By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MEMPHIS — Behind a powerful performance from their offensive line, the Millington Trojans dominated the field of Melrose Stadium against the Kingsbury Falcons.
Millington prevailed 38-27 to improve to 1-1 in league play. Trojans center and linebacker Chance Taylor said getting a district victory was a big sigh of relief.
“The monkey if finally off our back getting another win,” he said. “We work hard and now we’re finally cashing in. It feels great.
“We’ve been working on Zone,” Taylor added. “That’s our strength. In the Zone we’ve been talking more. Things are clicking and we’re building our confidence. Communication has been the key. It’s been getting it done.”
The Trojans jumped out 3-0 courtesy of a Stephen Carter 25-yard field at the 7:30 mark of the first quarter.
Carter’s field goal was the only score until Trojan running back Justin Coleman broke loose through the Falcon defense for a 23-yard scoring run to make the tally 10-0.
“I just saw the receivers pick up blocks,” Coleman said. “So I took advantage of it. I planted my foot in the ground and just got up field.”
The Trojans’ celebration was short lived when Kingsbury’s Ndayambaje John returned a kickoff 68 yards for a touchdown. Millington was ahead by only 3 points again.
Millington answered the Falcon score with a drive capping off in a Robert Head 4-yard touchdown run to make the score 17-7.
John was the solution for Kingsbury once again blasting through the Millington defense after taking a short pass 55 yards to the house to make the tally 17-14.
With less than 3 minutes left in the first half, Gabe Christopher was the third Millington running back to reach the promise land when he scored on a 7-yard run. The halftime score was 24-24 in favor of Millington.
The Trojans (2-5, 1-1) came out of the locker room with the same focus of running the ball. But it was a short shovel pass from quarterback Tommy Clifton to senior speedster D’Monte Kemp that resulted in Millington first score of the third quarter.
Kemp exploded from behind the line of scrimmage toward the sideline to reach the end zone from 28 yard out. Millington was ahead 31-14.
“It feels when you can run it down somebody’s throat,” Taylor said. “It feels amazing and I love it. And I know they love it too.”
Later in the third quarter, Trojan linebacker Matthew Thomas picked off a Kingsbury pass. It was the Millington defense’s second INT of the game. Chance Taylor made a diving pick earlier.
While Millington kept Kingsbury quiet in the third quarter, Coleman made some noise again with another outstanding run resulting in a touchdown. The junior’s second TD was a 38-yard run to make the score 38-14.
“We had to get back to what we know how to do which is run the ball,” Millington Head Coach Chris Michael said. “The line has been coming off the ball well. Not like we’re doing anything complex. We’re just trying to be real simple and let them come off the ball to allow them to run down hill as much as possible. They’ve done a good job these past couple of weeks.
“It’s getting better,” he added. “We’ve got a couple of guys back and a few guys added to the rotation that we were missing in those first few weeks. We haven’t had to play Chance and Danny as much on the defensive side. So it’s kept them fresher on the offense side allowing them to be more productive in the run game.”
Michael said the Ridgeway defeat that dropped his team to 0-5 was a turning point for his team.
“With Ridgeway being at he middle part of the season, everything you have to play for is right there in the second half of the season,” he said. “Although you took plenty of lumps on our heads those first five weeks, we still had a lot of opportunities in that second half. We just had to survive and not get too many people hurt. We had to keep the guys focused and motivated that the second half was coming. We had to just keep getting better and working.”
The Falcons (2-6, 0-3) had the final score of the night with Floyd Thomas reaching the end zone on a run and Kevonta McCain scoring on a pick-six.
But the stars of the night were the players of the Millington Trojan offense.
“Finally we’ve got confidence,” Coleman said. “Our line was struggling those first few games. Now they are finally clicking. Like Chance said communication and the brotherhood is finally there.”
Michael said things are clicking in time for his team to make a postseason run.
“This win tonight should get us in the playoffs,” he said. “Now we might have to travel if we can’t win some more games down the stretch. But have to get try to get one or maybe two of these few to try to keep some positive momentum because it’s a good positive feeling for the team right now.”
Taylor said the mindset of the Trojans is simple for the month of October.
“Keep going is the plan,” he concluded. “’One goal,’ is what we say after every Thursday. Everyday it’s one goal and that’s to win.”