Milano victory sets up district showdown with gritty Granger

Battle of unbeatens winner is outright District 13A champ
BY MARIE BAKKEN
Reporter Staff Writer


Dominique Messer snags one of his two touchdown receptions, this on a 23-yard haul, the other a 64-yarder, as Milano poured on the points against Snook at Homecoming. 
Reporter/Holly Jentsch Dominique Messer snags one of his two touchdown receptions, this on a 23-yard haul, the other a 64-yarder, as Milano poured on the points against Snook at Homecoming. Reporter/Holly Jentsch MILANO—Since Craig Jentsch took over as Milano’s head football coach three years ago, the last game of the regular season has been the most important in each of those years.

In 2009, Milano missed out on the postseason in a double overtime loss to Thrall. In 2010, it was a winner goes, loser stays home when the Eagles defeated Granger 40-20 to get into the post-season.

This Friday’s game at Granger (8-1, 4-0) is just as important, but a different scenario.

Both teams are in the post-season, but the Eagles and Lions will play for the District 13-A Division II title at Lion Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Eagles stayed put in the Associated Press statewide Class A poll at No. 14.

In the Texas Football Magazine and OldCoach.com polls, which breaks Class A into Division I and II, Milano is ranked No. 5 and Granger is at No. 6.


Toby Sanders accounted for four touchdowns against Snook. Toby Sanders accounted for four touchdowns against Snook. Snook shellacking’

Milano moved to 9- 0 on the year and 4-0 in district play with a 46- 0 homecoming win over the Snook Bluejays (2-7, 0-4) on Friday night in the home finale of the year at Pruett Field.

“Our kids played well after the first quarter, I am really proud of them,” Coach Jentsch said. “They came out and got the job done like they have every week and you hope to get better.”

Milano racked up 342 yards of offense and held Snook to just 59 yards in the 46-0 win.

Milano’s passing game found its rhythm with junior quarterback Toby Sanders connecting for four of his seven passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

Both of those were to junior receiver Dominique Messer on scores of 64 and 23 yards, respectively.

Sanders also rushed for 48 yards on six totes and scored twice, from 29 and three yards out.

The Eagles’ top rusher on the night was sophomore Jordan Millar who got the job done on both offense and defense.

He scored Milano’s first points of the night w ith a one yard touchdown late in the first, then snagged a Snook pass late in the fourth for a “pick six” for the Eagles’ final touchdown of the game.

Millar had 96 ground yards on seven carries.

Senior Brandon Garza also got in on the scoring with a one yard touchdown in the third.

Senior place kicker John Jentsch was four of seven on the night in extra point attempts

On the defensive side of the ball Jentsch led the team in tackles on the night with 12, including a sack and a fumble recovery.

Messer, the team’s season leader in tackles, had 11 tackles.

Snook earned just three yards in the air on one of nine passes against the Eagles.

Mickey Wiggins was the top rusher for the Bluejays with 39 yards on 10 carries.

One negative item on the stat list for Milano was its penalties. The Eagles had eight flags on the night for 70 yards in penalties.

Scouting Granger

Granger finished 4-6 in 2010 and 2-3 in district play. Long time assistant Charles Hammond is in his first year at the helm for the Lions and has the team’s running game fined tuned, even with just 16 players on his roster.

“They are good at what they do and are very sound on offense, running the ball right at you,” Coach Jentsch said. “They have two backs that run hard and are very good on the offensive and defensive lines.”

Granger pulled an upset over Burton 26-20 in overtime on the road Friday to put them in position to win the title. It is the Lions’ first playoff berth since 2008.

In the Lions’ win at Burton, Colton Mazoch scored three touchdowns and had 124 yards on 24 carries. Canyon Murrah also had a touchdown and 191 yards on 28 totes.

Granger had no passing yards against Burton, not completing any of its seven passes on the night.

Milano will have to step up its passing game if it can’t stop the Lions’ run.

“Our passing has gotten better. We’ve worked hard on it last week and this week,” Coach Jentsch said.

In the two teams’ 2010 meeting, Milano doubled up Granger with a Herculian effort for now graduated and Sul Ross State player Thomas Sanders. (Sanders and his Lobos will take on UMHB in Belton at 1 p.m. Saturday.)

Sanders compiled 569 of the Eagles’ 611 yards of total offense that night, 211 on the ground and 358 in the air.

“I will be disappointed if it is not a good game. I don’t expect a blowout from either team,” Coach Jentsch said.

Injuries

Milano has three injuries to worr y about this week. Two senior players, Chris Juhl and Tyler Endsley are questionable for the Granger game. Juhl is nursing a lower leg injury from four weeks ago.

Endsley injured his ankle in the Snook game. Sophomore David Jentsch is out for at least the next three weeks with a foot injury.

District outlook

The winner of the 13-A DII title will earn a bye in the first round of the state playoffs.

The loser should play the third team in 14-A, if it all plays out as predicted. But a couple of upsets could put that third place playoff spot all up in the air.

Burton, Bartlett and Holland all remain in the hunt. Holland hosts Burton and Bartlett is at Snook.

It could take a certified mathematician to figure out who that final playoff team would be if anyone but Burton wins.

Heading into Friday night, Burton is 2-2, Holland 1-3 and Bartlett 1-3 in league play.

Playoff picture

The post-season berth is just the seventh for Milano in the school’s 11-man football history.

Other playoff appearances were made in 1976, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007 and 2010.

The Eagles have won just two playoff games (2007, 2010) and have never advanced past the area round of the post-season.

The 9-0 record is the best for the Eagles since 1999 when they went 10-0 in the regular season, claimed a district title, then fell in the first round to eventual state champion Bartlett. The two were in different districts that season.

Junior high, JV

In sub-varsity action last week, Milano’s junior high defeated Snook 30-18.

The Eagles’ junior varsit y squad did not have a game and some players got to suit up for the varsity game on Friday night.

This week, Milano’s junior high will host Granger at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The Eagles’ JV team will host Iola, following the junior high game.

It will be the final game of the season for both of the Milano sub-varsity teams.

MILANO 46, SNOOK 0

Snook Milano
6 First downs 17
41-56 Rushing 31-212
1-9-2 Passing 4-7- 0
3 Passing yards 130
59 Total yards 342
7-34.6 Punts-average 3-43.7
4-3 Fumbles 3-3
4-36 Penalties 8-70
Score by quarters
Snook 0000— 0
Milano 7 26 13 0— 46
Scoring summary
First quarter
MIL ANO —Jordan Millar 1 run ( John
Jentsch kick) 3:04
Second quarter
MILANO—Toby Sanders 29 run ( kick
failed) 10:43
MILANO— Dominique Messer 64 pass
from Sanders (Jentsch kick) 6:18
MILANO— Sanders 3 run (kick failed)
3:54
MILANO—Messer 23 pass from Sanders
(Jentsch kick) 0:35
Third quarter
MILANO—Brandon Garza 1 run (Jentsch
kick) 3:32
MILANO— Millar 63 interception return
(kick failed) 0:27

Leaders RUSHING — Milano: Millar 7- 96 TD ; Sanders 6-48 2TD; Jordan Melton 1-46; Chance Pack 6-35; Garza 4-7 TD; Mitchell 2- 0; Junior Gallardo 2-(-1); Derick Walton 3-(-19). Snook: Mickey Wiggins 10-39; Jospeh Sebesta 5-12; Marco Carter 2-8; Cullen Hairell 8- 4; Jermaine Foster 7-3; Harlan Plumber 1-2; Deon Hamilton 2-(-4); Mitchell Brewster 6-(-8). PASSING— Milano: Sanders 4-7- 0 130 yards 2TD. Snook: Sebesta 1- 4-1 3 yards; Foster 0-2-1; Hamilton 0-3. RECEIVING—Milano: Messer 2-87 2TD; Melton 1-33; Garza 1-10. Snook: Foster 1-3. TACKLES—Milano: Jentsch 12, Messer 11, Tyler Endsley 9, Millar 8, Melton 8, Shawn Mullinnix 6, Dakota Grandchamp 6.

MILANO SEASON LEADERS

RUSHING—Sanders 104-258 8TD, Millar 55-490 7TD, Chris Juhl 53-445 5 TD, Melton 25-198 5TD, Pack 23-121 TD, Garza 9-102 TD.

PASSING—Sanders 41-92-7, 774 yards, 11TD; Millar 1-1- 0 6 yards.

RECEIVING—Messer 12-350 6TD, Melton 10-196 4TD, Truitt Jones 7-89, Garza 8-80 TD.

TACKLES—Messer 97, Millar 79, T. Endsley 61, Jentsch 54, Mullinnix 53, Melton 43, Juhl 42, Garza 39.

13A-II STANDINGS

District Season
WLWLPtsOpp
x-Milano 409031779
x- Granger4081305145
Burton 2272272101
Holland 1318182288
Bartlett 1327160337
Snook 0427166297
(x-have clinched playoff spot)
This week— Milano at Granger (for
district championship); Bartlett at Snook
(at Somerville); Burton at Holland.
Last week— Milano 46, Snook 0 ;
Granger 26, Burton 20 (OT); Bartlett 38,
Holland 34.


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