Granger grinds out league title
GRANGER—In a game that saw stout defense and both teams throwing in their entire playbook a nd t hen some, the Milano Eagles fell to the Granger Lions 6- 0 at Lion Field on Friday night, giving the Lions the outright District 13A Division II championship.
The win also earns Granger (9-1, 5- 0) a bye in the first round of the state football playoffs.
Milano (9-1, 4-1) finishes second in 13A and will face Burkeville (1-6, 1-3) in bi-district action at 7 p.m. Friday at Berton Yates Stadium in Willis. Burkeville finished third in 14A.
It was easy to tell early on this game against Milano and Granger would come down to who would score first, with two very talented defenses taking the field.
Senior fullback Colton Mazoch pushed in from five yards out with just 4:34 left in the third quarter to score the only points in the game. Joel Sifuentes’ point after attempt went wide right to leave the score 6-0.
Mi la no had a la st sec ond chance to tie the game up as the clock ran out. The Eagles pulled out a “swinging gate” offensive look and were able to move the ball successfully down the field against Granger’s solid defense.
Penalties along that last drive ate up precious clock, giving the Eagles one last shot. They were fourth and two at the Granger five with less than three seconds left.
Sophomore Jorda n Milla r threw a lob to the back corner of the end zone, with a group players going up for the ball and Granger defenders knocking it out of the hands of Eagle receiver Dominique Messer.
“Our kids played extremely hard on both sides of the ball and we had opportunities to win the game, just fell a little short,” Milano head coach Craig Jentsch said. “Never once did I think we couldn’t win the game.”
The Eagles managed 148 yards of total offense on the night. The shut out of the Milano offense is the first time in Coach Jentsch’s tenure that Milano had not scored at least a touchdown.
Mazoch and fellow senior back Canyon Murrah were running work horses for the Granger offense. Murray had 136 yards on 33 carries and Mazoch recorded 42 yards on 14 carries.
The Lions had 231 of total offense, all on the ground. Granger quarterback Preston Jimenez was 0 for 5 passing on the night.
“We are not used to an offense that kept the ball away from us so much,” Coach Jentsch said. “We are used to getting turnovers and never got a chance to set up plays to set up bigger plays.”
The Lions and their running game controlled the ball and the clock, having the football in their possession for a majority of the second and third quarters. However, the Eagles’ defense put up a huge goal line stance just before the half.
Murrah had marched up the middle of the field and got the ball as close as the Eagle two. With fourth and goal, Milano defenders stood Jimenez up for no gain and stopped Granger’s scoring drive with 34 seconds left in the second quarter.
Milano and Granger had changed possessions and the Eagles were looking to try it again when a fumbled snap and a Lion recovery at the Milano 27 yard line set up Mazoch’s score.
“Give Granger credit, their kids were ready to play. They are a very good, very physical team,” Coach Jentsch said.
Turnovers plagued both squads. Milano had and lost two fumbles and threw one interception. Granger had three fumbles, losing one of them.
The Eagles put up another big stop to keep the game in reach early in the fourth.
Granger had driven the ball to the edge of Milano’s red zone and were sitting at fourth and two. This time, the Eagle defense stuffed Murrah for no gain and got the ball back at their own 21.
Chris Juhl only touched the ball twice, but garnered 34 yards to lead Milano’s rushing effort on the night. Toby Sanders was 13 for 28 yards rushing, followed by Jordan Millar with 19 yards on five carries.
Millar was the Eagles’ leading passer with two catches on seven attempts for 35 yards. Brandon Garza’s catch for 25 yards was Milano’s best for the night.
Defensively, Messer and Millar had big nights. Messer was moved to middle linebacker and garnered 25 tackles on the night. Millar, who battled a stomach bug during the week, limiting his practice time, recorded 20 tackles.
“ We played a good football team. We and the kids still believe that we can play with anybody in Class A football,” Jentsch said. “We bent, but didn’t break. We’ve got to get better at passing.”
Back from injuries
Both seniors Juhl and Tyler Endsley saw limited play on Friday night against Granger, but did return from leg injuries.
Sophomore David Jentsch is still out with a foot injury for this week.
Burkeville Mustangs finished third in the four- team 14 A , behind Evadale and Sabine Pass. The Mustangs just squeezed into the post-season. They lost to Sabine Pass last week 38-8.
Evadale was the district champion, going 3- 0 in league play. Sabine Pass, Burkeville and High Island all ended with 1-2 records after Sabine Pass beat Burkeville; Burkeville beat High Island and High Island beat Sabine Pass. It came down to point spread and High Island was the odd man out.
Milano defeated High Island in last year’s bi-district round. First year Eagles assistant John Hughes was at High Island last season.
Burkeville is 1-6 on the year, with its only win coming over High Island. The Mustangs had three open dates on its 2011 schedule.
Under first year head coach Dustin Dziuk, the Mustangs run a spread offense behind quarterback Cameron Van Veck Hoven, in his second year at signal caller.
On defense, Burkeville is led by lineman Jacob Rueda and linebacker Dilan Solano.
In 2010, the Mustangs were 5- 4 overall and 2-1 in league play. They fell to 13A’s Bartlett 52-8 in bi-district last season.
The Eagles and Mustangs have never met on the football field.
“We hope to be successful and then get ready for the next week,” Coach Jentsch said. “We’ve got a good shot to do well and we hope our fans continue to follow us.”
The winner of the Milano- Burkeville game will face defending state champion Falls City in the area round next week. Falls City ousted Milano from the 2010 state playoffs in the area round. Falls City was champion of 16-A.
As the winner of 13A, Granger will take a week off and face the winner of Pettus and Sabinal.
Burton defeated Holland on Friday and got in as the district’s third place team. They will face Sabine Pass on Friday at Huffman Hargrave.
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 postseason.
The 9-1 record is the best for the Eagles since 2000 when they claimed a district title, then fell in the second round to High Island.
Junior high, JV
Milano’s sub-varsity squads finished up their seasons last week at Pruett Field in Milano. On Thursday, the Eagles’ junior varsity team defeated Iola 37-6.
Mitchell Neal scored two rushing touchdowns, from 20 and 25 yards out, respectively. Justin Grimes also had touchdown runs of 20 and 5 and also scored a twopoint conversion.
Junior Gallardo had a scoop and score on a fumble recovery and also scored a two-point conversion. Derick Walton also had a two-point conversion and Jonathon Reyes kicked an extra point.
The Milano JV finished the year at 5-4.
The Eagles’ junior high team defeated Granger 28-0 on Thursday and also end the season with a 5-4 mark.
Austin Decker scored on a 60- yard run and also returned a punt 40 yards for a touchdown during the first quarter.
Christian Grimes had a three yard rushing score and Jerod Vongonten added a 30 yard run for a score as well.
Matthew Stear and Sethe Pugh each scored two-point conversions.
MILANO VS. BURKEVILLE
What: Milano (9-1) vs Burkeville Mustangs (1-6) in Class A, Division II, Region IV bi-district Where: Berton Yates Stadium in Willis (4,500 capacity, grass) When: Friday, 7 p.m. Favorite: Milano by 25. Last week: Granger 6, Milano 0; Sabine Pass 38, Burkeville 8 Series: Teams have never met. District: Milano was second in 13A; Burkeville was third in fourteam 14A. Mustang to watch: Sr. QB Cameron Van Veck Hoven. Best place to eat: The Pizza Shack, 115 W. Montgomery
GRANGER 6, MILANO 0
|10 First downs||14|
|3-13-1 Passing||0-5- 0|
|38 Passing yards||0|
|148 Total yards||231|
|Milano 0||0||0||0— 0|
|Granger 0||0||6||0— 6|
|GRANGER— Colton Mazoch||5||run||(kick|
|RUSHING— Milano: Chris||Juhl||2- 34;|
|Toby Sanders 13-28; Jordan||Millar||5-19;|
|Jordan Melton 5-17;||Brandon||Garza 2-|
|9; Chance Pack 3-3.||Granger:||Canyon|
|Murrah, 33-136; Preston||Jimenez||9- 47;|
|Colton Mazoch 14-42 TD;||Jake||Kaderka,|
|1-3; Cody Williams 1-3.|
|PASSING— Milano:||Sanders||1-||6 - 0 3|
|yards; Millar 2-7-1 35||yards.||Granger:|
|Jimenez 0-5- 0 0 yards.|
|1-10; Dominique Messer||1-||3.||Granger:|
|TACKLES—Milano: Messer||25,||Millar 20,|
|Jentsch 8, Mullinnix 7,||Melton||7,||Garza 6,|
MILANO SEASON LEADERS
RUSHING—Sanders 117-556 8TD, Millar 60-509 7TD, Chris Juhl 55-479 5TD, Melton 30-215 5TD.
PASSING—Sanders 42-98-7, 777 yards 11TD; Millar 3-8-1 41 yards.
RECEIVING—Messer 13-353 6TD, Melton 10-196 4TD, Garza 9-105 TD, Truitt Jones 7-89.
TACKLES—Messer 122, Millar 99, T. Endsley 65, Jentsch 62, Mullinnix 60, Melton 50, Grandchamp 45, Juhl 44.