Middleburg, FL

Season Recap: Middleburg Broncos rushing attack propelled team to playoffs

Tony Salazar

With the Middleburg Broncos losing the Regional Quarterfinal on November 11 to the Escambia Gators 42-18, Middleburg ended the season with a 5-6 record

Despite not finishing the season with a winning record, Middleburg was the only high school in Clay County to make it into the 2022 playoffs. The Broncos were able to secure a spot in the playoff because of a weak district. The Broncos finished second out of four teams in 3S District 3. The two teams behind them in the district, Orange Park and Ridgeview, had a combined three wins.

Middleburg started the year slow, losing the first four games of the season. They would turn it around as they won five out of the next six games.

Middleburg’s offense was led by senior running back, T.J. Lane. Many predicted that four-star Utah commit Mike Mitchell would be the focal point of the Broncos’ offense. However, Mitchell would only play in five games, giving Lane a chance to show his potential.

Lane finished the season first in north Florida and fourth in the state in rushing yards. Lane had 1,986 rushing yards with 180.5 yards per game and 18 touchdowns on the ground. Lane also had five receptions for 110 yards. One of Lane’s most exciting games was against the county/district rival Orange Park Raiders, where he got 340 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.

Broncos head coach Ryan Wolfe's offense was known this season for putting up yards on the ground. Under the legs of Lane, Mitchell, Terrance Thomas Jr, quarterback Jaydan Jenkins and others, Middleburg finished this season with 3,360 rushing yards, while only throwing for 654 yards, according to MaxPreps.

The Middleburg defense was led by junior linebacker Austin Cruce in the 2022 season. Cruce has gone back-to-back years with 100+ tackles and leading Middleburg in total tackles. He finished this season with 33 solo tackles and 104 total tackles. Defensive backs Kristian Russell and Errick Fryer also had a high number of solo tackles, 42 for Fryer and 39 for Russell.

Middleburg’s defense was also known for getting their hands on the football. Middleburg finished the regular season with eight interceptions, 23 passes defended, eight forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries. Jaden Boyd led the team with three interceptions, followed by two for Fryer and one for Russell, Aiden Postemski and Toshombee Jenkins. One of the underrated talents on Middleburg’s defense this season was defensive tackle Demarion Suggs. Suggs was a game wrecker on the interior of the defensive line for the Broncos, using his speed to shoot gaps and cause disruption for opposing teams attempting to establish the run.

Despite having a lot of seniors that will graduate next spring, Middleburg will have plenty of talent to return for another year to dawn the red and black. Some notable names are Jenkins, Cruce, Fryer, Thomas, Boyd, linebacker Kendric O’Neal and defensive end Tucker Cody.

Logo via Middleburg Athletics' Instagram

Comments / 0

Published by

I am a graduate of the University of North Florida with a major in communication with a focus in journalism and a minor in sports management.

Green Cove Springs, FL

More from Tony Salazar

Comments / 0