The 2017 Foothills Conference middle school football season came to an end this week and here’s a recap of the gridiron action here locally:
East McDowell 22, Liberty 18
The East McDowell Trojans finished out their campaign with an impressive win 22-18 against the Liberty Knights.
With the victory, East McDowell finishes with a 3-3 mark in league play, and it also knocked Liberty Middle (4-2) out of taking the Foothills Conference championship outright. Table Rock earned the league crown.
West McDowell (4-2) slid into a second-place tie and the Trojans were tied with Heritage in fourth. East Burke (1-5) and Walter Johnson (0-6) rounded out the conference.
East McDowell was ahead as much as 22-8 late in the first half. The Knights began to trim the lead down to as little as four points after forcing a safety at the 1:59 mark in the third, making the score 22-18.
The margin never got any closer as the Trojans played ball-control offense in the fourth quarter, eventually grinding the clock down.
Running back Bo Edwards led East McDowell with 173 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Hayden Kelley added 63 yards on the ground and two scores. Kelley busted through with a 56-yard touchdown run on the second Trojan possession of the game.
R-S Middle 22, West McDowell 14
In a late-season, non-conference tilt, the R-S Central Middle School Knights held off a late surge by the West McDowell Spartans, winning 22-14.
R-S Central, which is coached by former McDowell football assistant Shane Ramsey, scored all of its points in the first half and was able to hold off the Spartans, who tried to recover from a slow first half.
Xavier Toms had one rushing touchdown for the Knights. Jaiden Coston added one rushing touchdown later in the first half and a touchdown catch on the last play before halftime from quarterback Ty-Quan Whitesides.
West McDowell continued to battle in the second half and it scored early in the fourth quarter when Ricky Carr made it 22-16 on a 4-yard quarterback keeper with 7:52 left. Carr had three pass completions for 35 yards in the second half.
Tailback Braiden Dickey (17 carries, 84 yards) accounted for the other Spartan touchdown play, a 34-yard touchdown run in the first half.