Just two seasons ago New Utrecht was 1-8, but on Saturday they officially clinched a playoff spot when they beat Midwood 38-12 at the Midwood Athletic Complex. as Jaleel Brown and Vonn Grant each had two touchdowns and Richard Wright and Michael Velasquez had one each for the Utes.
The Utes set the tone early on when they forced Midwood three-and-out on the first drive of the game and quickly made it 6-0 when Jaleel ‘Touchdown’ Brown scored on a 31-yard run. On the Utes next drive, quarterback Richard Wright hit Michael Velasquez for a 28-yard pass that made it 12-0.
“I really feel like shutting them down on that first drive helped to swing the momentum our way early in the game,” Utes head coach Alan Balkan said after the game.
Early in the second quarter Midwood’s standout-sophomore Carl Colas fumbled the ball and Robert Rodriguez recovered the ball. Two players later, Wright ran it down field for a 90-yard touchdown to make it 18-0.
Midwood finally got on the board late in the first half when Brown fumbled and Brandon French recovered it and ran it back 26-yard for a touchdown. At halftime the Hornets were trailing 18-6.
It was 26-6 and suddenly things started to pick up for Midwood. Quarterback Nick Falzone was connecting on big passes before he eventually found Merlin Neal in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown pass to make it 26-12. Then Midwood recovered an onside kick attempt to maintain possession.
Unfortunately, as quickly as things picked up they turned sour as French fumbled and Wright found Grant open for a nine-yard touchdown pass that took Midwood out of the game for good even with a full quarter left to play.