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Trojans run out of gas against Montgomery Bell Academy

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Artavious Thomas

Artavious Thomas

Trojan linebacker Patrick Macon makes one of his many tackles Friday night against a MBA ball carrier.

Trojan linebacker Patrick Macon makes one of his many tackles Friday night against a MBA ball carrier.

Eldon Tyms

Eldon Tyms

Most attending the Montgomery Bell Academy Big Red vs. Millington Trojan Football game Friday night were expecting to see a Millington Homecoming queen crowned.
And that would be just about all the good news as for the Trojans. Most were fearful of the Big Red’s arrival to Flag City because of its solid record in 2014, history of dominance and last year’s 38-0 win over Millington.
“We had a good week of preparation,” Trojans Head Coach Chris Michael noted. “Those guys were hungry after last year’s game. They were embarrassed by the performance they had last year. And rightfully so, we did not show up last year when we went to Nashville.
“We were overwhelmed by the atmosphere and everything,” he added. “The road trip kind of took them back a little bit. But they prepared well this week.”
But the 2014 Trojans quickly showed their fans and the Big Red they came to play tying the game at 7-7 and 14-14 in the first half. The score was 21-20 in the third quarter in favor of MBA.
Then the Big Red used their endurance to pull away late to prevail 42-20 over the Trojans. The outcome was the first defeat for Millington in 2014.
“There were probably some things on the coaching side we could have done better to put them in better situations,” Michael acknowledged. “But that’s a good football team. I give them a lot of credit. We hung in there as long as we could. They eventually wore us down. They kept the ball pretty much most of the second half. They had control with their run game.
“We pretty much couldn’t get off the field,” he continued. “We had a couple of injuries that put us in a tough situation. I give them all the credit. My kids played great. I’m proud of their effort and I’m proud of them fighting all the way to the end. We just ran out of gas.”
MBA (5-1) jumped on the gas early taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when quarterback Cole Euverard ran into the end zone from 2 yards out. The Big Red used its running game to set up the QB sneak at the 9-minute, 46-second mark.
The Trojans (5-1) had a quick answer using the pass to drive the ball down the field. With 7 minutes and 31 second left in the opening quarter, Trojan quarterback Eldon Tyms hit receiver Artavious Thomas for a 35-yard touchdown pass to make the score 7-7.
The Big Red regained the advantage before the first quarter concluded when Euverard located running back Michael Lacey with a short pass for the 15-yard TD.
But the scoring wasn’t done yet in the first quarter. Trojan running back D’Monte Kemp exploded for a big gain on fourth down and 2  yards to go to the 20 yard line. A few plays later Tyms ran the ball into the end zone from 14-yard out as the horned sounded to tie the game at 14-14.
The only score of the second quarter was a Euverard to Jordan Wilson TD pass to make the tally 21-14 at the break.
With good feelings in the air, the Millington sideline cheered for senior Ashlee Bone as she was crowned queen.
The excitement picked up even more when the Trojans scored in the third quarter with 7 minutes and 47 second left. Tyms hit senior wide out Demarius Curry on a slant route. Curry used his speed to get to the goal line. But Millington missed the extra point and the score was 21-20.
“Their maturity level and fighting through adversity, they find out ways to scratch out a win,” Michael said. “Tonight we didn’t scratch out that win. But I really saw a lot of heart from my guys, just fighting and fighting. The odds were against them. They had big guys twice there size pushing them around. They were just scratching and clawing to make plays.”
Despite solid defensive effort from Trojans like Jonathan Clements, Patrick Macon, Claude Johnson, Paul Robinson, Dante Pitts, William Woodard, Thomas Daniels and Deadrick Payne in the box, MBA used its running game to wear down the Trojans.
The Big Red got score from Ty Chandler late in the third quarter to make the score 28-20. MBA added two more scores late to make the score 42-20.
Several Trojans left the field with bangs and bruises including Kemp. The underclassman was the replacement for starting running back Keno Taylor who suffered an ACL tear against Bartlett on Sept. 19.
“We’re down another running back it looks like,” Michael said. “So we have to have some guys step up with the injuries we’ve got. We’ve got to try to get some of those guys healthy. Kingsbury, I don’t much about them. We’ll watch film over the this weekend. But I’m sure they’ll be big and athletic. They’ll post a challenge no matter what their record is.”
Millington will try to bounce back Friday against the Kingsbury Falcons traveling to Melrose Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
After a solid showing against Division II powerhouse MBA, Michael said his Trojan confirmed what he has believed since Week 1.
“I think my guys fought and showed me a lot of heart tonight,” he concluded. “If we continue to get that effort the rest of our season, I think we’ll be in good shape. As long as we can stay healthy.”

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