HOSCHTON - Mill Creek scored 35 unanswered points in the second half to break open a close game and defeat Northview 56-14 Friday night.
"We responded from last week with passion and intensity, " said Mill Creek coach, Shannon Jarvis. "It's been a tough couple of weeks (with losses in three of the last four region contests), but the kids were flying around and were excited."
The Hawks (5-4, 3-4 in region) took advantage of a Northview (0-9, 0-7) mistake to put the first points on the board. With play starting on the Northview 22, Titan quarterback Sid Harrelson was errant on an option pitch that was eventually recovered by the Hawks' A.J. Reuchel on the 3. On the next play, Ramael Wilson scored the touchdown over right tackle, and Brian Heinze added the PAT giving Mill Creek at 7-0 lead with 5:15 left in the first quarter.
After forcing the Titans to a three-and-out on offense, Mill Creek started its next possession on the Northview 32 thanks to a 23-yard punt return by Casey Windom. Eight plays later, Wilson capped the drive in similar fashion, again over the right side from the 2 for the TD.
After another Northview punt, Jarvis went into his bag of Halloween tricks on first-and-10 from the Titan's 47. Quarterback Ed Russ handed to Wilson, who flipped the ball to wide receiver Zach Landis on the reverse, who pitched the ball back to Russ, who completed a 47-yard TD pass to Brandon Hayman.
Northview answered just before halftime as the Titans drove 70 yards in 10 plays, as Rashad Conner scored from the 2 with under a minute left in the half. Jarrod Nesser's PAT put the score at 21-7 at halftime.
Fourteen seconds into the second half, Conner raced 94 yards for a TD. Nesser's PAT was good and the Titans were behind 21-14.
In what Jarvis called, "the turning point of the game", Hayman answered for the Hawks as he took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 62 yards to the Northview 25 before stumbling in the open field. Three plays later, Russ scored from the 20, giving Mill Creek a two-touchdown cushion.
Determined not to let Northview return another kickoff, Mill Creek kicked short and was able to recover on the Titans' 8 after a scramble. Tyler Cierski capped the three-play drive from the 1.
Russ scored late in the third quarter on a 75-yard draw play on a third and 30 for the Hawks from their own 25. On the night, he passed for 116 yards and rushed for 100.
Mill Creek capped the scoring in the fourth quarter as Keyshawn Bussey scored from nine yards and Ross Mashburn plunged in from the one.