TAMPA — It may have seemed like neither team wanted to capitalize on the other's mistakes, but when it counted the most Middleton made just enough plays to outlast Blake 26-21 on Friday night for its first victory of the season.
Middleton took a second-half lead, but Blake came back and appeared to be in position to put the game away after Kristian Robinson's 6-yard run.
But a 38-yard touchdown pass from Marcellus Ray to Arthur Wiggins gave Middleton the lead back, and Jaquan Brown's interception sealed the Tigers victory.
The loss was the third in a row for Blake, which dropped to 2-5. The loss also ended the Yellow Jackets' two-year winning streak against Middleton (1-5).
The evening didn't start well for Middleton as Ray was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage. But the senior quarterback made up for it with touchdown passes of 70, 47 and 38 yards to end the game with 234 yards passing. He completed only 9 of 32 passes. Still, Middleton was able to build a 20-9 lead in the third quarter.
Blake came back behind the running of Corey Bennett, whose 2-yard scoring run to end the third quarter pulled Blake within five points. Bennett finished the game with 126 yards on 30 carries.
The back-and-forth contest saw the teams combine for six turnovers, a blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown and 40 penalties.
Rod Gipson, Times correspondent