BERLIN – Led by Elijah Santos three touchdowns and a fourth quarter drive that took over eight minutes, Berlin survived Middletown’s upset bid 35-21 Friday on Senior Night at Scalise Field from Sage Park to conclude the regular season unbeaten.
The Redcoats (10-0) will enter the Class M playoffs as the top seed.
“That’s a very good team, that’s a great coach … that’s a tough team,” said Redcoats head coach Joe Aresimowicz. “They can move the ball, they got players and our kids just kind of overcame it.
“They plugged away, plugged away. I’m proud of the kids. They played really, really hard.”
After being forced to punt on their opening possession, the Redcoats recovered a Middletown fumble on the ensuing punt which led to a Santos 15 yard touchdown run to give the Redcoats the early lead.
An exchange of fumbles allowed Middletown to tie the score after David DeLeon’s over the shoulder 37 yard touchdown catch from Colin Skene with 4:19 left in the first quarter.
Santos’ second touchdown of the game, a 24-yard reception from Lorenzo Miele, followed by a Miele 4-yard touchdown run gave the Redcoats a 14-point cushion that proved to be enough.
Middletown (6-4) pulled to within 27-21 after DeLeon’s 1-yard dive into the end zone, his third of the game, at 11:14 of the fourth quarter. After receiving the ensuing kickoff, the Redcoats started the drive with 11:05 on the clock. When Santos scored from 2 yards out, there was only 2:41 left in the game. The Redcoats converted the two-point conversion, cementing the victory.
Santos finished the game with touchdown runs of 15 and 2 yards and a touchdown catch of 24 yards. Miele was 7-of-12 for 137 passing and two touchdowns (one rushing). Kyle Melville had 14 carries for 113 yards and a 46 yard touchdown in the third quarter to pace the Redcoats who will have 10 days off before the playoffs begin Nov. 29.
DeLeon accounted for 240 yards of total offense and all three scores for Middletown.