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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Wyomissing stifles Middletown en route to a 38-16 victory in the District 3 Class 3A championship

By Andy Shay: 

For all of its exploits and weapons on offense, the key to Wyomissing claiming a District 3 Class 3A championship Friday night was what the Spartans did on defense to Middletown.

The speed of the Spartans’ defense simply overwhelmed the Blue Raiders offense and in the second quarter, when the game was still hanging in the balance, Wyomissing slammed the door.

Fullback Evan Niedrowski scored three touchdowns to pace Wyomissing to a 38-16 title clinching victory over Middletown at War Memorial Field.

Wyomissing’s defense held the Blue Raiders to fewer than 150 total yards and didn’t surrender a touchdown until the dying minutes in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Raiders’ other touchdown came on a 97-yard kickoff return by Derek Wall late in the first quarter that made it 14-7 after the Spartans zipped to an early 14-0 advantage.

“Give them a lot of credit. That’s a good football team there. We’ve been at it with them for five years and this is the best team they’ve had, obviously,” Middletown coach Brett Myers said. “We weren’t able to get the edges on them and their kids were running to the ball really well.”

Niedrowski, a 6-2, 240-pound beast to get to the ground who led all rushers with 167 yards on 20 carries, hauled in a nine-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter to put the Spartans up 21-7.

Middletown was on the verge of getting rolled, but the Raiders battled back defensively in the second quarter and gave their offensive opportunities.

A safety on a botched punt snap by Wyomissing made it 21-9 less than 90 seconds into the second quarter, and Middletown was still very much alive and kicking.

The next three times Middletown had the ball it started at the Wyomissing 37, the Spartans’ 34 after a fumble recovery by Dylan Zettlemoyer, and its own 45-yard-line.

That’s when the Wyomissing defense came alive and salted this game away, yielding zero points, two first downs and 45 total yards of offense from those three possessions.

“They got off blocks so well. And some of their inside guys were faster than we thought and we couldn’t get to the edges and outrun them,” said Myers, whose club managed only 79 rushing yards on 30 carries. “Their big guys ran better than we thought. Their two inside linebackers and their three down defensive lineman got down the line pretty darn fast. Give them credit.”

Wyomissing         21-0-10-7 – 38

Middletown         7-2-0-7 – 16

First quarter

W-Aiden Mack 13 pass from Zach Zechman (Aidan Cirulli kick), 7:00

W-Jordan Auman 19 run (Cirulli kick), 2:48

M-Derek Wall 97 kickoff return (Tyson Leach kick), 2:33

W-Evan Niedrowski 14 pass from Zechman (Cirulli kick), 1:10

Second quarter

M-Safety, ball recovered in the end zone, 10:33

Third quarter

W-Niedrowski  13 run (Cirulli kick), 9:38 

W-FG Cirulli 29, 3:40

Fourth quarter

W-Niedrowski 3 run (Cirulli kick), 6:23

M-Tony Powell 14 run (Leach kick), 2:38

Team statistics           W                 MT

First downs                 16                    8

Rush-yards                  44-264             30-79

Comp-Att-Int              6-10-0           8-18-0

Passing yards                45                  65

Fumbles-lost              2-1                   1-1 

Punts-Avg.                  2-28.5                   5-29.2

Penalties-yards            4-33                 7-75

Individual statistics

RUSHING: Wyomissing, Evan Niedrowski 20-167, Jordan Auman 10-34, Amory Thompson 4-29, Jason Gartner 4-42, Thomas Grabowski 1-3, John Huber 3-13, Team 2-(minus-24); MIddletown, Tymir Jackson 16-40, Bryant Audric 4-12, Tajae Broadie 1-(minus-1), Julio Rodriguez 2-3, Tony Powell 6-24, Tim Wagner 1-(minus-1).

PASSING: Wyomissing, Zach Zechman 6-10-0—45; Middletown, Powell 7-17-0—59, Rodriguez, 1-1-0—6.

RECEIVING: Wyomissing, Niedrowski 2-21, Darren Brunner 2-17, Aiden Mack 2-7; Middletown, Broadie 5-29, Derek Wall 1-11, Wagner 2-25.

On its first possession of the second half Wyomissing had a short field and put the game out of reach when Niedrowski needed only two carries to cover 28 yards that pushed the Spartans’ lead to 28-9.

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