Eagles provide Jentsch with first win as coach
The Eagles slipped away with a 33-26 win over the Waco-Texas Christian Academy Stars, but it took three hours and 75 penalty yards to do so.
Between the two teams, there were 17 yellow hankies thrown for a total of 118 yards of penalties.
The first year head coach said he had planned to utilize his team's passing and running games, but one was working much better than the other.
"We intended to play a more balanced offense, but the run was working so much better," Jentsch said. Milano had 243 yards on 42 carries and was just 3 of 10 passing for 19 yards.
Milano took an early lead when junior running back Thomas Sanders scored from 13 yards out with two minutes left in the first quarter.
The Eagles then made it 12-0 when senior quarterback Matthew Jentsch punched it in from the one with nine minutes left in the second. It was the first of his three scores on the night.
Waco Christian answered back with a run up the middle to score at 5:27 in the half to make it 12-6. However, the Eagles would run up the field and run up the clock with a long drive, capped off with a Jentsch 16 yard run.
With just 20 seconds left in the half, Jentsch threw a 40 yard touchdown pass to junior Jaxson Robinson, but it was called back for one of Milano's 10 penalties on the night.
The Eagles would go into the locker room at half time up 18-6. Neither team scored a two-point conversion attempt or extra point in the first half after scoring their touchdowns. Big loss
The Eagles suffered a blow to the roster when junior linebacker/ offensive lineman Mayson Gibbons suffered a season-ending knee injury at the beginning of the third quarter.
The defense regrouped and special teams shined on Milano's next score. Senior Michael Griffin blocked a Stars punt and fellow senior Sam Walker ran it in for a 17-yard score. A two-point conversion run by Jentsch put Milano up 26-6.
Waco Christian would use their passing game to score with 6:36 in the third. Milano's sophomore John Jentsch would block the ensuing PAT attempt, leaving the Eagles up 26-12.
Coach Jentsch said that the Stars worked his secondary and defensive line hard.
"Conditioning played a big role," he said. "When they'd complete a pass we didn't tackle well and (the Stars) would make big plays."
Milano would answer back one more time, with Matthew Jentsch taking in another one-yard score. Ryan Karl's point after kick was good and Milano was up 33-12.
With 10:35 left in the game, Milano would fumble the ball at midfield with the Stars returning it 50 yards for a quick score, cutting the Eagles lead to 33-18.
Waco Christian would score again with 7:44 left in the fourth and the two-point conversion pass was good to make a 33-26 ball game.
Milano would get the ball back, but was unable to covert, forcing them to punt. The Stars had control of the ball and the clock.
Waco Christian was trying for the deep throw and the Eagles secondary was ready.
With just over a minute remaining, senior Andrew Evans picked off a Stars pass at the Milano 20 yard line. It was a game saving play according to Coach Jentsch.
"Andrew's interception there in the fourth was very big," he said.
By the numbers
Matthew Jentsch led Milano on the ground with 20 carries for 122 yards. Sanders complimented him with 90 yards on 12 carries.
The Eagles aerial assault never really took off. Between Matthew Jentsch and Sanders, the two completed just three of 10 passes and Jentsch threw one interception. Junior Chase Ellison was Milano's top receiver with one catch for 11 yards.
Milano's defense held Waco Christian to just 13 yards on 15 carries. Just two of those carries were in the second half.
The Stars utilized their passing game against Milano, completing 17 of 34 passes for 178 yards and two interceptions. Matthew Jentsch led the team with 11 tackles.S
Jentsch knows Milano w ill have to be much more prepared this week with its passing game, facing a much bigger team in the DeLeon Bearcats.
"We are going to have to throw the ball," Jentsch said. "They are extremely big." The Eagles were shut out at home last year by DeLeon 26-0.
The Bearcats are coming off a season opening 36-0 loss at the hands of San Saba last week.
"They move the ball well," Jentsch said after watching the Bearcats on film. "They just had fumbles and interceptions against a very good 2A San Saba team.
MILANO 33, WACO CHRISTIAN 26
|Score by quarters|
|Milano||6||12 15 0—33|
|Waco Christian||0||6 6 14—26|
First quarter MILANO—Thomas Sanders 13 run (kick failed)
Second quarter MILANO—Matthew Jentsch 1 run (kick failed) WC—run (kick failed) MILANO—Jentsch 16 run (run failed)
Third quarter MIL ANO—Sam Walker 17 block kick return (Jentsch run) WC—pass (kick blocked) MILANO—Jentsch 1 run (Ryan Karl kick)
Fourth quarter WC—50 fumble recovery (run failed) WC—pass (pass good)
Milano leaders RUSHING—Jentsch 20-122, 3 TD, Sanders 12-90 1 TD, Walker 7-27, 1 TD, Juhl 2-2. PASSING—Jentsch 2-6-1, 8 yards, Sanders 1-4-0, 11 yards. RECEIVING— Ellison 1-11, Sanders 1-5, Robinson 1-3.