MIDDLETOWN – On their opening possession, the Middletown Islanders looked like they had stalled out against the Narragansett Mariners.
The Islanders faced a 4th-and-18 from 35 yards out, and Narragansett had seemingly righted the ship after giving up long gains on the ground to Connor Russ and Randolph Butler.
However, on the play, Middletown quarterback Justin Sellar rolled out on a waggle and found Russ in the middle of the field, after Russ was left wide open.
It gave the Islanders a 7-0 lead, one they wouldn’t lose, and it was the first of five unanswered touchdowns for Middletown. Narragansett would only score two touchdowns after Middletown pulled its defensive starters, for a 35-14 final.
Middletown will play No. 2 seed East Greenwich in the Division III Super Bowl. The Avengers beat Moses Brown 25-13.
Middletown led 21-0 at the half, and the only flash of life from the Mariners came at the start of the second half. Taking the kickoff, Narragansett started a drive that got them to Middletown’s goal line.
However, the Islanders turned away Narragansett, as Shemar Vincent recovered a Narragansett fumble at his own two-yard line. Middletown then marched 98 yards down the field to put the game completely out of reach.
Scoring touchdowns for Middletown were Vincent, Butler, Sellar on a keeper and a touchdown pass, Russ and Cody Cruz. A late touchdown in the fourth quarter by Ygor Maipira was called back after a teammate blocked a Mariner in the back.
For Narragansett, both of the Mariners’ touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, after Middletown pulled most of their defensive and offensive starters. Jimmy Kershaw had one touchdown, and Deontae Stanley had the other.
With the semifinal win, Middletown will play in its third-straight Division III Super Bowl. The Islanders lost last year against Rogers – now in Division II – and won in 2010 against Moses Brown.
According to records kept at Rhode Island High School Sports, Middletown won Class B titles or were co-champions in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1976. The Islanders were Class B runners-up in 1973, and Class A runners-up in 1980.
Middletown won the Division III title in 1996, 1997 and 1998, but then dropped to Division IV after winning just two games from 2001 to 2004. However, Middletown won a Division IV title in 2006, and were runners-up in 2008 and 2009, leading to their return to Division III in 2010.
According to records kept at Rhode Island High School Sports, East Greenwich won Division III titles in 1999 and 2006, and were runners up in 1997. The Avengers last played for a title in 2006.
East Greenwich were Class C co-champions in 1956, Western Division co-champions in 1965, and Class B champions in 1978 and 1984. The Avengers were Class B runner-ups in 1972 and 1975, and Class A runner-ups in 1986 and 1988.
In the regular season, Middletown beat East Greenwich 20-7 on Nov. 2. It was the only Division III loss for the Avengers, and it clinched the regular season title for the Islanders.
Editor’s note – We will be adding offensive stats in for this game in the morning, we just need some time to compile them.