Middletown and Wyomissing, the two participants in Saturday’s District 3 Class 3A championship game, are certainly no strangers to one another.
This is the fourth consecutive season the teams have met in the playoffs, and the third time in four years that they’ll be competing in the finals.
Middletown, the three-time defending district champ, knocked off Wyomissing 41-6 in last year’s semifinal, so the Spartans will be looking for revenge on Saturday when they host the Blue Raiders in Berks County.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. Here’s a preview of the game.
Middletown (10-1) at Wyomissing (11-0)
The top-seeded Spartans clobbered Annville-Cleona 62-28 last Friday, riding a career performance from Evan Niedrowski, who ran for 162 yards and scored three touchdowns. Wyomissing scored touchdowns on all nine of its possessions and racked up 575 yards against the Little Dutchmen — all but 65 coming on the ground.
Max Hurleman added 126 yards and two TDs on 11 carries for Wyomissing, which booked its eighth trip to the district finals. The Spartans are 2-5 in championship appearances, with their last title coming in 2014. Wyomissing fell to Middletown in the semifinals last season.
The Spartans captured the Berks League Section 2 championship in the regular season and led the league in rushing, averaging 301 yards per game. Hurleman is Berks County’s third-leading rusher, with 1,168 yards and 15 touchdowns on 110 attempts. Niedrwoski has 653 yards and 15 scores on 113 carries for the Spartans.
Middletown also has a two-pronged ground attack, and it was clicking on all cylinders in last week’s 33-15 victory over Lancaster Catholic. The Blue Raiders got three TD runs from Jose Lopez, who finished with 169 yards on 25 carries, and a 92-yard scoring burst from Tymir Jackson, who finished with 140 yards on nine attempts. Middletown rolled up 293 yards on the ground and 428 total yards in its impressive victory over the Crusaders.
Tony Powell completed six of 11 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders.
Lopez has 1,564 yards and 19 touchdowns on 201 carries this season. He’s got more than 6,000 career rushing yards and Middletown. The 5-9, 190-pound senior reportedly received a scholarship offer from Georgetown over the weekend, and already has offers from Dartmouth and Moravian.
Middletown has captured three straight District 3 Class 3A championships and has made three consecutive runs to the state championship game, though the Raiders have fallen in the final all three times.
Wyomissing is making its 17th district title game appearance. The Spartans have captured seven titles.