Beavers dam up Milano
Don’t ask the Milano Eagles to feel sorry for them.
The Eagles couldn’t over come early turnovers and a little bit of nerves, falling 47-13 to the defending state champion Falls City Beavers in the Class A Division II state football playoffs.
A two-point favorite, the Eagles once again fell in the area round of the post-season, a level no team in school history has been able to get past.
Milano finishes the season at 10-2 and were second in District 13A-II.
It is just the second time in the school’s 11-man history to have 10 wins, the other coming in 1999, where the team was 10-1 and lost in the bi-district round.
The Eagles’ fell to Falls City last year in the area round as well.
“Our defense won most of the games for us this season. We thought if we could hold them to three touchdowns then we could possibly get three of our own and beat them. Their kids went from whistle to whistle, were tough blocking and disciplined on defense.”
This season was just the seventh time in the school’s 11-man football program to reach the playoffs.
Milano’s bi-district win over Burkeville on Nov. 11 was just the third post-season victory for the school.
Falls City (9-2) will now face Bruni, the third place team from 16A-II where the Beavers were undefeated champions, in the regional round of the state playoffs.
The Eagles had never thrown the ball on the first play from scrimmage, but head coach Craig Jentsch knew his Milano team would have to be tricky to get past the Beavers.
Junior quarterback Toby Sanders looked for receiver Dominique Messer deep down field, but the pass was picked off by Falls City’s Phillip Lyssy at Milano’s 47, which began the Eagles’ woes for the night.
The Beavers would drive and score on all of their first three possessions of the first half. Junior Falls City quarterback Cameron Soto would hit Wade Jimerson on a 12 yard pass for the Beavers’ first score.
Then senior running back Phillip Lyssy would run it in from 19 yards, then 15 to round out his team’s scoring for the first half.
Place kicker Scott Lyssy was three for three on extra point attempts in the first half.
Milano would finally put points on the board three minutes into the second quarter when Sanders would find Messer on the long route for a 29 yard touchdown.
Place kicker John Jentsch’s attempt just skimmed over the cross bar to cut the lead to 21-7.
The Beavers would take their opening drive of the second half 67 yards to make it 27-7. Phillip Lyssy would run it in from a yard out. The PAT was blocked by Messer.
Falls City would also take its next possession 64 yards and score on another one yard Lyssy run. Soto hit Stephen Poole for the two-point conversion pass and the lead was 35-7 for Falls City.
The Eagles had a little bit of wind left in their sails on the ensuing kickoff, as sophomore Jordan Millar ran it back 60 yards for a score. John Jentsch’s PAT was just wide.
Wiatrek and Soto would each record rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, from one and two yards out respectively.
Messer would get another shot on the final PAT attempt by the Beavers’ for his second blocked kick of the night.
“We had a scheme designed, but obviously they worked on the pitch while preparing for us,” Coach Jentsch said. “They ran the veer better against us than they had in the three tapes we saw on them.”
The Beavers’ 47 points is the most Milano has given up in one game this season. The previous best had been 25 in the Eagles’ win over Chilton.
Milano’s version of the “wrecking crew” had given up just 7.7 points per game before their meeting with Falls City.
“They took away a lot of our cut back lanes,” Coach Jentsch said. “We thought we’d have more success than we did running the ball.”
Jentsch is 24-9, the best threeyear start by any Milano coach in school history.
Sanders compiled most of Milano’s 154 total yards of offense. He was five of 13 passing for 120 yards with three interceptions.
He was also the Eagles’ top rusher on the night with 27 yards on 13 carries.
Sanders’ 120 yards on Friday lifted him to over 1,000 yards on the season—1,026 to be exact. He was 50 of 115 passing and threw 15 touchdowns.
Messer was Milano’s top receiver on the night and for the season. He had three catches Friday for 85 yards.
Senior Jordan Melton caught the other two passes against Falls City for 35 yards.
Messer had 18 catches for 509 yards on the season and nine touchdow ns. Melton had 13 catches for 289 yards and five scores.
Messer was also Milano’s top defensive player this year with 149 tackles. Millar was next with 121. Both will be back next year.
The Beavers had 460 yards of total offense against Milano.
Soto was five of eight for 144 yards. Falls City’s top rusher was Phillip Lyssy with 118 yards on 15 carries. Wiatrek had 91 yards on 19 carries.
Jimerson was the Beavers’ top receiver with two catches for 71 yards.
“Our option game was clicking tonight,” said Falls City Coach Mark K irchoff. “Our defense played very well. Our young kids on that side of the ball have really progressed.”
Milano will lose eight seniors to graduation, including Chris Juhl, Truitt Jones, Shawn Mullinnix, Jordan Melton, Brandon Garza, Ubaldo Ortuno, Tyler Endsley and John Jentsch (the head coach’s middle son).
In other 13A-II action, district champion Granger defeated Pettus 31-27 and third place Burton topped D’Hanis 47-20.
Now Granger (10-1) and Burton (10-2) will meet in the regional round at 6:30 p.m. in Elgin to see who will advance to the next round.
In the teams’ meeting during the regular season, it took overtime for Granger to beat Burton 26-20.
|Bur ton||47,||D’Hanis||20;||Granger 31,|
MILANO SEASON LEADERS
RUSHING—Sanders 136- 629 9TD, Juhl 72-540 6TD, Millar 65- 519 8TD, Melton 31-225 5TD.
PASSING—Sanders 50-115-10, 1,026 yards 15TD; Millar 3-8-1 41 yards.
RECEIVING—Messer 18-509 9TD, Melton 13-289 5TD, Garza 9-105 TD, Truitt Jones 7-89.
TACKLES—Messer 149, Millar 121, Mullinnix 82, Jentsch 77, Endsley 75, Melton 59, Grandchamp 57, Juhl 46, Brandon Garza 33, Sanders 29, Chance Pack 21.
|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.)
FALLS CITY 47, MILANO 13
Milano Falls City
5 First downs 20
23-34 Rushing 54-316
5-13-3 Passing 5-8- 0
120 Passing yards 144
154 Total yards 460
4-31.5 Punts-average 2-27.5
0- 0 Fumbles 2-1
3-13 Penalties 6-50
Score by quarters
Falls City 14 7 14 12— 47
FALLS CITY— Wade Jimerson 12 pass
from Cameron Soto (Scott Lyssy kick)
FALLS CITY—Tyler Wiatrek 19 run (S.
Lyssy kick) 4:03
FALLS CITY—Wiatrek 15 run (S. Lyssy
MILANO— Dominique Messer 29 pass
from Toby Sanders (John Jentsch kick)
FALLS CITY— Phillip Lyssy 1 run (kick
FALLS CITY— P. Lyssy 1 run (Stephen
Poole pass from Soto) 1:03
MILANO—Jordan Millar 60 kickoff return
(kick failed) 0:51
FALLS CITY—Wiatrek 1 run (kick blocked)
FALLS CITY—Soto 2 run (kick blocked)
RUSHING—Milano: Sanders 13-27; Chris
Juhl 9- 6; Millar 1-1. Falls City: P. Lyssy
15-118 2TD; Wiatrek 19-91 3TD; Soto 17-
88 TD; Dean Gaskamp 1-16; Jon Swierc
1- 6; Team 1-(-3).
PASSING—Milano: Sanders 5-13-3 120
yards TD. Falls City: Soto 5- 8- 0 144
RECEIVING— Milano: Messer 3- 85 TD;
Melton 2-35. Falls City: Jimerson 2-71
TD; Poole 1- 47; Wiatrek 1- 44; P. Lyssy
TACKLES— Milano: Messer 14, Millar
14, Shawn Mullinnix 9, Tyler Endsley 8,
Dakota Grandchamp 8, Jentsch 8.