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Goldbacks Remain Unbeaten, Earn No. 1 Seed In Section 9, Class AA

MIDDLETOWN – Despite the adversity this week for the Middletown High School football team, the Middies showed they will be a force to contend with if they make the postseason.


Newburgh Free Academy came from behind and scored with 66 seconds left on Friday night, and the Goldbacks beat Middletown, 27-20, to wrap up an unbeaten regular season and capture the Section 9, Class AA regular-season title. The Goldbacks head into the postseason next week as the No. 1 seed.

The Middies led the game 20-19 with just over four minutes remaining when Robert Denson hauled in an 80-yard pass from quarterback Dalton Howell.

But NFA went on a methodical last drive, capped when Amarri Tice threw his second touchdown pass of the game to Deondre Johnson from seven yards out. Tice then threw a 2-point pass to Joe Russell to make it 27-20, and the Goldbacks closed it out with an interception moments later.

For the Middies, they were hoping for the top seed and even the No. 2 seed if they lost to NFA. But, earlier this week, this showdown became almost an afterthought as Middletown was found to have used an ineligible player and was forced to forfeit four games.

Suddenly, Middletown went from 7-0 overall to 3-4, including 2-3 in the league. Now 2-4 in the league after Friday night’s loss, the Middies have to hope for a Washingtonville loss on Saturday against Monroe-Woodbury to make the playoffs. If Washingtonville wins, its 3-3 league mark beats out Middletown’s 2-4. If the Wizards lose, both teams would be 2-4 but the Middies own the tiebreaker after beating Washingtonville head-to-head in a game that the ineligible player did not appear in.

As if that weren’t rough enough, Middletown benched Howell and receiver Arthur Harris for the first half for undisclosed reasons.

And to cap this rough week, the Middies actually had two touchdowns called back because of penalty in the fourth quarter.



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