When a No. 1 seed and a No. 8 seed line up for district football action the result can often be predictable. Last Friday night Midway and Drexel were in such a position and while the homestanding Vikings captured the win 43-12, there was a lot of praise for the Drexel Bobcats that just didn’t give up.
At the start of the year the Bobcats had 22 players come out for football. During the course of the year that number dwindled and Friday Drexel had just 14 players suited up. But Coach Ryan Hoden said following the game all 14 came to play.
“You saw tonight we had players who had to be helped off the field. But they came to the bench and got re-taped and went back out. They weren’t going to give up on their teammates or their team.
“The score didn’t show it but this was the kind of effort we wanted,” Hoden said.
Midway Coach Larry Burchett was equally impressed with the Drexel effort.
“You have to give the Drexel kids a ton of credit,” Burchett said. “They played their hearts out. They flat outplayed us at times and they got after it.”
Midway scored four first half touchdowns. Xavier Mendoza opened the scoring with a 59-yard run. Quarterback Josh Yahnig added the second on a two-yard run and Mendoza followed up with a two-yard plunge. The final came on a 40-yard pass from Yahnig to Dawson Driggs. Jordan Gifford added the PAT on all four scores.
It was after the break the Bobcats’ heart showed. Just over one minute into the half quarterback Cole Barnhart hit Brandon Woods with a 60-yard touchdown bomb. The Bobcats then held Midway, got the ball back and drove down the field for more than seven minutes. A touchdown pass was called back by penalty and Drexel couldn’t put the ball in the endzone.
The Vikings added another score midway through the fourth quarter on a six-yard pass from Yahnig to Mendoza. But then Drexel struck back, driving down the field and scoring on a 15-yard run by Adam Gilbert.
Midway closed the game out with 1:41 remaining with a four-yard run by Cole Young.
“It wasn’t pretty but we gone the job done and we advanced,” Burchett said.
Yahnig was 15-of-20 passing for 215 yards. Driggs was his main target hauling in four catches for 96 yards.
Mendoza was the leading rusher with six carries for 53 yards.
Mendoza was also the Vikings’ leading tackler with 10, followed by Ike Riggs with nine and Colton Dean with six.
As a team, Midway had 356 yards of total offense. Drexel put up 244 yards, including Barnhart completing nine-of-26 passes for 194 yards.
Aaron Woods was Drexel’s leading receiver with three catches for 120 yards. Woods had two for 42. Rushing, Gilbert led with 15 carries for 46 yards with Barnhart gaining 51 yards on 12 carries. The Bobcats ended the season with a 1-9 record.
The Vikings are now 10-0 and are gearing up to play host to Windsor tomorrow night.
“We have not played them. I know they are 7-3, have a quarterback who is 235 pounds and can run and they have great size on their line. The one thing I do know is we are going to have to play better than we did against Drexel to get past them,” Burchett said.