Middletown’s Pike boosts cred with dominant performance against Kelseyville

BY HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Middletown’s David Pike had two goals when he walked onto the field prior to Friday night’s home game against Kelseyville.

No. 1 was to help his team win the game and move a step closer to the North Central I North title. No. 2 was to prove he’s the best running back in Lake County.

Mission accomplished. The Mustangs handed Kelseyville its second loss of the season, 56-0. Pike, a senior, rushed for three touchdowns and averaged nearly 15 yards per carry.

“We made some adjustments to try and slow him down, but we couldn’t do it,” Kelseyville coach Rob Ishihara said. “He’s a real top runner, reads blocks well and is tough to bring down in the open field.”

Pike, who is 5-10 and weighs 190, scored on runs of 11, 19 and 27 yards.

Coach Bill Foltmer has watched many running backs in his 25 years at the helm in Middletown and he thinks acceleration is what makes Pike special.

“He’s quick to react when he sees an opening,” Foltmer said. “If our linemen give him a sliver of a hole, he busts through. He’s also good at bouncing to the outside if there’s nothing in the middle.

“David played a fantastic game. He wanted his performance to prove that he’s one of the best, if not the best, running back in Lake County.”

Kelseyville showed up in Middletown with a 6-1 record (2-0 in league) and two running backs with gaudy numbers. Nick Rodrigues had been averaging more than nine yards per carry while scoring eight touchdowns. Geno Poloni had 10 TDs while gaining eight yards per rush.

The Middletown defense shut down those two. Rodrigues averaged just three yards per carry and Poloni gained 11 yards on four carries.

“Defensively, we’ve been excelling all year,” Foltmer said. “I don’t think Kelseyville crossed the 50.

“We returned just about everybody from last year’s team, so I had a quiet confidence that we’d be pretty good this season.”

In 2009, Middletown went 10-2 and took league with a 4-0 mark.

This year, the Mustangs are 7-1 and 2-0 in league.

Even though Friday’s score was lopsided, Foltmer made it a point of praising first-year Kelseyville coach Ishihara.

“I’m proud of what he’s doing with their program. He’s definitely got Kelseyville going in the right direction.”

Next Friday, Middletown travels to Lower Lake (4-4) while Kelseyville hosts St. Vincent (2-6).