The streak is over.
The Middletown High School football team snapped an 18-game losing streak Friday night with a 28-21 Greater Miami Conference win over Oak Hills on Senior Night at Barnitz Stadium.
“We knew that it was going to happen eventually,” Middletown coach Lance Engleka said.
Middletown senior quarterback Blake Marshall rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries. All four of Marshall’s scores came in the first half for the Middies, who are 1-8 overall and 1-6 in the GMC.
Diondre Cooper added 98 yards rushing, and Shadon Williams had a fumble recovery and an interception.
The Middies’ last victory came on Oct. 30, 2015, a Week 10 victory over Princeton.
“We were there from 2008-11 (as an assistant coach) and without a doubt it was the best years that Middletown football has ever had,” Engleka said “Now, this is the flip side and we’ve been through the roughest patch of Middletown football history.
“It’s one of those things that schools and communities go through the good times, bad times, changes … and that’s one of those times we’re going through right now.”
Oak Hills drove inside the Middies’ 30 late in the fourth, but were stymied by the Middie defense on fourth-and-1 from the 25. The Middies then ran the ball three straight plays. On fourth down, they let the play clock run out and took a penalty for delay of game with 3 seconds to play. On the ensuing play, the Middies snapped the ball to Marshall, who ran around until the clock went to all zeros, then downed the ball.
“Once that happened it was pretty much pandemonium on the sideline,” Engleka said. “I told the players to go over and enjoy the moment with the student section. They let the kids out on the field. The whole student body celebrated together. It was a pretty special moment for everybody.”
Marshall scored on an 11-yard run at the 5:10 mark of the first quarter to open the scoring. He added scoring runs of 5, 18 and 6 in the second quarter, the latter pushing Middletown’s lead to 28-0 with 2:29 to play before halftime.
The Highlanders answered with two quick scores before halftime on TD runs by Vince Kolb (2 yards) and Jacob Berekmeier (3 yards) to make it 28-14.
Berkemeier added a 13-yard TD run with 1:16 left in the third.
The loss was the 11th straight for Oak Hills (0-9, 0-7). Kolb ran 28 times for 137 yards and a touchdown for the Highlanders, while Berkemeier had seven carries for 127 yards and two TDs.
Marshall also passed for 135 yards. Au’Braylen Million added 51 yards rushing and Cameron Dillingham (11 tackles) and Edward Roque (nine tackles) had strong games for the Middie defense.
Both teams will finish the season next Friday, Middletown at Fairfield and Oak Hills at home against Colerain.
(Staff writer Marc Pendleton contributed to this story)
Oak Hills 0-14-7-0—21
M: Blake Marshall 11 run (Sa’Mill Calhoun kick)
M: Marshall 5 run (Calhoun kick)
M: Marshall 18 run (Calhoun kick)
M: Marshall 6 run (Calhoun kick)
O: Vince Kolb 2 run (Zachary Moeller kick)
O: Jacob Berkemeier 3 run (Moeller kick)
O: Berkemeier 13 run (Moeller kick)