Eagles can’t hold early lead in loss to Holland
Starting senior quarterback Thomas Sanders and junior running back Chris Juhl went out with injuries in the first half of the Eagles’ 21-12 district loss to Holland (2-7, 2-0) on Friday night, causing Milano (4-3, 0-2) to go into a must win situation for the their next three games to reach the playoffs this season.
They will host the Eric Walker led Bartlett Bulldogs on Friday night. It will be Milano’s first home game since Sept. 16. The Eagles have lost three of their last four games.
Sanders has an undisclosed shoulder injury and had an MRI Monday evening, with results still not learned as of Tuesday afternoon, Eagle head coach Craig Jentsch said.
Juhl suf fered a high ankle sprain on Milano’s third play from scrimmage and was out for the rest of the ball game. Jentsch said he is day-to-day on playing.
Milano will get a returning starter back on both sides of the ball in senior lineman Travis Marsh who missed the Holland game w ith a shoulder injur y sustained in the Eagles’ loss at Burton on Oct. 8.
With two starters hurt during the game and one already on the sidelines, the Eagles’ momentum went a little flat against the Hornets.
“With two key starters out the team had some air popped out of their bubble,” Jentsch said of his team. “We knew (Holland) was motivated coming off the win that broke their 12-game winning streak and they turned that up when two key starters got hurt.”
The Eagles struck first on the scoreboard when Sanders hit sophomore Dominique Messer for a 12 yard score with just over eight minutes remaining in the first quarter. Holland kept it interesting by blocking the extra point attempt.
The Hornets would take the lead with three minutes left in the frame with a nine yard score by quarterback Ely Stroud. Sam Goodnight’s PAT put Holland up for good.
The teams bat t led on t he ground and in the air. Holland hit pay dirt again with 3:50 left in the half on the first of Blair Severson’s rushing touchdowns from nine yards out. The kick attempt failed.
Milano had to regroup with Sanders going out with about two and a half minutes left in the second and did so two plays later when Robinson hit Alton Bryant down the middle for a 41 yard pass with 2:17 left.
The conversion run attempt fell short of the goal line, leaving the Eagles trailing 13-12 at the break.
The Hornets would put up security points in about halfway through the third quarter on Severson’s second score of the night, this time from 22 yards out.
The conversion run attempt was good and the scoring topped out at 21-12. Severson finished with 201 yards on 29 carries.
Milano would reach the Holland six at the beginning of the fourth quarter and could not convert a score on first and goal.
The Hornets would threaten to score again, but quick hands by the Eagle defense would deny them. Milano defenders snagged three Ely Stroud passes throughout the night.
“I take the blame for not having our backups as ready as they needed to be. It restricts your playbook,” Jentsch said. “We didn’t execute in the red zone like we needed to and take advantage of those turnovers.”
Some players had to step up on Friday night to fill in where needed. Robinson and Jordan Melton shared time at quarterback after Sanders went out. Bryant had to play some linebacker, never playing that position.
“Jaxson did an excellent job of passing the ball. He kept us in the game,” Jentsch said.
The Eagles also had to rely on underclassmen, especially his freshmen to step in. They did a pretty good job as ninth grader Chance Pack led the team in tackles with 13. Freshman Dakota Grandchamp usually plays for the Eagles on defense, but had to play both ways on Friday.
“We count on several freshmen,” Jentsch said. “All our back ups are crucial; they make us better in practice.”
Milano tallied 300 yards of total offense, 171 on the ground and 129 in the air. Sanders led the Eagles rushing, while Robinson was 8 of 17 for 117 yards and one interception.
Bryant led the team in receptions, pulling in three for 57 yards.
The Eagle defense allowed 361 yards of offense for the Hornets, 190 rushing and 171 passing.
Milano will have to get their heads on straight, regroup and come out ready to fight on Friday night as they host Bartlett (1-6, 1-1) at Pruett Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
In 2009, Bar tlett beat the Eagles 28-6.
“Their key is No. 24, no doubt,” Jentsch said, referring to Bulldog running back Eric Walker. “He is extremely strong and fast. He is hard to tackle and has the ability to turn and take a play the opposite direction across the field.”
All-state senior Walker has scored 19 times this season and averages 10.1 yards per carry. He has carried the ball 135 times for 1,369 yards.
“Bartlett is one of the best coached teams in the district. Their staff is very experienced,” Jentsch said.
The Bulldogs were 0-5 heading into 13-A play two weeks ago. They crushed Granger in the opening game of league play, but are coming off a 42-22 loss at the hands of undefeated and district leading Burton.
“We look for them to come out and play,” Jentsch said. “Our kids will be as prepared as we can get them. We’ve analyzed more this week than we have.”
Milano’s junior high had a tough time against Holland on Thursday night, losing 12-2 at Pruett Field.
Eighth grader Trent Ellison broke his leg during the game and had surgery on Friday.
The MJH Eagles will travel to face Bartlett on Thursday with kickoff set for 5:30 p.m.
|HOLLAND 21, MILANO 12|
|20 First downs 24|
|26-171 Rushing 41-190|
|9-22-1 Passing 16-27-3|
|129 Passing yards 171|
|300 Total yards 361|
|1-44 Punts-avg. 1-23|
|3-2 Fumbles-lost 0-0|
|5-55 Penalties 7-65|
|Score by quarters|
|Milano 6 6 0 0—12|
|Holland 7 6 8 0—21|
|MILANO—Dominique Messer 12 pass|
|from Thomas Sanders (kick blocked)|
|HOLLAND—Ely Stroud 9 run (Sam Goodnight|
|HOLLAND—Blair Severson 9 run (kick|
|MILANO—Alton Bryant 41 pass from|
|Jaxson Robinson (run failed)|
|HOLLAND—Severson 22 run (run good)|
|RUSHING—Th. Sanders 10-92, Jordan|
|Melton 4-42, Mayson Gibbons 6-21, Bryant|
|2-12, Chris Juhl 1-6.|
|PASSING—Robinson 8-17-1 117 yards|
|1TD, Th. Sanders 1-5-0 12 yards.|
|RECEIVING—Bryant 3-57 1TD, Messer|
|2-30 1TD, Melton 3-30, Mullinnix 1-12.|
|TACKLES—Chance Pack 13, Messer 12,|
|Gibbons 11, John Jentsch 11.|
|RUSHING—Th. Sanders 104-997|
|12TD, Gibbons 28-187 1TD, Juhl|
|35-183 1TD, Melton 13-131 3TD,|
|PASSING—Th. Sanders 35-72-5|
|523 yards 10TD, Robinson 12-24-1|
|196 yards, 2TD.|
|RECEIVING—Melton 14-266 1TD;|
|Bryant 12-225 6TD, Messer 5-66|
|1TD, Tb. Sanders 4-44 1TD, Gelner|
|TACKLES—Messer 72, Gibbons|
|52, J. Jentsch 41, Juhl 33, Mullinn|
|ix 1 7, C hance P ack 1 7.|
|WL WL PtsOpp|
|Burton 2 0 7 0 327 139|
|Holland 2 0 2 5 163 230|
|Bartlett 1 1 1 6 175 253|
|Granger 1 1 3 4 190 164|
|Milano 0 2 4 3 198 148|
|Snook 0 2 0 7 37 362|
|This week—Bartlett at Milano; Snook|
|at Burton; Holland at Granger.|
|Last week—Holland 21, Milano 12;|
|Bur ton 42, Bar tlett 22; Granger 70,|