The Middletown football team gave Salesianum a lot of things to look at on film next week.
Appoquinimink showed the Sals some plays that might work, too.
The top-ranked Cavaliers gave up a couple of big plays and fell behind for the first time all season, then rallied to rout the Jaguars 57-21 in an intense rivalry game Friday night at Appoquinimink.
“We battled back,” said Middletown running back Jamar Baynard, who rushed for 277 yards and six touchdowns. “Our coaches teach that every single day – don’t get down on yourself.”
Middletown (7-0, 6-0 Blue Hen Flight A) will host No. 2 Salesianum next Friday in what is seen by most fans as the regular-season game of the year in Delaware football. But Appoquinimink (3-4, 3-2) tried to ruin it for its crosstown rivals early.
The Jaguars held Middletown on downs at the Appo 17, and Andre Connally burst 83 yards off left tackle on the next play for a quick 7-0 lead.
The Cavaliers went 54 yards in 10 plays to even the score on Baynard’s 10-yard run. But on the first play of the second quarter, Landon Archangelo threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Malachi Esdale to push Appo back on top, 14-7.
“That’s gonna happen,” Middletown coach Mark Del Percio said. “You’re going to face adversity. It’s not going to be easy, and that’s when you’re going to find out about your team.”
Baynard’s 17-yard touchdown run made it 28-14 with 2:54 left in the half. Then the second half turned into the Jamar Baynard Show.
The powerful senior already had 72 yards at halftime, but hammered away for another 205 yards and four more scores in the third and fourth quarters.
“We’re a balanced team,” Baynard said. “[The coaches] did tell us we were going to run the ball more in the second half. I took advantage of it.”
The Cavaliers added a little heat to the rivalry after Baynard’s fifth touchdown late in the third quarter. Instead of kicking an extra point, Middletown gave the ball to Jacob Bricker. The 5-foot-11, 310-pound junior, who had a couple of sacks as a defensive lineman, was more than happy to lumber in for the two-point play.
“That was exciting. We wanted to let him get one, because he comes in on some of our formations and blocks well,” Baynard said of Bricker. “He makes it easier on me. I just put my hand on his back and go wherever he goes.”