Photo Credit: Louis Murray
Middleville has been a difficult team to figure out throughout 2020. They defeated the teams that finished at the bottom of the OK Gold, and while they played tough, they lost against the best three teams in the conference. Where did they stack up? On Friday night, they played another OK Gold opponent, the Kenowa Hills Knights. These two teams did not play during the regular season, as COVID cancellations eliminated this Week 3 matchup. Middleville announced to the Division 3 playoff teams that they were a force to be reckoned with after tonight’s 56-14 rout of Kenowa Hills.
The Trojans scored a trio of touchdowns in the first quarter to get a comfortable lead. Mitchell Middleton started things off with a eleven yard touchdown run. Just nine seconds of game time later, Middleton scored again on a nineteen yard touchdown run. Dylan Jousma broke across the goal line in the first quarter’s final minute to extend the Trojans’ lead to 21-0.
In the second quarter, the defenses settled in a bit and scoring was harder to come by. The only touchdown was a run of forty-eight yards by Ryan Holmes. He outran the Kenowa Hills defense in the final minute of the half to push the lead to four touchdowns at halftime.
Cole Shoobridge extended Middleville’s lead with two early touchdown runs in the third quarter. He ran for touchdowns of one and four yards respectively to balloon the Trojans’ lead to forty-one points. Charles O’Dell was finally able to end the scoreless drought for the Knights when he slipped through the defense and ran seventy-eight yards to the end zone. On the final play of the third quarter, Middleville’s Samuel McKeown ran twelve yards to make it 49-6 Trojans.
Middleville’s eighth rushing touchdown started off the fourth quarter, as Ryaan Podbevsek rushed for a twenty-two yard touchdown. With fifteen seconds to play, Kenowa Hills would score a final touchdown to draw closer in the final margin.
Almost all of Middleville’s offensive production came on the ground, as they rushed for 329 of 339 total yards. Mitchell Middleton led the way with 114 yards and three touchdowns, while Ryan Holmes added 69 yards. Eleven different Trojans carried the football in this victory.
The Trojans victory is their first in the postseason since they beat Grand Rapids Christian in the first round of the 2004 Division 3 playoffs. They will hit the road to take on Zeeland West next week. The Dux are one of the area’s best teams, as they dominated Ottawa Hills 66-12 in their playoff opener with their traditional T-style offense. Time of possession will be essential in this contest, as both teams favor the rushing attack.