TAMPA — Middleton used a late touchdown pass to earn its first victory of the year in a back-and-forth contest against rival Blake.
The Tigers (1-6) took an early 6-3 lead when starting quarterback Marcellus Ray hit Shug Rhynes for a 70-yard touchdown on a fly route down the left sideline.
The Yellow Jackets (2-5) regained the lead when linebacker Julian Jackson recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.
Trailing 9-6 at the half, Middleton came out and scored touchdowns on its first two drives but the Yellow Jackets responded with two straight touchdowns of their own to take a late 21-20 lead with eight minutes to go in the game.
Ray and Arthur Wiggins teamed up to score on a touchdown pass from 38 yards out with five minutes to go in the game. The Tigers defense held on for the win as Blake couldn’t get past midfield on its next drive.
Ray finished with 236 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Corey Bennett had 124 yards on 26 carries to lead the Yellow Jackets.
Blake 3 6 6 6 — 21
Middleton 6 0 14 6 — 26
B — FG Vaval 24
M — Rhynes 70 pass from Ray (kick failed)
B — Jackson recovered blocked punt in end zone (kick failed)
M — Luyanda 47 pass from Ray (Glaser kick)
M — Tillman 18 run (Glaser kick)
B — Bennett 2 run (pass failed)
B — Christian 6 run (pass failed)
M — Wiggins 38 pass from Ray (run failed)