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Win over Wildcats helps secure Trojans a home playoff game Friday

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Trojan Williamson tackle

Trojan senior wide receiver Myron Threldkeld is finally brought down by several Bolton defenders after a big gain Friday night during Millington's 37-14 victory.

Trojan senior wide receiver Myron Threldkeld is finally brought down by several Bolton defenders after a big gain Friday night during Millington’s 37-14 victory.

The mission was simple Friday night for the Millington Trojans entering the stadium named after Millington Central High School Hall of Famer Mooney Boswell.
Head Coach Chris Michael and his crew knew a victory over rival Bolton would give them a chance to finish in the top two of District 14-3A. And a Trojan win with an Arlington victory at Cordova meant Millington would host a first round playoff game when the 5A playoffs kickoff this Friday.
The Trojans wrapped up the 2013 regular season with a 37-14 triumph over the Bolton Wildcats. Arlington pulled out a one-point triple overtime win over the Wolves allowing Millington to finish second in league.
“We’re a 6-4 team because we lost four games,” Michael noted. “We got what we deserve. Do I think we should have won some of those games? Of course. I think every coach thinks they should have won some of the ones they lost.
“We had a good close to the season finishing with some momentum,” the MCHS Hall of Famer continued. “We’re executing well on offense, playing some solid defense and fundamentally sounded. The kicking game was good tonight. I’m comfortable where we’re at. But we have some cleaning up to do. We can get better.”
Getting better started against Bolton with the Trojans jumping out to a 24-0 early in the second quarter. Millington (6-4, 4-1 in District 14-3A) was ahead 17-0 after the first 12 minutes.
Trojan place kicker Luke Bell got the scoring started with a 25-yard field goal. Then Millington reached the end zone for the first time on the night when Eldon Tyms dropped back hitting Chris Sanders on a slant pass. Sanders broke a couple of tackles and raced for the 56-yard touchdown.
With two big catches, Sanders had 99 yards in receiving as fans were still filing into the stadium. Ahead 10-0, the Trojans added seven more when Tyms found Demarius Curry for a 15-yard TD.
Early in the second quarter the Trojans went ahead 24-0 when Tyms fired a pass into the back of the end zone. Curry leaped into the air with two Bolton defenders covering him to make the 7-yard coach.
Then the Millington defense kept the Wildcats (1-9, 1-4) in neutral. Jonathan Clements made an interception. His teammate Quinton Harrison almost had a pick knocking down a screen pass.
“One thing coach always tells us to do,” Harrison said, “instead of chasing down the quarterback, to stop and back up and watch his eyes. When you see him cock back his arm, throw your arms in the air and hope they get in the way. I was so sad. I was about to live out the defensive lineman dream. I felt the tears coming.”
Harrison batted down another Austin Clark attempt later in the game. Harrison’s fellow lineman Delvin Williamson contributed on defense with another method, three sacks.
“We were just executing and hitting the gaps like the coaches told us to,” Williamson said. “We played like we always play. A sack makes me feel real good and play even better. It helps me get boosted up and it helps the team get pumped up so we all play better.”
Millington was ahead 24-0 at the break. The score became 30-0 early in the third quarter when Trojan LaKeron Garcia scored on a run.
Then the Bolton offense used creativity to end their scoring drought. Clark and the offensive unit marched the ball down the field setting up a 3-yard run from Darian Nave.
Going for two points, Clark tossed the ball to Antwan Hill. Clark broke down field as a receiver and caught the two-point conversion pass from Hill to make the score 30-8.
The Wildcats cut into the deficit early in the fourth quarter after defensive lineman Assante Bowers intercepted a screen pass from Tyms. Bowers took the ball to the 15-yard line.
Moments later Marcus Banks reached paydirt with an 8-yard run making the tally 30-14 with 10 minutes and 20 seconds remaining.
Millington’s new mission was to eat clock and score. Tyms managed his team down the field with short passes and the running of Keno Taylor. And Taylor capped off the drive with his first varsity touchdown on a 4-yard run.
“We’ve had some highs and some lows this season,” Michael said. “We were a lot more consistent tonight. The defense was getting stops. We were playing responsibility well. Bolton is a big team and they run the ball well. We knew we had to take the run away. I thought our kids did a good job and sold out for what we were trying to do to stop their run. We forced them to throw the ball. They struggled throwing the ball. That gave us advantage.”
The Trojans were ahead 37-14. That final score set up the Trojans for a waiting game. The TSSAA announced the playoff brackets the following Saturday morning with a Bracket Show.
With Arlington beating Cordova in a triple overtime thriller 49-48, the Trojans finished second in district setting Millington up as a top four seed in the playoffs.
The Trojans are the No. 4 seed in their Class 5A playoff quadrat. Millington will host the East Mustangs (8-2) this Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
“Going into this year’s playoff bracket, it’s going to be a mystery to us,” Michael said after the game. “We knew all the 6A teams because we’ve been playing them forever. We knew what to expect game after game last year. This year is going to be a whole new adventure. So the coaching staff, we’re going to have to work hard over the weekend and do a lot of work in film study to put down what we want to do.”
Harrison said the players know one thing they have to do before making a November playoff run.
“Like Coach said after the game, the playing has to stop,” he acknowledged. “We’re a good team. But one thing that separates us from being a great team is focus.
“That’s what we really admire about last year’s team,” Harrison concluded. “They had family and they had teamwork. They knew when it was time to play and when it was time to buckle down to a man.”

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