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Middletown Beats Patuxent 17-3

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Tim Pirrone threw one touchdown, and Brad Rinehart ran for another as Middletown earned a third straight state title with a 17-3 victory over Patuxent in Saturday’s Class 2A championship game.

Middletown (14-0) now has won 36 consecutive games. This was just Patuxent’s second appearance in the finals, the other one coming when they lost in 2001.

Middletown, from Frederick County, jumped on top with 10 first-quarter points and looked in command. Nick Welch kicked a 29-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with six minutes left.

The Knights got rolling again after Tim Schumacher intercepted a Tyler Crounse pass and returned it 21 yards to the Middletown 27. That set up Pirrone’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Peter Heon for a 10-0 lead with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.

Patuxent (13-1) shut down Middletown after that. The Knights had a few scoring chances due to two interceptions and a poor punt, but they couldn’t move the ball and let Patuxent hang around.

The Panthers couldn’t generate much offense either but finally got moving late in the third quarter, and Eric Chaconas kicked a 32-yard field goal late in the period to make it 10-3.

Patuxent drove again midway through the fourth quarter before facing fourth-and-eight from the Middletown 44. But the Panthers curiously went for it, and Crounse’s pass fell incomplete with 5:44 left.

Middletown had yet to make a first down in the second half at that point. The Knights then suddenly woke up, driving 56 yards on 11 plays, capped by Rinehart’s 1-yard touchdown run with 57 seconds left that sealed a third straight state title.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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