Every Friday night, three teams take to a high school football field.
Usually the crew in black and white goes unnoticed. But in tonight’s game in Millington, the officials were the talk in the stands of the Millington Trojan faithful and Bartlett Panther fans.
With a minute and 21 seconds remaining, Bartlett Head Coach Jeff McFerran called his team off the Mooney Boswell Field after another personal foul call on the opposition Trojans. Millington had 225 yards of penalties and one of the hits the Trojan coaches questioned resulted in an MCL injury for running back Keno Taylor.
The Panthers endured their share of penalties and personal fouls in the 30-7 victory for the Trojans. Despite Millington being ahead the entire game, the Trojans (5-0) suffered flags on a variety of calls ranging from holding to uniforms.
Millington Head Coach Chris Michael was called for two penalties, both times checking on players who were injured on the field. The second Michael infraction came when backup quarterback Sam Stanifer appeared to take a head to head hit from a Bartlett defender on a pass attempt in the fourth quarter.
With Stanifer’s helmet disengaged and the sophomore on the turf collecting his thoughts, Michael rushed to his side inquiring about a flag. A flag came seconds later on Michael ejecting him from the game.
Michael left the game with his team ahead 30-0. Millington build that lead in the first quarter with Taylor breaking loose for a 47-yard run to the 19-yard line. But penalties pushed the Trojans back into a fourth down and 26 situation.
Trojan quarterback Eldon Tyms overcame that deficit hitting receiver Demarius Curry in stride for a 35-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 6 minutes and 9 seconds left in the first quarter.
Millington went ahead 14-0 when senior linebacker Patrick Macon snatched his second interception of the night. Macon raced the ball into the end zone from 20 yards out and received a celebration penalty when he dropped the ball to the turf.
In the second quarter the Millington defense continued to make big plays. Trojan cornerback Jacory Hart broke up a Bartlett pass on fourth down near the goal line to keep the Panthers scoreless.
The Trojans went ahead 21-0 before the break when Taylor capped off a long Millington drive with a 1-yard run into the end zone.
Millington went ahead 27-0 early in the third quarter when Tyms ran a keeper for a touchdown from 15-yards out.
The Trojans final score came courtesy of senior place kicker Luke Bell on a 34-yard field goal with 11 minutes and 49 seconds remaining in the game.
Then Michael was ejected with 6 minutes and 43 seconds remaining. He wasn’t on the field to see the Panthers’ touchdown with a minute and 41 seconds left.
With more flags hitting the turf for a variety of reasons, the Panthers started for the locker room with a minute and 21 seconds still on the clock.