By Thomas Sellers Jr.
SOMERVILLE — Losing a game because of a COVID-19 cancellation was just the beginning.
After forfeiting the Sept. 3 Covington game, the Millington Trojans embarked on a 10-day roller coaster with players nursing injures and enduring quarantine.
Even some of the coaches were forced away from the team because of COVID-19 including Head Coach Chris Michael. With those clouds hanging over the program, the Trojans packed up a couple of buses and headed to Fayette Academy to take on the Vikings.
The coaches led by Dodd Gengenbach and Chester Ford gathered the eligible Trojans and executed the game plan to prevail 48-29 over the Vikings.
“Proud of the guys they kept fighting throughout the whole game,” Ford said. “Played a lot of guys tonight to get this first win. Without the head coach being here, Coach Michael, I was glad we were able to keep our composure, keeping fighting to get our first win for 2021.”
The Trojans (1-3) jumped out 17-0 after one quarter of action. Millington’s first drive started at the 17-yard line. Quarterback McCoy Pugh fed running back Kalik Green a steady diet of hand offs. His fourth feed to Green resulted in a 1-yard touchdown to make the score 7-0.
Fayette Academy’s first drive resulted in a turnover because of downs. Millington’s offense captailized with a 40-yard TD run from Cortlynn Barnes to make the tally 14-0 with 6 minutes and 58 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The Trojan defense forced another turnover when Jaydon Williams snatched a Viking pass out of the air for an interception. Millington drove the ball from the 1-yard line deep into Fayette Academy territory.
Already placing two points on the scoreboard, sophomore kicker Chase Michael drilled a 29-yard field goal to make the score 17-0 heading into the second quarter.
Millington kept up the scoring in the next period with 21 points. The first touchdown of the second quarter came a minute and 17 seconds with Barnes catching a 11-yard pass from Pugh for the score. The touchdown was set up by a Brandon Warner interception.
Millington would add to its 24-0 lead when Pugh took care of business with a 14-yard TD run. The sophomore signal caller weaved through the Vikings to reach paydirt.
Trailing 31-0, the Vikings (2-3) used a Eason Wells to Conner Fleming connection from 22 yards out to make the tally 31-6. After a Trojan error on a punt led to a safety, the score was 31-8.
With the momentum, Fayette Academy added a Caleb Adams 31-yard touchdown reception making the score 31-15.
Barnes responded to the Viking score with his third touchdown of the half. The senior athlete caught a 31-yard touchdown pass of his own making the halftime score 38-15.
Barnes wasn’t done scoring his fourth touchdown of the night in the third quarter with a 22-yard TD catch from Pugh.
Millington second leading scorer on the night was Michael. The placekicker nailed a 37-yard field goal with ease to make the score 48-15.
The scoring concluded with a Fleming 92-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“During our offseason this is how we practiced and prepared,” Ford said. “We told our guys to train to overcome adversity. You have to play every play in front of you and don’t look back. There has been a lot of adversity. We’re proud of how the guys came together and fought because we had some guys out along with our head coach.”
Ford noted the performance of Williams at running back and defensive back with big runs and the interception. The defensive coordinator said players stepping up must continued when Millington steps back into league play taking on the Bolton Wildcats in Arlington.
“I used to be at Bolton myself,” Ford concluded. “Coach Marshall, their head coach out there played for me and was a hack of a player. He understand that it takes to get the job done. He’s watching film over there and getting those guys prepared. It should be a tough task ahead of us and we’re looking forward to it because it is a big rivalry for us.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.