Millbrook downs Skyline
FRONT ROYAL – Millbrook’s high school football team scored on almost every possession – and sometimes when they didn’t possess the ball – to scurry past Skyline 66-28 in Northwestern District football Friday night.
The 38-point victory by the visiting Pioneers (6-1 overall, 1-0) over the Hawks (1-5, 0-1) was brought to the visiting fans by jitterbug Savon Smith and other visitors in the first district game for both teams.
“Taking nothing away from P.K. (Kier), but Smith ran all over us tonight. We practiced against it, but we couldn’t set the edge tonight,” said Skyline head coach Heath Gilbert. “We couldn’t stop him.
Smith, a sophomore had already rushed for 788 yards in only six games, came up with 185 rushing yards and four touchdowns. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound water bug also returned two punts. One was for 45 yards and set up yet another Millbrook score.
Gilbert said he thought Kier, who nonetheless ripped for one touchdown, might have been hindered a bit. The University of Virginia committed football player gave way to his quicker, more slippery teammate.
“I was happy with our running game and the way we moved the ball. We just have to take care of our penalties,” Millbrook coach Josh Haymore said.
Flags were the only thing stopping the Pioneers on this night. They were penalized for 95 yards. Everything else seemed to work.
Millbrook rushed for 360 yards and passed for 107 more. Quarterback Zach Rogers completed 4-of-8 passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
Skyline combated the visiting offense by airing it out.
Hawk junior Ryan Scott completed 16-of-26 passes with two intercepted. He threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns.
“To tell you the truth, we had planned to run it, but when they got ahead, we changed everything around,” said Scott. “That (Smith) is something.”
Skyline started off quickly when Diggs carried around right end for a 48-yard touchdown run to begin the proceedings. The kick by Scott was good. The Hawks led 7-0 at the 10:37 mark of the first quarter.
But Millbrook came right back. Keeping the ball on the grass turf, the Pioneers drove from their own 36 to the end zone. The Pioneers rushed the ball all the way. Smith did the honors from five yards out and the kick tied it at 7-all at the 7:30 mark of the first quarter.
Skyline’s fumbled kickoff led Millbrook to its second score. The Pioneers got the ball on the Skyline 24. Then quarterback Rogers found Ryan Arnold for the pass play that covered the distance and the kick was good for a 14-7 lead, still in the first quarter.
What could be called Millbrook’s first explosive touchdown of the game came when sophomore Smith sprinted up the middle for an 87-yard run. He was untouched and made a move against the grain in the shadow of the goal post to get the 6. The kick made it 21-7 with 4:36 to go.
Coach Gilbert decided that his team should go to the air. Scott kept the ball for a 15-yard scramble to get to the 6, then Scott found Steven Timbers for the 6-yard scoring pass. The kick was blocked. Skyline held a 21-13 lead with 2:14 left in the first quarter.
Millbrook, in turn, stayed on the ground. A chop-block cost the Pioneers one score – rubbed out by the penalty – so Smith decided to carry in from the 15. He juked two defenders on the five. The kick was good for a 28-13 Millbrook lead with 57.1 showing in the first quarter.
The visitors took over on downs at the 50, hoping to knock in another score.
The Pioneer rush continued. It got the ball near midfield and, on four carries, moved the ball in the end zone. Smith was the touchdown designee. His scoring bolt, again, went for 15. The kick was good for a Millbrook 35-13 lead with 10 minutes showing in the half.
Smith was doing it all. A 45-yard punt return got the ball to the 22 where quarterback Rogers found wide receiver Cameron Faint, who brought the ball down and then bowled into the end zone. The kick was good 42-13 with 7:24 left in the half. It was Rogers’ second touchdown throw of the game.
Faint and teammate Tanner Ames both picked off Scott passes.
After Millbrook had scored on four straight possessions, it seemed to be Skyline’s turn.
The Hawks got the ball on their own 34 after a Pioneer pooch kickoff. They moved to the 4 where they turned the ball over on downs.
Skyline came up with a fumble recovery on the next Millbrook series, so it had another chance before halftime to score.
Scott completed two straight passes, the second of which went to Luis Garcia (4 catches, 49 yards, 1 touchdown). He gathered in the 29-yard strike in the middle of the Millbrook defense and carried it across. The 6-pointer was followed by a 2-point conversion.
The score was 42-21 with 13.3 to go.
Millbrook had scored on seven consecutive possessions in the first half.
The Pioneers were led by running back Smith, who carried six times for 148 yards and four touchdowns. Rogers had completed 2-of-3 passes for 46 yards and two scores.
The Pioneers had almost 200 yards in rushing and 46 passing yards.
The Hawks accumulated 179 yards of total offense.
Skyline started off where they left off in the first half in the third frame. Smith delivered a 20-yard run, then Rogers connected with Cameron Faint for 14 yards to the 11. Reserve Dakota Koenig carried over from the 11 for the score. The extra point was good and Millbrook led 49-21 with 7:19 showing in the third quarter.
Another score was quick in coming when Ames intercepted a Scott pass and trucked it 48 yards for the touchdown. The kick made it 56-21 with 5:14 remaining in the third quarter.
Hans Kloo added a 26-yard field goal for a 59-21 score with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter.
Skyline proved it wanted a few more points although the hour was late. Scott found Trenton King open on the right sideline for a 41-yard touchdown pass. The kick was good. The score was 59-28 with 5:38 to go.
The last score was provided by reserve running back Tyren Gray. His 25-yard run was followed by the final point of the night.
Skyline 13 8 0 X–21
Millbrook 28 14 14 10 -66
Sky: Diggs 48 run, kick good 10:37
Mill: Smith 5 run, kick good
Mill: Arnold 24 pass from Rogers, kick good
Mill: Smith 48 run, kick good, 4:53
Sky: Timbers 6 pass from Scott, kick blocked, 2:18
Mill: Smith 15 run, kick good, 57.1
Mill: Smith 15 run, kick good, 13:35
Mill: Faint 22 pass from Rogers, kick good, 7:24
Sky: Garcia 29 pass from Scott, 2-point conversion, 13.3
Mill: Koenig 11 run, kick good, 7:19
Mill: Ames 48 interception return, kick good, 5:14
Mill: Kloo 26 field goal, 7:21
Mill: Gay 9 run, 34.6
First downs 14-12
Rushing yards 201 306
Passing yards 250 107
Comp-Att-Int 16-26-2 4-7-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1