It wasn't a big secret that the
Millennium Tigers were going to run the ball against the Sunnyslope Vikings on
this weeks Cox7 game of the week Thursday night at Millennium. After allowing
It wasn't quite as easy as the Tiger's hoped, however. Millennium got rolling early after safety Daniel Cabrera recovered Chase Corley's fumble of a punt after the Vikings held the Tigers on downs to start the game. Aaron Gentry cashed in on a 12 yard run with a great effort to get the football over the goal line. Millennium held Sunnyslope and drove to a field goal the second time they got the ball. Two more touchdowns, one an Akio Lloyd run and a Kirt Brias to Dusty Willhite pass, put the Tigers up 23-0 and it looked like the route was on.
What looked like a tough break for
Sunnyslope in the second quarter turned out to be a blessing that may help them
the rest of this season and into the future. Starting quarterback Sean Maraz went out of the game on a
big hit by Tiger nose guard Tony Lewis and the Vikings were forced to put in sophomore back up Beau Grado. All Grado did was go 10 of 14 for 270
yards and 3 TDs the rest of the way.
The biggest beneficiary was T.J. Campbell. After being held to
one catch through a quarter and a half, the all-everything
The Vikings had a chance to narrow the gap after receiving the second half kick. They marched down to the Millennium two but couldn't score. On fourth down, Tiger linebacker Matt Stanley made what turned out to be the biggest play of the game, stopping Corley short of the goal line to turn the ball over on downs. The Tigers controlled the ball and the game pretty much the rest of the way to secure the win.
Millennium showed a great running
game. Their offensive line blew out
the Sunnyslope front seven time and again.
Runningbacks Chance Priddy,
Gentry, and Lloyd pretty much had their way. Priddy, who weighs just 140 pounds,
almost rushed his weight with 136 yards on 10 carries. Gentry had 114 and two scores, while
Lloyd chipped in with 54 and two scores.
Kudos to fullback Ricky Courts and Tight end Whillhite for some
outstanding blocking. Wide out Anthony
Dunkerly returned after four weeks from mononucleosis and showed some good
chemistry with quarterback Kirt Brias.
They hooked up several times in the second half, once for a
touchdown. Defensively, the Tigers
gave up some big plays, particularly by
Millennium looks like they might
go 11-0 if they can get by
Sunnyslope needs to win at least 3
of their final four. Coconino will
be a tough game next week. We'll
see if there is a Quarterback controversy at the Slope. Grado is just a sophomore and is far
from polished, but is a very good athlete who runs better than Maraz. Maraz has the better arm, but tends to
get jittery when the pocket breaks down. A few more games like we saw Thursday
and you'll start seeing some Mike Nixon comparisons. Nixon, the 2001 state player of the year, came on his
freshman year due to injuries and went on to set numerous state records.
Sunnyslope, as is usually the
case, has to play way too many players both ways and tends to wear out in the
fourth quarter. It would be nice to
week the Cox 7 crew stays on the west side for a first ever game at Westview
when the Knights take on region rival