Friday night’s 55-0 routing of the Burkeville Mustangs (1-7) in the bi-district round puts 10-1 Milano in a rematch with the team that ousted them from the post-season last year.
The Eagles will face the Falls City Beavers (8-2) in the area round at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium in Dripping Springs.
Falls City is the defending Class A Division II state champion.
Milano finished second in 13A while Falls City was undefeated champion of 16A II and had a bye last week.
This post-season run is the just the seventh for Milano in the school’s 11-man football history.
The Eagles have won just t wo ot her playof f ga me s (2007, 2010) and have never advanced past the area round of the post-season.
Milano came out on all cylinders in its bi-district game at Berton Yates Stadium on Friday night against Burkeville.
The Eagles put up three scores in the first quarter with quarterback Toby Sanders running in the first by himself from 26 yards out.
The junior signal caller then went to the air and hit receivers Dominique Messer and Jordan Melton on scoring passes of 35 and 58, respectively.
Milano added t hree more scores in the second frame. Brandon Garza scored from 40 yards out to start things off, then Sanders hit Messer for the second time from 36 yards away for another touchdown.
Eagle senior running back Chris Juhl returned on a limited basis Friday night, but hit pay dirt from 20 yards out for a touchdown just before the half. Milano took a 41 point lead into the locker room
Milano put in reserves during the second half which saw a running clock through the last two quarters.
Sophomore Jorda n Milla r scored on a two yard run in the third quarter and freshman Derick Walton rounded out the Eagles’ scoring with a one yard push late in the fourth.
Senior place kicker John Jentsch was five of seven on point after attempts.
“We are proud of how the kids came out from the opening kick off ready to play and continued that intensity throughout,” Eagles head coach Craig Jentsch said. “ That is something we hadn’t done a lot this season.”
The Eagles had 346 yards of total offense against the Mustangs with 217 on the ground and 129 in the air.
Juhl led the squad rushing with eight totes for 55 yards. Garza had just two rushes but tallied 47 yards, while Sanders had 46 yards on six carries.
Sanders was also three for three passing for 129 yards. All three catches resulted in touchdowns for Milano.
The Eagles are averaging almost 34 points a game this season.
Milano’s stout defense is giving up just 7.7 points per game this season. Not only did they hold Burkeville scoreless, but the Mustangs were negative seven (- 7) yards in total offense.
Messer and linebacker Shawn Mullinnix each had 13 tackles on the night, both recording a sack. Millar had eight tackles and Jentsch had seven tackles, two of them for sacks.
“Our defense did another great job and our offense got a chance to get in better sync,” Coach Jentsch said.
Milano threw the ball just three times and Jentsch said he had hoped to get more chances to throw the ball against Burkeville. He knows the Eagles’ passing game is crucial at this point in the season.
“It’s part of the game we need to work on and we will have to get better at it if we want to continue to win.”
Back from injuries
Both seniors Juhl and Tyler Endsley saw limited play on Friday night against Burkeville, but both are expected to start against Falls City.
Sophomore lineman Dav id Jentsch will also return on Friday night for the Eagles.
Scouting Falls City
The only other time Milano and Falls City met on the football field was in last year’s area round game where the Beavers crushed the Eagles 55-7. The returning Milano players haven’t forgotten that.
“We are better than we were and they aren’t as good,” Coach Jentsch said. “Our guys remember being manhandled by them last year and are using that as a motivator.”
The Beavers, who return just three starters on either side of the ball from that championship team, are led by quick junior quarterback Cameron Soto and senior running back/wide receiver/ linebacker Tyler Wiatrek.
Soto, just a sophomore when he led Falls City to the state title in 2010, is 52 of 87 passing for 951 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Soto has also rushed for 511 yards on 73 carries for six scores.
Wiatrek has rushed for 890 yards on 64 carries for 18 scores. He also leads the team in receiving with 17 catches for 385 yards and four touchdowns and in tackles with 98.
“ They have a good offensive scheme,” Coach Jentsch said of Falls City. “Their offensive line isn’t big but they come off the ball extremely well.”
The Beavers are averaging 38.2 points a game on offense and giving up 17.9 per game on defense.
Falls City opened their season with two straight losses to bigger schools Stockdale and Poth, but are currently on an eight game winning streak. They went 6-0 in district play. Their closest match was a 36-33 win over Pettus.
The Eagles have played in three high pressure games this season already against ranked teams (Chilton, Burton and Granger) and have won two of those three (only losing 6-0 to Granger in the last game of the regular season). Jentsch believes his team is up to the challenge.
“ We feel like we can compete with anyone, surely in our region,” Coach Jentsch said. “The kids are looking forward to it. It’s gonna be fun.”
Milano is picked to win the game by two points and Jentsch knows his team will have to take care of the ball to get the win.
“We know we are going to have to take care of the football and execute the simple things, like blocking, well,” he said. “I like our chances, no doubt. I think it will come down to the fewest mistakes and who executes the little things.”
Milano will play on artificial turf for the first time this season when they hit the field in Dripping Springs on Friday night. Coaches aren’t concerned about that at all.
“They (the players) are excited,” Coach Jentsch said.
The winner of the Milano-Falls City game will face the winner of Evadale and Bruni in the regional round next week.
As the winner of 13A, Granger had a week off and will now face Pettus on Friday night at Canyon Lake High School.
Burton, the third place team out of 13A II won its bi-district game against Sabine Pass 43-13. They will now take on D’Hanis on Saturday in Wimberley.
What: Milano Eagles (10-1) vs.
Falls City Beavers (8-2) in Class
A, Division II area playoff.
Where: Dripping Springs Tiger
Stadium (3,000 artificial grass).
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Favorite: Milano by 2.
Last week: Milano 55, Burkeville 0. Falls City had a bye.
Last playoff appearance: Milano
in 2010; Falls City 2010 (14-1
Playoff records: Milano 3-6 in
seven appearances; Falls City
42-23 in 24 appearances.
District outlook: Milano finished
second in District 12A II; Falls
City was 16A II district champion. Series: Falls City leads 1-0, won
55-7 in 2010.
Beaver to watch: QB Cameron
Best place to eat: Salt Lick
|had a bye.|
MILANO SEASON LEADERS
RUSHING—Sanders 123- 602 9TD, Juhl 63-534 6TD, Millar 64- 518 8TD, Melton 31-225 5TD.
PASSING—Sanders 45-102-7, 906 yards 14TD; Millar 3-8-1 41 yards.
RECEIVING—Messer 15-424 8TD, Melton 11-254 5TD, Garza 9-105 TD, Truitt Jones 7-89.
TACKLES—Messer 135, Millar 107, Mullinnix 73, T. Endsley 69, Jentsch 69, Melton 53, Dakota Grandchamp 49, Juhl 44, Garza 31.
|2008||4- 6||Tim Berg|
|2004||4- 6||Clay Tarpley|
|2003||4- 6||Chad LaGrone|
|1996||4- 6||Chad LaGrone|
|1986||4- 6||Steve Freeman|
|1982||4- 6||Jeff Healey|
*District Champions (Milano won district titles in 1965-66 and 1975 in 6-man football.)
MILANO 55, BURKEVILLE 0
|14 First downs||1|
|3-3- 0 Passing||1-5-1|
|346 Total yards||(-7)|
|0- 0 Penalties||2-30|
|Burkeville 0||0||0||0— 0|
|MILANO—Toby Sanders||26||run||( kick|
|from Sanders (Sanders||run)||4:59|
|Sanders (John Jentsch||kick)||0:42|
|MILANO— Brandon Garza||40||run||(kick|
|MILANO—Messer 36 pass||from||Sanders|
|(Jentsch kick) 3:28|
|MILANO— Chris Juhl 20||run||(||Jentsch|
|MILANO—Jordan Millar 2||run (||Jentsch|
|MILANO— Derick Walton||1||run (||Jentsch|
Leaders RUSHING—Milano: Juhl 8-55 TD; Garza 2-47 TD; Sanders 6-46 TD; Chance Pack 3-26; Mitchell Neal 4-18; Melton 1-10; Millar 4-9 TD; Walton 6- 6 TD. Burkeville: Kane Lowery 7-11; Sevun Ford 8-5; Garrett Stillwell 3- 5; Jacob Rueda 2-1; D’Vonte Spearman 5-(-30). PASSING— Milano: Sanders 3-3- 0 129 yards 3TD. Burkeville: Spearman 1-5- 0 1 yard. RECEIVING—Milano: Messer 2-71 2TD; Melton 1-58 TD. Burkeville: Malik Spearman 1-1. TACKLES—Milano: Messer 13, Mullinnix 13, Millar 8, Jentsch 7.