James Wood vs Millbrook
Posted: October 24, 2015
By ROBERT NIEDZWIECKI
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Millbrook started fast, snapped the ball fast, and as usual, ran fast.
In the most lopsided game in series history, the Pioneers dominated James Wood in all phases in a 72-0 Northwestern District victory Friday night at James Wood’s Jerry L. Kelican Stadium.
After forcing a three-and-out on James Wood’s first possession, Millbrook junior P.K. Kier broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage on the Pioneers’ first offensive play and went untouched the rest of the way for a 58-yard touchdown just 1:59 into the game, and Millbrook never let up.
Led by Nazeeh Johnson, (eight carries for 208 yards and four touchdowns), Millbrook (6-2, 2-0 Northwestern) scored touchdowns on all six of its first-half possessions to take a 42-0 halftime lead.
“[James Wood has] big boys, so we [were] gonna beat ’em with speed,” Johnson said.
Millbrook outgained James Wood (4-4, 0-3) 351 to 99 in the first half, all as a result of rushing yards. The Pioneers only attempted one pass all game (it was incomplete) in outgaining James Wood, which lost its third straight game, 498-85. (A bad snap on a punt cost Wood 24 yards in the second half and resulted in a safety.)
Because Kier (127 yards and two TDs on nine carries) needed just one play to score on the first drive, Millbrook didn’t have a chance to go with an up-tempo approach between plays until its second drive.
By that point, James Wood — which knew going into the game it wouldn’t have the services of area rushing leader and its third-leading tackler, Tyler Bishop, because of an injury suffered last week — was without the area’s leading tackler as well.
Senior linebacker Ryan Funkhouser left the game for good after injuring his ankle on James Wood’s second offensive possession (he had five carries for eight yards).
Funkhouser sat on the bench with a bag of ice on the lower part of one of his legs for the rest of the first half, then emerged out of the locker room with crutches for the second half. James Wood coach Mark McHale said Funkhouser’s injury hasn’t been officially diagnosed, but it could sideline him the rest of the year.
The Colonels didn’t have the answers they needed to stop Millbrook’s offense without him. On the first drive after Funkhouser left, Johnson scored on a eight-yard TD run after breaking two tackles at the 5-yard line to put Millbrook up 14-0 with 5:58 to go in the first quarter.
“[Funkhouser’s injury] changed the whole game plan [on offense and defense],” McHale said. “We had to stick a guy in there at linebacker who hadn’t played [this year]. I told you five weeks ago, that if we got one guy hurt, it would hurt the team, and we had three or four [Friday].
“[Millbrook’s] got that speed. You give them a crack, they’re gone. We just didn’t have the speed to close the cracks. They’re faster than us. When they cut it back inside, we didn’t have anybody who could get there [to make the play].”
The Colonels also lost offensive guard Isaac Schrantz and wide receiver Chris Lakin to injuries in the second half.
After breaking tackles on his first TD run, Johnson burst through a hole at the line for an 81-yard touchdown, showed patience before breaking free for a 35-yard TD, then made several people miss in the open field on his 48-yard TD run that closed the first-half scoring.
Millbrook’s defense might not have had to face Bishop, but the Pioneers couldn’t control who was out there. And by forcing a couple of three-and-outs early, they played just as big of a role in setting the tone as the offense.
“We just played physical, played hard, and played fast,” junior linebacker Dakota Koenig said. “Coach really emphasized physicality, and making sure that we were the most physical team out there.”
Millbrook coach Josh Haymore said he had plenty of reasons to be pleased with his team, which gave him his first win against a Winchester-Frederick County team since he took over in 2013.
“The kids played hard, and they played fast,” Haymore said. “Every win is special, but beating the county rivals [is great]. [Those losses] sit in the back of your mind. I’m proud of the kids.”
Freshman Savon Smith scored three TDs for Millbrook in the second half on 49- and 6-yard runs and an 85-yard kickoff return. Brandon Shingleton had 11 tackles (four for loss) and a sack.
James Wood was led on offense by Dade Carroll (8 of 16 for 76 yards and an interception) and Noah Sullivan (three catches for 46 yards).