After meeting in last year’s state championship game, the two-time defending DI champs Smyrna traveled to Middletown Friday night to take on the Cavaliers in the rebirth of the Harvest Bowl.
The contest between the Eagles and Cavaliers lived up to the hype, as both offenses hit big play after big play, but it was Middletown who came out on top, 35-28.
The Cavaliers opened the scoring in the first quarter when Kedrick Whitehead broke free for a 33-yard touchdown on the ground, putting Middletown up 7-0 after the extra-point kick by Kayla Bierlein.
Smyrna answered with a score of their own off a Will Knight 60-yard touchdown, but Middletown still led by one after a failed two-point conversion attempt by the Eagles.
Middletown increased the lead before the end of the first quarter, thanks to a connection from quarterback Drew Fry to wideout Nick Johnston, a 55-yard throw and catch that put the Cavaliers up 14-6 with Bierlein's extra-point kick heading into the second quarter.
After a flurry of points in the opening stanza, Smyrna was the only team to crack the scoreboard in the second quarter, another Knight score on the ground, this time from 67 yards out. Smyrna failed on another two-point attempt and trailed Middletown, 14-12 at the half.
In the third quarter, Knight picked up right where he left off in the first half, breaking off a 34-yard touchdown for his third score of the night. Smyrna was able to convert for two points to take a 20-14 lead.
Middletown would answer quickly as Fry and Johnston would connect again on a 21-yard touchdown to get the lead back, 21-20, after Bierlein's extra-point kick.
Just before the end of the third quarter, Middletown found the endzone again. Whitehead tallied his second touchdown of the evening off a 61-yard touchdown run and Bierlein's kick was good, putting the Cavaliers up 28-20 after three.
In the fourth quarter, Knight’s big game continued, scoring his fourth touchdown of the game to opening the scoring in the final stanza, a 70-yard run. The Eagles completed a two-point conversion to tie things up once again, at 28-28.
With just over 11 minutes to go, Middletown put together another scoring drive, capped off by a touchdown pass from Fry to Jeffrey Lockwood from 27-yards out to give the Cavaliers the lead back at 35-28 after Bierlein's kick.
The Middletown defense was able to hold the Smyrna offense off the board the rest of the quarter, eventually giving the ball back to their offense who converted a fourth and short with just under three minutes to go, essentially ending things since the Eagles had used all of their timeouts.
The loss for the Eagles breaks a 22-game winning streak; before Friday night’s loss Smyrna hadn’t lost since a Week 3 game at Salesianum back in 2015.
Smyrna will look to even its record at 1-1 next Friday when the Eagles open their home schedule against Franklin High School (Md.).
As for the Cavaliers, they hope to go 2-0 next week when they travel to take on William Penn Saturday at 1 p.m.