FAIRVIEW, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – Iroquois was after a feat that they hadn’t been able to achieve since 1995 – win a district playoff game. Tonight, the Braves were turned away once again by West Middlesex 27-20.
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After a scoreless first quarter, Nathaniel Kightlinger opened the scoring for the Braves with a 26-yard touchdown run with 8:34 remaining in the half. West Middlesex answered late in the second quarter with a 20-yard touchdown run of his own to cut the deficit to 7-6.
The Big Reds’ lost Luke Hemminger in the opening half to an injury after just seven carries.
Midway through the third frame, scoring was abundant. Middlesex’s Mitchell Murray raced 40-yards with a fumble recovery to give the Big Reds a 12-7 advantage. After a failed onside kick, the next play was another Kightlinger 59-yard dash to the Reds’ end zone (13-12).
However, at the end of the third, junior Josh Porterfield (#15) ran 76-yards for a touchdown and then added a two-point scamper to give Middlesex a 20-13 lead entering the final quarter.
Following a 12-play drive, the Big reds’ Ash dove in from 1-yard out to open the contest to a 27-13 advantage.
Iroquois’ first pass play came with just 3:16 remaining in the game, it was the perfect timing as Tarrel Clark found Tyler Barrone on a 39-yard toss for the score to cut Middlesex’s lead to 27-20.
For the Braves, Kightlinger ran the ball 23 times for 170 yards (2 TDs). Iroquois turned the ball over three times compared to 0 for the Big Reds. West Middlesex’s Porterfield and Ash accounted for 140 yards on the ground.
Iroquois drops to 8-3. West Middlesex (8-3) will now try and upend Sharpsville next week in the District 10 Class A Semifinal (site, TBA).