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Football Friday: Midway (2-3, 6-3) at West Bladen (3-2, 6-3)

West Bladen’s Knights look to celebrate Senior Night against the Midway Raiders Friday and pick up a key Four County Conference win in the process.

A win would put the Knights 2 conference wins up on the Raiders in the race for play-off berths. It would also help rinse away any bad taste remaining from last week’s loss at Clinton.

“That loss really bothered the guys and stuck with them,” said Coach Russell Dove. “But everybody is upbeat now, and they should really be fired up for Senior Night.” Fifteen Knight seniors will be playing their last home game.

Senior Malique McDowell  has rushed for 707 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Knight offense. Junior James Moore has gained 596 yards on the ground and scored 3 TD’s.

Sophmore B. J. Drake follows with 544 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns. Senior Daquan Lennon adds 432 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Lennon has also returne a kick-off for a touchdown.

Senior quarterback Stefan McDonald has thrown for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns, has rushed for 3 touchdowns and has also returned a punt for a touchdown. Senior Hunter Prevatte has 5 receptions to lead the West receivers.

Senior David Gittens leads the Knights in tackles, and junior linebacker Hunter Pait is another West defensive leader. Junior Ricky McLaurin has an interception return for a touchdown. Senior Matthew Sturgill has recovered 2 fumbles.

Senior Ray Jones has converted 14 of 15 extra point kicks and has kicked a 30-yard field goal.

Midway walloped Heide Trask 64-28 last week and their only losses were to Wallace-Rose Hill, Clinton and East Bladen. West Bladen’s only losses were to Clinton, Whiteville and Wallace-Rose Hill.

The Raiders feature a powerful running attack. “They really like to pound you,” said Coach Dove. “They run power, the belly and traps and throw it over the top.”

Tall quarterback Austin Raynor doesn’t throw it that much, but has tall receivers in 6-3 Juane Summers and 6-4 Pariss Smith. Seniors Larry Blanks and Akinlabi Olanipekun and speedy junior Shaking Warren lead the ground attack.

Junior linebacker Michael Kramer and senior safety J. D. Lockamy are Raider defensive stand-outs.

“We’re going to have to play well to beat them,” said Coach Dove. “We can’t turn the ball over against them.”

The  last two meetings have been close as Midway won 48-35 last year at Spivey’s Corner and 24-19 two years ago at West Bladen.

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