Eagles remain unbeaten behind Millar’s footwork
The senior garnered 135 yards on the ground, including three touchdowns to push Milano 26-6 over the Normangee Panthers. Millar rushed for 179 yards in Milano’s opening week win over Del Valle’s JV.
Millar scored from six yards out with eight minutes left in the first for Milano’s first strike. The conversion attempt failed.
Normangee answered back on a three yard run by Panther quarterback Elijah Eastern with 1:24 left in the first. Their conversion attempt failed as well, due to the fact that Millar hit Panther back Shane Conrad, with a big hit, stopping him in his tracks.
That would be the last time Normangee would get on the board.
Millar would score from 14 yards out just 49 seconds into the second frame. A conversion pass from the QB to senior Nick Bonorden would put the Eagles up for good at 14-6.
On the third play of the Panthers ensuing possession, Millar would put a hard hit on his Normangee counterpart, causing Eastern to fumble. Milano’s Trent Ellison would recover the first of his two fumbles at the Normangee 30.
On the next play, Millar found a sprinting Treyton Steinbecker down the left sideline for another Eagle score, putting their team up 20-6.
The Panthers would drive down to the Milano nine yard line, turning the ball over on downs behind a solid performance by the Eagle defense.
The teams would trade turnovers before Millar was able to punch it in again from five yards out with 12 seconds left in the half for the final 26-6 score.
Millar was four of seven through the air for 89 yards and had one interception.
Back up quarterback Derek Walton scrambled for 89 yards on 14 carries in the Eagles running game.
Senior tight end David Jentsch was Milano’s top receiver on the night with two catches for 50 yards.
“Our defense was improved quite a bit, but Normangee’s passing game did expose us a little. Our secondary played better and broke to the ball faster.” Milano players deflected five different Panther passes on the night.
Normangee tallied 136 yards in the air behind Eastern’s 13 of 20 passing p erformance. T he P anthers also managed 70 rushing yards on 29 carries for 206 yards of offense against Milano.
Eastern was their top rusher with 27 yards on 11 carries.
A nother sour note for the Eagles was the fact they saw 11 penalties called against them against Normangee.
“Our penalties did stop our momentum. I thought our guys lacked focus but did play hard. They came out excited to play football, but just too many penalties,” Coach Jentsch said. “A couple of penalties I am fine with, but offsides and illegal formation and illegal procedures bother you as a coach because it means they aren’t focused.”
Defensively, junior Trent Ellison led the team with 10 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Sophomore Cole Sheppard caused two fumbles and had nine tackles.
Milano will hit the road this week to play Iola (2- 0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Bulldogs defeated Bartlett (a member of Milano’s District 13A-II) 37-28 last week, behind a 295 yard rushing performance for Iola quarterback Hayden M artinez. T he e ntire team totaled 385 total yards of offense.
He tallied that mark and four scores on 30 carries and also made two extra-point kicks and ran in two 2-point conversions.
“Martinez is very, very good in space, he is strong, fast and illusive,” Coach Jentsch said. “He leads their team and is all over the field.”
The QB’s dad Pete is now the Bulldogs’ head coach, replacing Scott Bishop. The elder Martinez was the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator last season. He was also at Somerville for seven years, two as the Yeguas head coach.
“They are a good, solid football team. It will be a very tough challenge, but I think our kids are up for it,” Coach Jentsch said. “We have got to take care of the ball, tackle well and have to get their offense off the field.”
Last season the Eagles defeated Iola 35-8.
The Eagles’ junior varsity lost their first game of the season on Thursday in a game called early due to weather.
Milano fell 6 - 0 at A nderson Shiro after just one half of play. T here was a delay in starting because of rain and lightning and the Owls’ field does not have lights so the game was called at the half, Coach Jentsch said.
The Eagles w ill host Iola’s junior high and junior varsity squads on Thursday starting at 5:30 p.m.