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Trojan defense and young quarterback make strides in road victory over district rival Cordova

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Trojans after runner

CORDOVA — Among all the headlines for the 2012 Millington Trojans, some of the memorable ones were the tragic loss of Dana Payne, losing the M&M Bowl for the first time in 10 years, reaching the second round of the playoffs and George Odum and Antonio Webber signing college scholarships.
But maybe one of the most notable happenings of last season to get overlooked was a true freshman taking over control of Head Coach Chris Michael’s new Spread offense as quarterback.
Eldon Tyms entered the picture in early October 2012 on a stormy Homecoming night against the Trezevant Bears. Tyms did his part and helped Millington win that game.
Fast forward to Friday night in the Cordova Football Stadium. With several starts under his belt, it seemed Tyms had his official coming out party leading the Trojans to a 31-14 victory over the Wolves with four total touchdowns.
Tyms connected with offensive weapons Demarius Curry and Lakeron Garcia for bookend touchdown passes. Between those scores, Tyms rushed for a pair of scores.
“He played well,” Michael noted. “He was poised and he ran the offense well. He’s getting more comfortable especially since we moved Lakeron to the backfield.
“A lot of focus just like last year with Antonio Webber in the backfield, you’ve got defenses in just one week going to focus a lot of the attention on him,” he added. “And that’s going to open up things for Eldon to make plays. And he’s capable of making plays and he’s getting more comfortable with making his reads.”
Making good reads throughout the night helped Tyms and the Trojans win their District 14-3A debut. The scoring started in the first quarter when Tyms picked up a snap off the ground and regrouped in time to toss an 11-yard touchdown pass to Curry to make the score 7-0 in favor of Millington.
“I saw that the snap was bad but I kept going because I knew Eldon was going to put it on the money,” Curry said. “He’s growing as a player. He’s going to do good things for us.”
Curry made a good move on the Cordova defensive back to get open in the back of the end zone for the TD catch with 44 seconds remaining in the opening period.
Cordova tied the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter with a Cameron Pitts 72-yard TD catch. Less than 3 minutes later Tyms regained the lead for Millington with a 3-yard touchdown run. The score was set up by a 40-yard Lakeron Garcia reception.
With slightly more than 7 minutes remaining in the half, Wolf running back Devin Harrington broke loose for a 24-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14-14. That was the score at the break.
In the third quarter the Trojans (2-1) took the lead for good with a Tyms 18-yard run. After faking a handoff to Garcia, Tyms tucked the ball and headed toward the pylon for the score.
“When you have people on  your team who you can trust, you can get up behind all that good blocking and do your thing,” Tyms noted. “I’m cool with that and I just love this team. And we’re doing it for Dana. If you can put a ball up in the sky and they’re going to catch it, that’s all I need.”
Tyms would put the ball to the air one more time successful later in the game. But first Millington added to the 21-14 advantage courtesy of place kicker Luke Bell. After the Trojan defense stopped the Cordova offense on downs near midfield, Millington drove the ball deep into Wolf territory setting the table for Bell to kick a 21-yard field goal.
The quarter ended with Millington ahead by 10 points. Tyms iced the game with his arm hitting Garcia on a screen pass. Garcia broke loose from the crowd at the line scrimmage to locate the end zone from 33 yards out.
The Wolves had one more scoring threat that was snuffed out by Millington defensive back Earl King with an interception.
“When you go on the road to open up the district, it’s good to get a win regardless of how,” Michael said. “Whether it’s one point or 10 points, a win is a win.”
After picking up two road wins, the Trojans return home this Friday for the annual M&M Bowl.
The Cougars come to town winners of the 2012 contest against Millington. But the 2013 edition of the Cougars are off to a 1-2 start after Munford dropped a close contest to Frayser last Friday night.
“It’s going to be us getting better at what we do,” Michael said. “We can’t change or control anything Munford is going to throw at us. But we have to be good at what we do. We have to be responsibility-sounded on defense.
“We’ve got to have guys come in and give guys rest and be just as effective,” he concluded. “Offensively, we’ve just got to keep building and getting confidence in what we’re doing. We have to cut out mistakes.”
The M&M Bowl kicks off at 7 p.m. from Millington Football Stadium.

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