Categorized | Sports

Lackluster: Trojans’ finale leaves them as four-seed in playoffs

By Thomas Sellers Jr.
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Millington Trojans Chance Taylor and Leander Cooper wrap up a Craigmont ball carrier Friday night during the Chiefs' victory.

Millington Trojans Chance Taylor and Leander Cooper wrap up a Craigmont ball carrier Friday night during the Chiefs’ victory.

The battle for third came down to desire.
And it appeared the Craigmont Chiefs simply wanted it more outlasting the Millington Trojans 34-21 Friday night on Mooney Boswell Field.
Both teams advanced to this Friday’s Class 4A State Football First Round with the Trojans taking on the No. 1 seeded Haywood County Tomcats.
“Scratching our heads trying to figure why we got the effort and performance that we did,” Millington Head Coach Chris Michael said. “We had a couple of good days of live work. It was just tons and tons of missed blocks play after play. When they made their blocks, we had one play drives. Then we would have six or seven plays in a row where they would just run right pass us. It’s like we didn’t even see them. They were invisible when we tried to block them.”
The Chiefs (2-8) winning earned them a trip to No. 2 seeded Lexington. Craigmont’s path toward victory over Millington began with Chief quarterback Deiundre Carter hitting Jordon Lake on a hitch route for a 59-yard TD in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead.
Millington (2-8) took the lead a few minutes later with a long drive ending in a D’Monte Kemp 7-yard score. The Trojans were ahead 7-6.
In the second quarter Craigmont took the lead again when Lake scored on a 19-yard touchdown reception.
The Chiefs’ 12-7 lead disappeared late in the second quarter when Trojan Gabe Christopher scored on a 4-yard run. Millington was ahead 14-12 at the 2:52 mark.
Craigmont had the final score of the first half taking advantage of a roughing the passer penalty. Carter made Millington pay when he score on a QB keeper from 2 yards out. The Chiefs were ahead 20-14 at the break.
In the second half Craigmont’s advantage grew to 28-14 when Lake caught his third touchdown of the night from 11 yards out. The Chiefs took the first half kickoff down the field eating up 7 minutes and 46 seconds of the clock.
Millington’s first possession of the second half produced a touchdown but took less time. At the 3:51 mark of the third quarter Christopher was in the end zone from 56 yards out to make the tally 28-21.
That was the score heading into the fourth quarter. Then the Chiefs iced the game when running back Eric Niles ran through the Millington defense for a 23-yard TD run.
“From the defensive side, we didn’t tackle anybody all night long,” Michael noted. “Probably had 50 or 75 missed tackles. That’s unheard of, I’ve never seen a group of people on my team or anybody else’s team just miss tackles the way we did tonight.”
The poor tackling on Niles’ run to the end zone summarized the night for Millington’s defense.
The Chiefs’ 34-21 victory entered them a playoff match at Lexington. Meanwhile Millington will play at Haywood this Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
“Craigmont just whipped us tonight,” Michael acknowledged. “They wanted it more than us and physically beat us. So we have many banged up because we had tons of kids that got hurt. When you don’t play at maximum effort and they do, you’re going to get hurt. When you get that many injuries as we did tonight, you get a full picture of the kids not putting out the full effort play after play.”
The Craigmont game left the Trojans with several injuries including the shoulder of Dajan Miller and knee of James Cox. Definitely missing postseason action will be running backs Justin Coleman and Robert Head.
“It will be a challenge going an hour and half away on the road to play a No. 1 seed,” Michael said. “We’ve played good teams all year so that part doesn’t bother me. We’ll see how they’ll respond. We’ve yet to put together four quarter even in the games we’ve played well against good teams.
We’d get two in the first or either two in the second,” he concluded. “We couldn’t put four together. So we’ll see. We’ll load the bus and go. We have to get ready.”

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