Yards were tough to come by Friday as two of the best defenses in 4A football met at Middleton High.
But on the biggest play of the game, Bishop Kelly went against the grain for a huge gain.
Protecting a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter, the Knights dialed up a fullback trap on third down. Senior Ben Hruby delivered, rumbling 45 yards to set up the clinching score in a 20-11 victory.
Senior quarterback Bronson King ran for two touchdowns and threw a third to Vince Sengelmann as top-ranked Bishop Kelly (6-0, 4-0 4A SIC) remained alone atop the league standings with its 14-game winning streak intact.
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“Our line blocked to perfection and created a hole that even I could run through,” said Hruby, who added a late interception to seal Middleton’s fate. “We knew coming in that it was going to be a battle. Middleton pounds it up the middle just like us, so our coaches prepared us to battle for four quarters and come out with the W.”
Bishop Kelly managed 248 yards of total offense while holding Middleton (4-2, 2-2) to 213. The Knights marched right down the field for a 23-yard TD pass from King to Sengelmann on the game’s opening drive, but neither defense yielded much thereafter.
Middleton’s Neal Weber booted a 42-yard field goal — set up by his own punt that pinned BK at the 1 — for the Vikings’ only points of the half as the Knights took a 7-3 lead into the locker room.
“I thought we did a great job defensively,” BK coach Tim Brennan said. “Middleton’s a tough team to play against, but we were able to hold our own in the time of possession battle.”
King scampered in for the only points of the third quarter, keeping a three-yard QB waggle around the left end to make it 14-3.
Middleton quarterback Garrett Gasaway left the game with an apparent second-half injury, but backup Colton McGee rallied the troops as the Vikings finally mounted one of their trademark, methodical scoring drives midway through the fourth quarter.
Senior fullback Jaden Coombs plowed in from the 2, and a two-point conversion pass made it 14-11, suddenly putting the three-time defending 4A state champs on the ropes.
But with momentum building and the home crowd roaring, the Knights came through on two key third downs. First, King found Sengelmann at the sticks near midfield, and then Hruby galloped 45 yards on third-and-six, setting up King’s 2-yard sneak for the final margin.
“Middleton did a good job putting us in passing downs,” King said. “But we were able to get it done through the air, and then Hruby broke a tackle and busted a big one for us.”
BK has won five straight and 10-of-12—many of them tight games—over its SIC rival. Luke Burley (66 rushing yards), Hruby (59 rushing yards) and Sengelmann (59 receiving yards) led the way for the Knights, while Mitch Beitia (76 total yards) was the top playmaker for Middleton.
“We just finished our sixth game of the year, and we want to play 12,” Brennan said. “So we are halfway there, and our goal is to go 1-0 every week.”