Mill Creek defensive back Gerard Butler (6) returns an interception for yards before being tackled by Brookwood tight end Keenan Sweeney (81) during Friday night’s game at Mill Creek. (Photo: Karl L.Moore)
HOSCHTON — Dominating understates the performance.
Shannon Jarvis may have a quibble with late penalties; every coach needs something. But in a more than convincing win over Brookwood, Mill Creek didn’t give its head coach much to despair, crushing the Broncos 44-10.
“I told the kids throughout the week we’ll find out about this football team in the first couple of quarters,” Jarvis said.
Examine those two quarters.
Mill Creek’s defense allowed a 27-yard completion on third down on Brookwood’s first drive of the game, but followed that by forcing a punt and turned the stop into a trend. The stops led to points led to stops led to more points. Mill Creek started four of its seven first-half drives on Brookwood’s side of the field. The defense recovered a fumble on the Brookwood 14, setting up the second touchdown. On the next possession, Gerard Butler picked off Bronco quarterback Joey McLane and gave Mill Creek the ball on the Broncos’ 26.
And then there’s the minus-19 first half rushing yards, the two first half first downs, the 4 of 16 passing for 53 yards for McLane who saw more red jerseys than friendly white when he dropped back to pass.
“I can speak for everybody in our program, we were not happy with they way we played defense last Friday,” Jarvis said. “I was very, very proud of our defense, across the board. Everybody got involved. For us to reach goals … you’ve got play great defense.”
Now, for the offense in Jarvis’ pivotal quarters.
In a 34-point first half, the Hawks had scoring drives of 85, 14, 26, 80 and 42. They piled up 208 yards rushing and quarterback Daniel David threw for 83 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ritland.
Johnathon Hawkins ran in for two scores on his 27 yards, Carter Governale burst up the middle for a 26-yard score and Devozea Felton capped his 85-yard rushing half with an 8-yard touchdown run. The multi-threat senior also caught a pass for 27 yards.
The lone mistakes in the first half came on special teams with Mill Creek turning the ball over after touching a bouncing punt, setting up Brookwood in field goal range. The error led to the Brandon Morrow’s 36-yard field goal, Brookwood’s only points of the first half the ended with a 34-3 Mill Creek lead.
“We can put points on the board like this every week if you ask me. Hopefully,” Governale said.
Mill Creek continued to impress in the second half. The Hawks opened the third quarter the a back-breaking seven play, 80-yard drive. The drive ended with Governale’s second rushing touchdown. The senior led the team with eight rushes for 87 yards. Felton ended the game with 112 overall yards and Hawkins rushed for 28 yards and two scores on eight carries. Jordan Sylvain added 33 yards on four carries.
“For us to be able to do this against (Brookwood) with the mentality that they probably had after (Mill Creek beat Brookwood in the playoffs) it’s exciting,” Governale said. “The future for this team, there’s a lot of potential.”
Brookwood fumbled on its next possession and the Hawks turned that into a Bryson King 30-yard field goal for their final points. For the game, Brookwood rushed 20 times for eight yards with the help of a few long sacks of McLane.
“We lost mental focus last week,” Jarvis said, noting its absence in Week 2. “Throughout the week, I told them I thought we lost mental focus when we got (a lead). I’m proud of the kids.”
But those 25 penalties once the starters left still linger.
“I wasn’t happy with the way it ended. When you are putting in different people, we still have the same expectation for every player. I thought it got sloppy at the end and I think that’s ridiculous, but we’ll work on that, too.”
But other than that, Jarvis had no complaints.
“It is a tribute to our kids,” he said. “It was not an easy week of practice this week. We wanted to find out if these kids would respond to the level of expectations that we set and they did tonight.”
Mill Creek 44, Brookwood 10
Brookwood 0 3 0 7 — 10
Mill Creek 20 14 10 0 — 44
Mill Creek: Eric Ritland 32 pass from Daniel David (Bryson King kick) 8:19
Mill Creek: Johnathon Hawkins 10 run (King kick) 6:37
Mill Creek: Carter Governale 26 run (kick failed) 5:27
Brookwood: Brandon Morrow 36 FG, 11:49
Mill Creek: Hawkins 3 run (King kick) 7:58
Mill Creek: Devozea Felton 8 run (King kick) 4:07
Mill Creek: Governale 5 run (King kick) 10:08
Mill Creek: King 30 FG, 7:00
Brookwood: Jesse Brown 1 run (Morrow kick) 6:24