DUNN — The Achilles heel for East Bladen raised its ugly head once again on Friday when the Midway raiders completed two long touchdown passes — including a last-ditch, fourth-and-13, 99-yard scoring strike to beat the Eagles 16-13 in the Four County Conference opener for both teams.
The win keeps Midway undefeated at 5-0 over all and 1- in conference, while East Bladen falls to 1-4, 0-1.
For nearly 47 minutes of the game, the Eagles were in relative control.
After a scoreless opening quarter, the Raiders got on the board first with a 72-yard touchdown pass. East Bladen blocked the extra pint and trailed, 6-0.
But the Eagles responded quickly. An 11-play, 83-yard march that featured a 41-yard run by Farrell Murchison was culminated by a 1-yard touchdown run from Jaylan Herring. Dwight Campbell kicked the PAT to put East Bladen up 7-6 with just over 4 minutes in the half.
The Eagles opened the second half with another long drive — this one taking 11 plays and moving 82 yards, with Herring the featured playmaker who busted out on runs of 20-plus yards before scoring on another 1-yard run. The point after failed, but East Bladen led 13-6 with 6:45 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles lost a fumble at their own 26 late in the quarter, but the defense pushed the Raiders back to the 33 as the quarter expired. A snafu by the officials, however, gave Midway the ball at the East Bladen 27 when the fourth quarter opened, and the Raiders were able to boot a field goal to cut the margin to 13-9.
The Eagles mounted what looked like a game-winning drive later in the quarter. Murchison got loose for a 70-yard run deep into Raiders territory — only to see the drive stopped on downs at the Midway 4.
The Raiders, after getting pushed back to their own 1, were facing the long fourth down and heaved a desperation pass that connected and sank the Eagles.
Murchison led East Bladen with 160 yards on 11 carries, while Herring rushed for 90 yards on 20 carries and Demond Gamble had 61 yards on 13 carries.
Through the air, Ty McMillian was 5-for-10 for 50 yards, Malik McKoy caught three passes for 24 yards