TAMPA -- The host Tigers scored on their first and last possessions of the game to rally for a 14-13 Kickoff Classic victory against Jacksonville Sandalwood at Abe Brown Stadium.
Middleton had done nothing on its first three second-half drives (15 total yards, no first downs), but regrouped in time to march 48 yards for the winning score - a Dorian Ferrell 2-yard run - with 38 seconds remaining.
The drive started in Saints' territory after Ernest Mingo's blocked punt attempt.
Running back Rodney Johnson (22 carries, 61 yards) put the Tigers up 7-0 when he capped an eight-play, 65-yard drive with a 2-yard run at the 7:28 mark of the first quarter.
Middleton's defense stifled Sandalwood for the majority of the first half. The Tigers limited the Saints to just 26 yards on 14 plays and one first down (by penalty) on their first four possessions.
Sandalwood found its rhythm late in the second, however, marching 59 yards to tie it at 7 on a 24-yard halfback pass 22 seconds before halftime. The Saints went up 13-7 two minutes into the fourth on a 12-yard quarterback keeper, but missed the extra-point.
Middleton freshman quarterback Greg Windham had a promising debut, going 3-for-8 for 62 yards in one half. Two interceptions (one off the receiver's hands, one in the end zone) offset an otherwise productive outing. He also had a 54-yard scramble after being chased from the pocket.