Millennium vs. Cactus

<STRONG>Cactus takes one step closer to title game.</STRONG>

#15 Millennium @ #2 Cactus

 

The Millennium Tigers traveled to Glendale to take on the Cactus Cobras tonight in the first round of the 4A Arizona State Playoffs.  Many people feel that the Cobras are highly overrated and favored a Millennium upset victory.  The Cobras, still licking their wounds from an embarrassing 54-6 regional championship loss to Centennial, came ready to play tonight.

 

The Cobras struck early, taking advantage of Millennium mistakes.  On their first would be possession, the Tigers fumbled a punt and Cactus' Chris Johnson recovered at the Millennium 9 yard line.  Junior RB Richard Morris carried the ball in on the next play for a touchdown (Ezra Ricks extra point good). 

Cactus 7        Millennium 0

 

Cactus senior RB Glenn Koehler kept the Cobras rolling into the second quarter with a 53 yard pass reception from junior QB Jonathan Tobin.  Once again, Morris found his way into the end zone, this time from 21 yards out.  On the kickoff, Cactus (who had been caught off guard last week by an early on side kick from Centennial) surprised Millennium with an end over end kick.  The Cobras recovered and took over at midfield.  Cactus, unable to put up any points, was forced to punt.  Millennium's offense had been completely shut down thus far.  I don't know what the Cactus defensive coordinators told their boys tonight, but whatever it was, it sure worked.  The Tigers were inside their own ten yard line when the Cobras forced yet another fumble.  Senior DB Kenny White picked up the ball for an 8 yard ‘scoop and score' (Ricks extra point good).  The Tigers made their scoreboard debut on a similar play with less than a minute left in the half.  Cactus, looking for one more TD before the half, fumbled the ball at the Millennium 10 yard line.  Millennium DB Dennis Givens picked up the ball and went 90 yards for the touchdown (Dallas Hunter extra point good). 

Cactus 21      Millennium 7

 

Millennium made the third quarter a little bit more interesting.  After recovering a Cactus fumble, Millennium junior QB Kertis Brais hit senior WR Eric Lewis for a 19 yard pass.  Lewis tore up the remaining 50 yards for a touchdown (Hunter extra point good).  The always dangerous Cobra offense came back with an air assault, hitting up sophomore WR Jordan Flores on two huge plays in a row.  Putting the cherry on top of this sweet drive once again… Morris with a 14 yard touchdown run (Ricks extra point missed).  The Cactus defense was ready for some more action.  White, who already had a fumble recovery for a touchdown, put a punishing hit on a Tiger receiver, causing a fumble.  Johnson recovered, putting the Cobras at the Millennium 15 yard line.  Cactus was now in scoring position but Millennium's defense finally stepped up and forced Tobin to throw an interception, picked off by junior safety Daniel Cabrera.  Unfortunately, Millennium couldn't make much out of the turnover. 

Cactus 27      Millennium 7

 

Millennium came close to scoring a few times in the fourth quarter, but the Cobra defense held strong.  Final score:

Cactus 27      Millennium 7

 

Bottom Line:

Cactus put on a strong performance tonight, especially defensively.  Both teams had far too many turnovers (most likely due to the rainy weather), but Cactus took advantage of Millennium's turnovers.  The Cobra defense is especially strong in the front seven.  Their secondary has good tackling, but not the greatest pass coverage.  Millennium needed to attack this secondary more but they held back for some reason.  There was no way that they were going to win this one with their running game. 

 

Game Balls:

This goes to three different Cactus defensive players.

1.      Senior DB- Kenny White

1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, and a touchdown.

 

2.      Senior DB- Chris Johnson

2 fumble recoveries and a would-be touchdown on a ‘scoop and score' that was called back. 

 

3.      Senior LB- LaDarius Howard

12 total tackles on some big plays.


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