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By Brad Fauber - firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- They had to wait an extra day, but the Millbrook Pioneers grabbed their first victory of the 2011 season against Jefferson (W. Va.) in their home opener Saturday afternoon.
The game, originally scheduled for Friday night, was dominated from the start by the Pioneers as they received stellar play from the defensive unit and a boost offensively on the legs of junior running back Logan Rodeffer on their way to the 27-6 win.
"Anytime you win, you have a good feeling," said Millbrook coach Reed Prosser. "The kids have worked hard all year -- all summer -- and it's just nice to get that first win of the year."
Millbrook, having scored just 17 points total in their previous two games, finally found some of the offense they had been so desperately searching for as they put together a 13-play scoring drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown run from Rodeffer early in the second quarter.
Rodeffer finished the game with 124 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown.
"It was there, I knew we had it in us," Rodeffer said. "The [linemen] were all blocking -- I expected that. We watched the film and they were big, but we just needed to execute like we did."
The Millbrook defense did its part late in the first half when senior defensive lineman DeAndre Johnson sacked Cougars quarterback Justin Carter, forcing a fumble that Johnson recovered at the Jefferson 12-yard line. That would set up a 1-yard touchdown run by junior Garrett Williams with 14 seconds left in the second quarter to put Millbrook up 14-0, giving them some much-needed momentum going into halftime.
"I thought our kids were a little nervous, they've been pressing the last couple weeks," Prosser said. "It took them a while to settle into the flow, and once they did that they played really well."
Millbrook (1-2) reached deep into the playbook midway through the third quarter when, on a fourth-and-16, they ran a fake punt that resulted in a 26-yard pass completion from senior Boomer Kaczmarzewski to Jacob Stonesifer.
"They called it off the sideline," said Kaczmarzewski, who also plays defensive back and wide receiver. "I kind of shook it off because I just wanted to kick it. And all of the sudden [Stonesifer] ran it and I looked and he was wide open, so I threw it."
On the next play, it was Kaczmarzewski's turn to catch a pass as he and Neff connected on a 13-yard strike with five minutes left in the quarter.
But Kaczmarzewski was far from finished. With a minute and a half left in the third quarter and the Cougars starting their drive on the Millbrook 40, Kaczmarzewski intercepted a pass from Jefferson quarterback Andrew King and took it 65 yards for the score to extend Millbrook's lead to 27-0.
"We've been waiting on that all week, I was right there," Kaczmarzewski said. "He threw it and I knew exactly where it was going, so I just jumped it and I was gone."
The Pioneers held Jefferson to just 114 total yards, thanks to several sacks and a bad snap by the Cougars that lost 25 yards, with 89 of those coming in the final quarter after the game was well in hand. The Cougars (0-3) scored their only touchdown with five seconds left in the game.
"We came out fired up like we needed to," Rodeffer said. "I guess the home crowd helped a little bit. We just came out fired up and took it to them."