By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The primary goal coming into Friday night’s home finale against the McNairy Central Bobcats was to get a victory.
The additional motivation for the Millington Trojans was sending seniors DeAnton Yarbrough, Cortlynn Barnes, Contre Macklin, Brandon Warner, Cody Jenkins-Smith, Garrett Haley, Jason Hungerford, JayQwan Walker, Levy Smith, Dontre Macklin, Travis Clark, TJ Graves, RJ Allen and Logan Smith off Mooney Boswell Field as victors.
Plus Head Coach Chris Michael and staff wanted a bounce back win after taking a 51-0 thumping courtesy of the Dyersburg Trojans on Oct. 15.
“We’ve kind of been up and down, get a couple of wins and then lose a game,” Michael acknowledged. “We’re just trying to build some momentum, have some success. I think everything from the word “Go” went wrong last week. From the travel plans, to the storms, to the weather during the game to our performance, it was bad. We put that bad taste out of our mouths and just tried to build some momentum these last couple of weeks going into the playoffs. That was the goal.”
Millington took care of business on Senior Night to prevail 47-6 over the Bobcats. The Trojans will conclude the 2021 regular season traveling to Region foe Bolivar Central.
Before heading on the road to take on the Tigers, the Trojans had to take care of business against the Bobcats. Millington got started quickly when Barnes caught a 68-yard touchdown pass from quarterback McCoy Pugh 56 seconds into the game.
The Trojans’ 7-0 advantage increased a couple of minutes later after forcing a McNairy fumble. Millington called Haley’s number and the senior speedster took a Jet Sweep 74 yards to the house to make the tally 13-0 at the 8:18 mark of the first quarter.
The Trojans were ahead 20-0 by the end of the opening period when another fumble was translated into points. J’vion Todd did the honors scoring on a 13-yard touchdown run at the horn.
The score was 27-0 at the break when Haley was on the receiving end of a Pugh 11-yard TD pass with 2 minutes and 56 seconds remaining in the first half.
In the third quarter Millington’s defense kept up the intensity. Players like Graves and Contre Macklin were causing havoc in the McNairy backfield with pressure and sacks. From the linebacker spot Jonathan Temple-Dowdy made a few big tackles.
Early in the third quarter Barnes scooped up a fumble from his safety position caused by the front seven. Barnes raced the ball to the 2-yard-line. Seconds later Todd finished the deal crossing the goal line to make the score 34-0.
The tally was 40-0 by the end of the third quarter when Jaydon Williams scored on a 3-yard run. The Trojans’ lead grew to 47-0 late in the game when Walker scored on a 6-yard touchdown scamper.
The final scoring play of the night came when McNairy’s Kase Wiggins eluded the Trojans for an 80-yard touchdown run.
Now the Trojans try to build off the McNairy victory heading to Bolivar Central. Millington wants to have a winning streak and take the No. 3 in Region from the Tigers.
“The biggest thing is going to be what we work on during the week of practice, we execute it on Friday night,” Michael acknowledged. “We struggle so much trying to figure out why we have such a hard time translating our Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday work into Friday night. Some of that we attribute to us being so immature.
“We get lost in all the hype and lights of Friday night,” he continued. “The smallest details we don’t have problems with during the week. Then the lights come on and we get on the field, the game starts and we start lining up wrong. We make the wrong calls. It’s just frustrating. But those are the things we have to work on, those small details. It’s such a big impact on the results — every individual play.”
On the other side of the potential playoff brackets will be teams like the East Mustangs and Trezevant Bears.
“I don’t know a whole lot about the other teams in Region 8,” Michael admitted. “It’s going to come down to next Thursday night. We’ll probably be watching that game between Trezevant and East. Whether we win or lose, we’ll know who we’ll be playing. It will be either one of those two. The No. 1 or No. 2 seeds.
“We don’t know exactly who we’ll be playing but it will be one of those two,” he concluded. “We want to build momentum and build some confidence in these kids. We got to get our line back to full strength. We want to build some confidence in our skill guys. Then where the chips fall that’s what will happen. We know we’ll have to travel and we’ll take one week at a time. We know it’s win or go home at that time.”