TAMPA — There were plenty of squandered chances but when it counted the most, Middleton was able to make a play.
Middleton came back from two deficits, including one in the fourth quarter and added a 10-yard scoring run from quarterback Aaron Midthus in overtime Friday to beat rival Blake 21-14. Middleton closes out the season at 5-5 while Blake finishes 3-7.
The Tigers struggled early, turning the ball over on downs four times in the first half, twice in the red zone. Penalties did not help either, as Middleton had 45 of its 95 penalty yards in the opening half. And the Tigers trailed 7-0 when Blake quarterback Eugene Davenport found Jamario Nobles on a 55-yard pass.
After a Tevin Sutton 12-yard run tied the score at 7, the Yellow Jackets took the lead again in the fourth quarter on a 55-yard Nobles run.
But Middleton and Midthus were able to keep their composure.
Midthus, who finished with 118 yards passing and another 27 yards running, led a drive that finished with his 1-yard scoring run to set up overtime.
In the extra period, Midthus came up big again, running for a 10-yard score. The Tigers' defense took over from there, shutting down Blake in four plays.
"We had stupid penalties hurting us," Midthus said. "We had to stop the penalties and then we came together as a team."