Early mistakes doom Eagles in district opening setback
An interception of Eagle quarterback Jordan Millar’s first pass on the first play of the game set the tone for the first half of play by Milano and was just enough momentum for Burton (2- 4, 1- 0) to jump ahead and keep the lead in their 28-18 win over the Eagles in the District 13A-II opener for both squads.
“We did come out flat and that pick on the first play of the game had something to do with that,” Eagles head coach Craig Jentsch said. “Itsortoftookthewind out of our sails.”
Burton’s offense didn’t take long, scoring in three plays when Tanner Demuth ran it in from nine y ards o ut. Q uarterback Luke Huffer would run in the conversion attempt to put the Panthers up 8- 0 before all the Eagle fans could take their seats.
Millar’s attempt to Mik Mader on the outside was picked off by Division I prospect Louis Brown and the speedster ran it back 39yardsforatouchdown. The conversion run attempt failed, but Burton led 14- 0 with 6:21 left in the half.
“Burton did a good job capitalizing on our mistakes,” Coach Jentsch said.
Milano could not convert on a fourth and one at their own 46 and the Panthers would use that and the clock to score as time in the quarter expired.
Huffer hit Brown from five yardsoutastimeexpired. The PAT attempt was blocked by Millar. Burtonled20-0atthe break.
“ They are a good team and are well coached,” Coach Jentsch said. “Wehadtoovercomea lot on Friday, a lot of it was self inflicted.”
Burton blocked the ensuing PAT attempt, with Demuth running it back for two points.
The Eagles’ defense executed better in the second half, Coach Jentsch said.
“We made some adjustments at half time and moved some people around, which we don’t really do.”
It worked, as Burton was forced to punt on both of their possessions in the third quarter.
Milano drove the ball down the field to run out the rest of the third quarter and then scored on the second play of the fourth quarter. S enior back Chance Pack plunged in from the two, cutting the Burton leadto10. Thepassattempt fell short on the conversion play.
The Panthers countered with its own running game, driving down the field and eating up the clock.
Brown found pay dirt again from two yards out, with 6:23 left in t he game. T he pass c onversion failed, but Burton still led 28-12.
Milano would answer and make big plays in the process. Millar hit David Jentsch for a 30 yard gain on the drive and then a few plays later for a 14 yard completion.
Facing fourth and 11 at the Panther 16 with 4:16, Millar found Nick Bonorden down the sideline to get just enough to move the chains.
Millar would run it in from the five on the next play. Again, the conversion pass failed, but the Eagles had cut the lead to 28-18.
An onside kick attempt by Milano would be covered by the Panthers at their own 47, so it was up to the Eagles’ defense to stop Burton—and they did.
Milano force Burton to three andoutagainanda punt. The kick sailed into the end zone and the Eagles got the ball back at their own 25 with 2:08 remaining.
On the very next play, Millar would throw his third interception of the night as Donell Patterson stepped into a pass intended for Jentsch at the Milano 40.
“I think we learned a lot and realized that we let one slip away,” C oach Jentsch added. “ I think our guys now know they have the ability to compete with anyone in our district.”
It was the first game Milano’s defense wasn’t able to recover a turnover, whether by fumble or interception. Coach Jentsch said that it was unusual for Burton not to turn the ball over.
The Panthers did have three fumbles, but were able to recover each of them.
Jentsch noted a highlight for the team that they complied just three penalties on the night for 15yards. Thatisagravedifference from the 200 yards in penalties they had compiled in their three games before Burton.
BY THE NUMBERS—Milano tallied 261 yards of total offense on the night, with 171 yards on the ground and 90 in the air.
Millar was the team’s top rusher with 152 yards on 21 carries.
He also completed five of 13 passes.
Bonorden was the top Eagle receiver with three catches for 46 yards.
Burton complied 222 of total offense, with 199 on the ground and 23 in the air.
Derek Walton and Trent Ellison each had nine tackles to led the Eagles, with Cole Sheppard racking up eight.
UP NEXT—Milano will hit the road again this week as they travel to Somerville on Friday night to take on the Yeguas. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Somerville is winless in its 2013 campaign and is coming off a 62-14 loss to Bartlett.
Despite their record, Coach Jentsch feels the Yeguas are very capable of winning.
“They have a lot of skilled people who are athletic and quick,” Coach Jentsch said. “The have the ability to score from anywhere on the field.
“We are going to have to keep our kids ready and make them go on long drives against us. The longer they are on the field the more likely they are to make a mistake.”
They are led by l ineman Tristan Like, a first team all-district selection on both sides of the ball last season.
SUBVARSITY— Mi lano’s junior high squad defeated Burton lastweek26- 0. TheJV team fell 24- 20 on the road against College Station’s freshman squad.
Milano’s junior high will host Somerville at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.