It was not the way that Middletown South had expected nor hoped to end the season. Still, it was Thanksgiving, and it was against Middletown North, so Thursday’s 43-6 Class A North victory over the Lions provided a high measure of satisfaction for the Eagles.
“(This is) very satisfying,” South coach Steve Antonucci said. “We rolled the dice and played a lot of young guys this year, and it’s good to see the program heading in the right direction.”
South (5-5, 4-2) was led by Jeremy Concepcion, who carried 41 times for 165 yards and three touchdowns, along with a stalwart defensive effort that allowed just 66 yards on the ground.
“Jeremy really became a workhorse for us this season,” Antonucci said. “The more we asked of him, the more he gave. I’m proud of the way he stepped up.”
The Eagles broke through at the end of the first quarter, moving 64 yards in 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Concepcion provided the touchdown via a 3-yard run up the middle and Matt Mosquera added the extra point. Concepcion carried the last eight plays of the drive, covering 41 yards.
South continued to roll on its next possession, putting together a seven-play, 66-yard drive to build its lead to 14-0 with 6:10 left in the half. Kyle Brey accounted for the score with a 15-yard scramble, taking advantage of a downfield block by tackle Brian Joyce.
Concepcion added his second touchdown of the first half with 1:02 left when he broke through the middle from 14 yards out to finish a nine-play, 88-yard drive. Brey ran in for the two-point conversion to give the Eagles a 22-0 lead. The drive featured back-to-back completions from Brey to tight end Patrick Crowe that covered a total of 50 yards.
“It was rough thinking this was the last time I’d ever play here,” Concepcion said. “But I played as hard as I could today for my town and my team. It was a great way to finish.”
The Lions’ biggest threat of the first half came when Anthony Vetrano recovered a South fumble on its own 49, but North failed to capitalize and went three-and-out.
North got on the board with 1:07 to play in the third quarter when Troy Thompson teamed with quarterback Donald Glenn on a 65-yard touchdown completion. Glenn’s up the seam to Thompson was tipped into the air by a South defender, only to be caught by Thompson off the deflection 15 yards downfield. Thompson raced the rest of the way untouched for the score.
But South answered on its ensuing possession, moving 66 yards in three plays. Two Concepcion carries accounted for 59 of those yards — including the final 30 for his third touchdown of the game on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Brey connected with Andrew Wisialko for a pretty 63-yard touchdown toss down the right sideline with 9:50 to go to give South a 36-6 lead. Crowe added the game’s final touchdown with a 45-interception return with 4:38 to play.