By Sean Lynch
Section 9 Football Insider Staff
MIDDLETOWN — Middletown safety Chris Washington ran to the sideline and gave a fist pump towards the 4,500 people in attendance after his second interception of the game. He almost dropped his most valuable player trophy because his hands were shaking with excitement. The win meant everything to him, and it was one of the best moments of his life.
“When we won (the Erie Bell) the last two seasons, it was the most incredible, indescribable feeling, and I really wanted to experience that feeling again,” Washington said.
The Middies (1-2, 0-1 league) defeated Port Jervis (0-3, 0-0 league) 24-0 in the 140th Erie Bell Game. They scored 17 points off of three turnovers, and forced six total in the game.
Washington had two interceptions, including a 51-yarder for a touchdown to give his team a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.
“Once I caught the ball, I just followed my blockers and ran towards the end zone,” Washington added. “When I gained momentum I kept thinking, if I can score it’ll give us a boost and everyone will go crazy.”
Both teams’ offenses struggled and Middletown quarterback Dalton Howell and Port Jervis signal caller Logan Hammock each only had five completions each. Howell, a sophomore, threw for 117 yards, while Hammock threw for 129 yards and three interceptions.
Middletown scored 17 points in the first 5:12 of the second quarter after being held scoreless in the previous quarter. Both of their touchdowns came on defense. Brandon James forced a fumble on a sack and returned it for 12 yards and Washington’s 51 yard pick-six.
Senior linebacker Shawn Rosa was also a huge part in the Middies defensive success. He had 11 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and three bone-jarring hits that you could hear from the press box.
“I told everyone before the game to give it their all tonight, and we did,” said Rosa. “The Erie Bell game means so much to us because of how long the rivalry has been going on for; winning the trophy never gets old,” he added.