By Thomas Sellers Jr.
So many things were going on last Friday night on the turf of Mooney Bosewell Field, some of the spectators might have been doing double takes.
The final regular season home game of 2015 featured Senior Night, Homecoming and even a Chick-Fil-A contest at halftime.
There was a game and even some of the sights between the Millington Trojans vs. Kingsbury Falcons were abnormal. Head Coach Chris Michaels employed starters into different positions all over the field.
The changes worked with Millington scoring touchdowns via special teams, offense and defense beating Kingsbury 55-13.
“Just trying to continue to move players around and put them in positions that will help the defensive or offensive units be successful,” the leader of the Trojans noted. “Moved some offensive linemen around and played some more young kids in the offensive line tonight. Moved some defensive personnel around trying to help the defense sure up.
“I basically preached to them it’s the second half of the season but it’s basically a new season for us,” Michaels continued. “We’ve got four left and three of them are league — we can still make a mark and get us some postseason football. We can try to live to play Week 11. It’s about getting momentum. We needed some success. We needed some confidence. We were able to get those tonight.”
Millington (2-5, 1-1) scored less than 3 minutes into the game when quarterback Eldon Tyms located Greg Smith for a 13-yard touchdown.
Tyms joined the secondary of the Trojans to help shutdown the Falcons. Trojans like Leander Cooper, Marcus Winston, Jonathan Clements, Paul Robinson, James Cox, Kyle Lindley, Prenston Macon and Trevor Lamar were just some of the Millington defenders neutralizing Kingsbury.
Tyms participated on a couple of tackles during the night. Winston said he was not surprised at the defensive success of the record-breaking quarterback.
“I had high expectations,” the senior defensive back said. “I felt like they would overcome, do their jobs and work hard in the end.”
After a Falcon punt in the first quarter, Tyms went back to his quarterback duties hitting well-known linebacker Sam Stanifer for a 32-yard touchdown pass. Stanifer displayed his wide receiver skills by getting behind the Kingsbury secondary for a wide open reception to make the score 14-0.
Another Trojans to move from defense to offense was Clements. Against Kingsbury Clement had a sack and multiple tackles for a loss.
The standout defensive end split time at wide receiver Friday night catching a 53-yard pass from Tyms in the first quarter.
“It was my first time playing the receiver position since ninth grade,” Clement recalled. “I came out and made a couple of big plays with big runs and big blocks. Overall I think we all did good.”
But it was defense where Clements would make the score 21-0 in the second quarter. With help from Cox holding up the Kingsbury receiver as he tried to make a reception, Clements made his way over to retrieve the ball for a 35-yard INT return to the end zone.
“First of all I want to give thanks to Cox,” Clements said. “He cut across and I ran my own play really. I called for myself to drop. The ball hit him and came back into my hands. I really didn’t even know I had the ball. I heard them say, ‘Go.’ I just took off. I said I was not going to get stopped on this play. I got stopped on that big play on offense.”
Kingsbury (0-6, 0-3) fumbled the ball seconds later. Millington once again took advantage of the situation with Tyms running the ball over the goal line from 10 yards out. Birthday boy Ethan Dupree made his fourth straight extra point on the night to make the score 28-0.
That set the table for the Millington special teams to visit the end zone. Winston did the honors fielding a punt at the 35-yard line. After a couple of moves up the field, Winston was off to the races for a 65-yard TD to make the score 35-0.
“I was tired first of all,” Winston acknowledged. “I was exhausted but every play we had to go harder. I wanted to win very play. When I saw the ball I just went after it.”
Jermaine Robinson go the Falcons on the scoreboard with a 53-yard touchdown reception. But the Trojans would have the final two touchdowns of the first half.
Tyms rushed for his second score of the night faking a handoff to Justin Coleman. Once the Falcon defense took the bait, Tyms navigated the 45-yards to the make the tally 42-6.
Seconds later, Trojan Avyon Bess recovered a fumble kickoff. A couple of plays later Tyms connected with wideout/defense end Kameron Middleton for a 36-yard touchdown to make the halftime score 48-6.
The move to safety for Tyms appeared to help his offensive performance against Kingsbury.
“People like Eldon and Jon can help us on either side of the ball,” Michaels said. “They have been valuable and important parts of their defensive and offensive units. Both were lacking in confidence a lot. They were kind of down in the dumps. We hadn’t got the kind of leadership we wanted out of them.
“So we just said, ‘Let’s kind of mix it up,’” he continued. “’Get them out on both sides of the ball giving them a chance to play as many minutes as they can.’ We wanted to give Eldon a chance to stroke some folks on defense when he had a chance. Give Jon a chance to make some blocks and get out there and catch a few balls. Maybe if they had success on the other side of the ball, it would trickle into some success on their normal side of the ball.”
In the second half both teams scored a touchdown. Millington’s six-points came courtesy of a D’Monte Kemp 20-yard TD run. Dupree added the extra point. The Falcons scored in the fourth quarter to make the final 55-13.
Now the Trojans will enjoy an off week. Michael said he will continue to preach to his players they are in the second half of a new season and they must learn to execute, build confidence and keep things simple.
“We started off bad in the beginning of the season,” Winston concluded. “We knew we needed this one to have a second season and proceed. We knew we had to work hard.”
Millington will be off next Friday and return to action Oct. 16 visiting the East Mustangs in Memphis for a 7 p.m. kickoff.