by David Brox, firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2 time defending 5A state champions Mill Valley were at it again tonight taking on the undefeated Schlagle Stallions in the second round of the playoffs. The Jaguars had taken a few steps back this season from an overall performance, struggling with turnovers and failing to beat one of the top teams in the EKL. The Schlagle Stallions powered by running back Ivan Webb had the look of a giant killer going undefeated through the KCAL. History has shown the incredible gap that exists between the EKL and the rest of the state. Tonight we got another reminder that the gap between the EKL and KCAL is even wider.
Mill Valley rolled into Schlagle Stadium 8 buses deep with fans and more importantly players. The Jaguars hit the field first rolling approximately 75 dressed players. Lined up on the opposing side line from 10 to 10 yard line. When Schlagle came out I couldn’t help but notice the difference in numbers. Maybe Schlagle 35 kids on the side line dressed for this game as pregame it looked like David and Goliath.
Nerves were evident as the Jaguars kicked off to senior Larmon Witt. Witt who worked right and then back left trying to start the game off with a bang fumbled the football setting Mill Valley up deep in Schlagle territory. The Jaguars wasted no time scoring to take the 7-0 lead and creating a mountain of doubt on the Stallion sidelines. They held Mill Valley to 4th down on the opening drive and jumped off sides which setup the score.
The teams traded 3 and outs, each getting behind the chains with holding penalties. The Stallions weren’t able to get anything going again on the next possession and were forced to punt. Special teams errors got Mill Valley as a short punt hit one of the gunners and setting Schlagle up near mid field. Finally a positive for the Stallions who had some field position now to try and get themselves going in the game. Gavin Williams took a jet sweep 50 yards down to the Mill Valley 5 yard line. A few plays later Ivan Webb banged his way into the end zone breathing life into the sideline.
After a missed extra point the Stallions were kicking off having seized some momentum. They had just scored their first TD after going 3 and out twice. They are coming off stopping the Jaguars on defense the previous possession and for this one moment there was a ray of hope. Evan Rice of Mill Valley provided the cloud cover to kill even the thought of an upset. Rice took the following kickoff back for a TD and providing a 14-6 lead for the Jaguars.
The special team woes continued for Schlagle after going 3 and out on the following possession as the punt snap was mishandled leading to a safety. It took senior Brody Flaming 2 passing plays to get into the end zone and extending the first quarter lead to 23-6.
The flood gates opened from there as Cameron Young ran in from 5 yards. Nick Davie intercepted a pass at the Mill Valley 1 yard line on the following Schlagle possession. Flaming drove Mill Valley 99 yards in short order and securing the 44-6 first half lead. Cameron Young scored 3 times in the game which is a welcome sight for Jaguar fans heading into next weeks game against St. James Academy.
The Jaguars claimed the 57-12 victory over Schlagle running their playoff win streak to 12 games. Ivan Webb’s journey toward 3000 yards was stopped short of that goal by a motivated Mill Valley defense. Webb did score 1 TD bringing his season total to 36 and over 2800 total yards. He would get my vote as a Simone finalist as the senior broke all school records for rushing in a season.