Ever since Middletown and Smyrna reintroduced their longstanding Harvest Bowl rivalry three years ago, it has been the Cavaliers who have enjoyed all of the fruits of the game.
In fact, defending Division I state champion Middletown won all three of its previous meetings since renewing the traditional game against the Eagles by a combined score of 110-28 heading into Friday night’s matchup.
Not much changed in the fourth installment as junior quarterback Darius Wade completed 7 of 10 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns to spark the Cavaliers to a 47-19 romp of Smyrna in the nonconference matchup at Charles V. Williams Stadium.
While Wade controlled the air, it was senior running back Jamar Baynard who owned the ground as he rushed for 188 yards on 17 carries and scored three TDs.
“I would give that performance an A-minus or B-plus,” Wade said. “There were still a lot of mistakes that we had and we always can improve on whatever we do, but overall, it was a good, solid win. We had an opportunity to get our backups in, and that’s always a plus to give them some well-deserved reps.”
Wade had touchdown passes of 20 and 5 yards to senior split end Thomas Davis and also threw a 10-yard strike for a score to junior split end Chris Godwin. Wade’s 5-yard TD pass to Davis gave the Cavaliers a 35-6 halftime lead.
“I’m proud of our guys as far as not quitting,” Smyrna coach Clay Lloyd said. “Middletown’s probably a state-title contender, and I give a lot of credit to coach [Mark] DelPercio and his staff. They do a great job.”
Smyrna did come up with several big plays of its own to keep a running clock from simply rolling throughout the second half.
Maurice McFolling-Nichols rushed for 122 yards on eight carries, including TD runs of 58 and 29 yards, and TeQuan Boyer returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score for Smyrna. The Eagles were held to just 155 total yards, including 8 passing.
Meanwhile, Middletown racked up 425 total yards, with 274 coming on the ground.
Besides a couple of big plays, Lloyd was also pleased with another aspect of Friday’s game.
“I’m really, really happy with our fans,” Lloyd said. “They stuck it out. We’ve got 104 guys in our program who have been working for three hard weeks and it’s a tough week one draw, and they stuck out and supported us, so I appreciate those guys.”
Baynard scored on TD runs of 1, 4 and 5 yards for Middletown, which was playing in its first game since capturing the Division I state championship last year.