Salesianum game in their home opener Friday night against Franklin (Maryland).