By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Millington Trojans had an unfamiliar task this past week.
Bouncing back from a Munford Cougar defeat. It had been 10 years since their rivals up the road beat them in an M&M Bowl. Friday night the Bolton Wildcats traveled to Millington to take on the determined Trojans.
And sparked by quarterback Allen Moore the Trojans were victorious 35-6. Moore’s favorite target on the night was junior wide out LaKeron Garcia.
Garcia caught the first TD of the night and with a little luck he crossed the goal line with the final score of the game.
“Last week we took a tough loss and this week I really didn’t want to play because I was feeling sick,” he acknowledged. “But I got up and did what I had to do.”
Garcia didn’t appear sick in the first quarter when he took a screen pass from Moore and broke several Bolton would-be tackles to race to the end zone from 49 yards out to make the score 7-0.
Millington end the first quarter up by a touchdown. Bolton (2-3) had an answer when quarterback Kal Granderson dropped back and threw a deep spiral to wide out Rico Brown for a 50-yard TD.
The Wildcat’s two-point conversion try failed keeping the score 7-6. The Bolton defense did its part in keeping the scoreboard reading 7-6 when Wildcat defender Marquez Wade recorded two sacks in the second quarter.
But just before halftime the Trojan offense struck a big blow with the combination of Moore to Garcia. Moore found Garcia on a slant pattern to make the score 14-6.
“We just have to keep moving forward,” Moore said. “We took a tough loss last week against Munford. It hit me hard. But I knew we had to keep our heads up and keep moving forward.”
Millington (3-1) kept moving forward in the third quarter with defense. The usual Trojan standouts were on the attack like George Odum, Jonathan Patterson, Delvin Williamson, Kraig Robinson and Patrick Macon.
Odum noted it took a moment for the Trojan “Black Hats” to get into gear. But Millington held the Wildcats in neutrals in the second half.
“We try to work as a team,” he said. “ If we don’t work as a team, we’re nothing. Last week we played like individuals and you saw what happened. This week we talked about playing as a team and working together. I guess in the second and third quarters we got into that groove.”
Odum forces a fumble and recovered it. Patterson forces a initial grounding penalty and the defensive line featuring Dante Robinson caused havoc in the Bolton backfield.
The Trojan offense did it’s part in the second half with Moore going back on the attack. To make the score 21-6, Moore found wide receiver Myron Threlkeld over the middle for a 48-yard TD.
Early in the third quarter, it was Jovan “BoBo” Ballard’s turn to make a play. The 6’4 wide out ran a pattern to the corner of the end zone and caught a fade pass over a defender for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
“I got more comfortable as the game went along,” Moore said. “Our talented wide receivers, if they get open I’m going to get the ball to them. You have to have confidence.”
Moore’s confidence was on display on his fifth and final touchdown pass of the night. The 69-yard TD pass was set up by an Odum interception.
Odum made the pick in the end zone and raced to the 20-yard line to start the Millington offensive drive.
“I try my hardest like in the first quarter,” Odum acknowledged. “But it’s like I can’t get off the ball until the second, third and fourth quarters. When I make my first tackle, that’s when I get my groove.”
With Moore feeling his groove he dropped back at the 31-yard line and chunked the ball down field in the direction of the familiar target Garcia.
“When I was running and raising my hand I was like, ‘Allen just throw it,’” Garcia recalled. “When I saw those three jump, I knew they were going to tip it. I was just waiting on it. When it came down I got it and took off.”
Garcia took the ball to the house for his third touchdown of the night. The victory improved the Trojans to 3-1 on the season. Bolton dropped to 2-3 and will try to bounce back this Friday at home against Frayser.
The Trojans welcome the Brighton Cardinals to town. Last year Brighton beat the Trojans 42-20. Garcia said Millington will keep the focus they had this past week going into the match up with the Cardinals.
“We have to come to practice and work hard,” he concluded. “If we work hard in practice, it will show on the field.”