HOSCHTON - Mill Creek found just the right host for Homecoming 2006 in North Forsyth as the Hawks routed the Raiders 44-0 Friday night at Mill Creek Community Stadium. But, more importantly, Mill Creek found some offense in capturing its first-ever Region 7-AAAAA victory.
Paced by sophomore Lenny Brooks' 208 rushing yards and two touchdown runs of 5 and 45 yards, Mill Creek captured its first win of the season and erased the memories of three shutouts in its first five games.
"Our players and our coaches show up to work hard every Monday and we set out to win football games each week," Mill Creek head coach Shannon Jarvis said. "We take the positive from each game we play, win or lose, and go with it. Tonight, we had a lot of positives to take into next week."
Normally a team that wants to mix the rushing attack and passing game, Mill Creek (1-5, 1-3) turned to the running game against North Forsyth (0-5, 0-3) with Brooks doing most of the work. As a team, Mill Creek piled up 380 rushing yards on 51 attempts while attempting just eight passes, completing four of those for 79 yards and a TD.
"Our front (offensive line) has blocked well all season," said Jarvis. "We like to throw the ball and have a good run-pass ratio, but tonight we were able to establish the run and dictate the play."
Mill Creek got a 5-yard TD run from Brooks midway through the first quarter and senior John Certusi added a 1-yard plunge less than four minutes later to build a 14-0 lead for the home-standing Hawks. Junior Chase Rawlins later knocked home a 37-yard field goal at the end of the first half to stake Mill Creek to a 17-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, Mill Creek continued to pound the ball on the ground. After Brooks sprinted in from 45 yards out a minute into the third quarter for a 23-0 lead, Mill Creek put together its best drive of the night - stringing together 16 plays over 93 yards while taking over eight minutes off the clock. Senior Dylan Burke hauled in an 18-yard pass from sophomore Zach Landis and the Hawks extended their lead to 30-0.
Two more fourth-quarter scores - an Eric Hicks' 1-yard run and junior Rashad Carroll's 32-yard scamper - sealed the deal for Mill Creek's 44-point win. And while the offense got well with the scoring, the Mill Creek defense also mended some wounds from a season that had seen opponents score a total of 167 points.
North Forsyth managed only 76 yards of offense, including 57 rushing and 19 passing, and just six first downs. In fact, the Raiders never got inside the Hawks' 20.
Mill Creek travels to Forsyth Central next Friday for another 7-AAAAA matchup.