By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
St. Mary’s of Albany rallied in the second half to defeat host Middletown in an opening round Div. 4 playoff game Friday night. The Panthers trailed 23-14 at halftime before outscoring the Mustangs, 22-0, in the second half.
It was a three-point game with seven minutes remaining. However, Middletown running back Brad Beckwith fumbled while taking a handoff in his own territory. St. Mary’s recovered and scored the game’s final touchdown a few plays later.
By the end, injuries had taken a toll on Middletown. Three two-way starters were injured and did not play and two more were injured earlier in the game.
“The effort was there, but depth got us there at the end,” coach Bill Foltmer said. The kids gave it everything they had.”
Austin Benson scored all three Mustangs’ touchdowns. The junior gave his team a 7-0 first quarter lead with a 1-yard run. In the second, he scored from 14 yards out and then from the two.
Quarterback Kevin Flemer threw three TD passes for the Panthers. The longest was 17 yards in the second quarter.
St. Mary’s (6-5) will play top-seeded Justin-Siena next Friday.
Middletown ends its season with a 7-4 record.