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Trojan speedster has three return touchdowns in big win over Kingsbury

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Trojans Kip Fleming tackle

Earl King

Earl King

Millington defenders like CJ Harris and No. 72 Quentin Harrison tracked down Kingsbury ball carriers throughout the night leading to a 43-8 Trojan victory Friday night.

Millington defenders like CJ Harris and No. 72 Quentin Harrison tracked down Kingsbury ball carriers throughout the night leading to a 43-8 Trojan victory Friday night.

Those spectators filing into the Millington Football Stadium last Friday night were excepting to see a queen as tradition at a Millington Central High School Homecoming.
And with senior Iris Reyes being crowned by former queens, Missi Carter Joiner and Erin Clark, the Trojan faithful had its chance to shower cheers on school royalty yet again. But the 2013 MCHS Homecoming would have a “King” as well.
Trojan athlete Earl King was the star of the game against the Kingsbury Falcons from start to finish. With three touchdowns, one via kickoff, the second a pick-six and the final one a punt return, King sparked Millington to a 43-8 victory.
“It was OK,” King said after the game. “Coach (Darren) Garcia told me he wanted me to score. He said every skill position senior has scored except me. I had to come out with this type of performance.
“I did my thing and I’m proud of myself,” he continued. “It’s been a long time coming. It’s been two years since I scored. I did it for Dana Payne and Pirtle.”
With the late No. 87 Dana Payne on his heart, King received the opening kickoff on the 17-yard line. With a couple of moves through the Falcon defenders, King was able to explode toward the end zone to make the score 7-0 at the 11-minute and 42-second mark of the first quarter.
The scoreboard would read 7-0 heading into the second quarter because both offensive were in neutral. And Millington’s offense suffered a big blow when offensive tackle Angelo Pirtle had his arm broken.
Watching their junior lineman carted off the field on a stretcher seem to motivate the Millington defensive unit.
The Trojans defense made the score 14-0 in the second quarter when Jonathan Clements recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Later in the quarter the Trojans (5-2, 3-0 in District 14-3A) blocked a punt setting up a short field for the offense. Millington senior running back Lakeron Garcia had a big run and scored on a 1-yard blast to make the tally 20-0.
“Offensively we were pretty inamp,” Millington Head Coach Chris Michael acknowledged. “We were making bad decisions and we didn’t play really well at the quarterback spot. We didn’t run the ball very well. In spirts we ran the ball well. We just didn’t play well offensively.
“We needed special teams and defense to make the plays,” he continued. “I challenged them defensively earlier in the week when opportunity have presented themselves, we hadn’t made any on special teams, any on the defensive side of the ball. We’ve played some good defensive games, but we hadn’t scored points. And we have to have that going forward.”
Kingsburg had one big play that came when Jordan Brown took a fake punt from midfield to the 8-yard line. A few plays later the Falcons scored on a touchdown pass and two-point conversion to make the halftime score 20-8.
After Reyes and her court left the field, King reigned again picking off a Falcon pass for a 46-yard return for a touchdown. King’s pick-six made the score 27-8 early in the third quarter.
Still reeling from giving up that late score, the Millington defense led by players like Patrick Macon, Paul Robinson, Quentin Harrison and linebacker CJ Harris came out the locker room with a redefined purpose.
“We came hard and we played hard,” Harris said. “We didn’t give up. But it was kind of sloppy. I can’t even lie. We talked with our coaches and our coaches got us straight at halftime.”
Harris had one of the Trojans’ sacks during the night. And pressure force the Kingsbury quarterbacks into bad throws throughout the night.
After Trojan placekicker Luke Bell made the score 30-8 with a 30-yard field goal, the Millington defense was ready to put the game away. King tipped a Kingsbury pass. His fellow defensive back Chris Sanders snatched the ball out of the air for an interception.
That turnover set up an Eldon Tyms touchdown run. The sophomore quarterback faked a handoff and found a whole created by the offensive line for a 20-yard run to make the score 36-8.
In the fourth quarter, King concluded his royal performance with his punt return to the house. Some Millington faithful question if King is the first Trojan to score three touchdowns in the same game courtesy of a kickoff, interception and punt return.
“It feels great,” he said. “But it’s not the last game. I have to come out even harder next week against Liberty Tech and show them what I’m about too. We went out the previous week and lost. We need to come out and do our thing to take a win home.”
Now the Trojans prepare to head on the road for the final time in 2013 traveling to Jackson to take on Liberty next Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
“We’re trying to make a statement,” Harris said. “This whole week we’re going to work hard as a team to get our little kinks straight so we won’t mess up against Liberty Tech.”
The Trojans (5-2, 3-0 in District 14-3A) improved on some areas of the game after suffering a 38-0 defeat to MBA in Nashville on Sept. 27. Now another long bus ride is in Millington’s future.
Michael said a good performance in Jackson could be the spark needed down the stretch for the Trojans when they step back into District 14-3A play to conclude the season against Arlington and Bolton.
“We except them to be a high level team and high level opponent,” he said of Liberty. “I saw them play last year and they present a lot of challenges with a lot of athletes. They have a lot of speed and good size. That’s what we need to see. You get into the playoffs, first or second round where you go, you’re going to see those kind of opponents.
“It’s a good non-conference challenge for us leading into the last two that we need to have with Arlington and Bolton on the district side,” Michael concluded. “Our non-conference has been tough all season. And our kids have played well on the road.”

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