Milano puts its unbeaten mark on the line against No. 8 Burton
MILANO—The Milano Eagles will put their undefeated record to the test this week as they host the No. 8 ranked Burton Panthers, who are also 5- 0 on the season, in the District 13-A Division II opener for both teams on Friday night at Pruitt Field.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Milano was off last week, as were most of their district opponents. Only Burton and Snook saw action on Friday, both were victorious.
“I think we have an opportunity to win if we come in focused like we did against Chilton,” Eagles head coach Craig Jentsch said.
Burton defeated Flatonia 29- 13 last week, with star senior quarterback Xavier Bethany out with a broken bone in his leg. He will be out for at least three more weeks.
Junior slot receiver Juwan Mathis moved to signal caller for Bethany and rushed for 207 yards and three touchdowns against Flatonia. Mathis also had 62 yards passing and returned a punt for a touchdown.
“Mathis looked very capable, he’s fast. He’s just an athlete,” Jentsch said.
In 2010, Burton beat Milano 46-14.
“Burton is a top team for a reason. They get you spread out and try to get their athletes oneon one against your athletes,” Jentsch said. “Their line is good on both sides of the ball and their defense is extremely fast.”
The Panthers compiled 325 yards of total offense, but lost four fumbles against Flatonia.
Pack is back
Milano will have a little more depth at running back and linebacker this week as sophomore Chance Pack will see more action after coming back from an early season ankle injury.
The race for the district championship and three post-season spots in District 13-A Division II begins Friday.
“Our district looks a lot tougher than it did at the beginning of the season,” Jentsch said. “We’ve got to get up for every game now because everyone else will be bringing their best game each week in district.
“I’m not convinced there is a sure win on the schedule for anyone.”
Holland, who Milano will meet on Oct. 14, is winless on the year at 0-5, but Jentsch said he knows they will come ready to compete.
“Holland always plays us hard,” Jentsch said. “ They threw for 400 yards against Riesel so they are starting to find things that are working over there.”
Bartlett is struggling at 1-4 on the year (They were 0-5 at this point last season and still made the post-season.).
“ Their staff and speed are better than their record shows,” Jentsch said. He looks for quarterback Will Hightower to be a big threat when Milano faces Bartlett on the road Oct. 21.
Snook is 2-3 on the year, logging only the second win for the school in as many years in football, when they defeated Iola 17- 14 last Friday night. The school began 11-man football in 2010 after a 30-year absence.
Jentsch said Snook is much improved from last season.
The Bluejays opened the 2011 season with a win over Austin St. Dominic Savio.
The Eagles will host Snook for homecoming on Oct. 28.
Granger has a 4-1 record on the year heading into district pay. The Lions’ only loss has come at the hands of Moody, 20-14, in the second week of play.
“They could easily be 5-0 too,” Jentsch said of Granger. “They have two strong backs in (Colton) Mazoch and (Alex) Cruz.”
Besides the Milano-Burton match up, other 13-A games this week include Snook at Holland and Granger at Bartlett.
Junior high, JV
Milano’s junior high squad lost to Bryan-St. Joseph on Thursday.
The Eagles’ junior varsity squad was leading Anderson- Shiro’s varsity squad on the road Thursday at the half when the game was called due to lightning.
Milano’s JV will travel to face Burton’s JV on Thursday, following the junior high game, which begins at 5:30 p.m.
MILANO SEASON LEADERS
RUSHING—Juhl 43-383 5 TD, Millar 27-178 3TD, Sanders 45-161 5TD, Melton 14-86 3TD.
PASSING—Sanders 26-53-2, 474 yards, 6TD; Millar 1-1- 0 6 yards.
RECEIVING—Messer 6-197 3TD, Melton 8-129 3TD, Jones 5- 65.
TACKLES—Messer 50, Mullinnix 33, Millar 39, Juhl 34, T. Endsley 31, J. Jentsch 23, Melton 21.