Sixteen- and 17-year-old boys may not like the term fairytale. So just call it unprecedented. And impressive.
No. 10 Mildred exacted a bit of revenge with a 42-0 win Friday over Lone Oak, a team that had beaten the Eagles three years in a row, soundly.
Mildred (10-0, 5-0 in District 6-2A DII) did it with offense, gaining almost 500 yards, and holding Lone Oak (6-4, 3-2) to six first downs and 154 yards. It was the fifth shutout of the season for the Eagles, who outscored opponents in district, 295-6.
The Eagles are undefeated for the first time in school history, according to records dating back to 1932.
“Any time you do something for the first time in school history, you’ve got to be proud,” Mildred coach Patrick Harvell said. “I can’t say enough about this senior class. A lot of people think this is a one-year deal, but it’s not. This is the culmination of four years of hard work.”
The Buffaloes played without several injured starters, but still served as a formidable foe, he said. Lone Oak put Mildred out of the playoffs in the first round in 2008 and ’09, then beat the Eagles 33-7 last year for the district title. The Buffaloes had been on a roll, recently, until a 21-18 loss to Alba-Golden last week in which quarterback Trever Lasseter didn’t play.
Mildred was balanced, as usual, with running back Logan Shelton (17-102) and Draylon Sterling (13-113) each topping 100 yards for the second straight game. Junior quarterback Nic Shimonek was 18 of 24 for 258 yards and four touchdowns, three to senior Daniel Folsom, who had eight catches for 179 yards and three touchdowns.
The Eagles did not commit a turnover for the fourth-straight game.
Ironically, Folsom – the Eagles free safety – said the ball started rolling on defense after Lone Oak won the opening toss and elected to receive and did not pick up a yard before punting.
“We knew the score of the Alba-Golden game was not indicative of how good of a team they are,” Folsom said. “We knew they were going to come out grounding and pounding. That first three-and-out (series) set the tone.”
The Eagles marched 69 yards in eight plays, getting key runs of 31 and 12 for first downs from Shelton and Sterling, respectively. Folsom covered the final yard on a sweep.
It also set the standard for field position. Mildred started only three drives inside its own 30, and averaging starting at its 40. Lone Oak, on the other hand, averaged starting at its 18. The Buffaloes best start in field position was their own 29 after Mildred went up, 42-0.
Shimonek carved up the Lone Oak defense, finding Folsom often. But his most piercing pass for Lone Oak came on the Eagles’ second drive. Facing third and 12 at the Lone Oak 23, he scrambled out of the pocket, to his left, then backpeddled before getting to the line of scrimmage, and found Daniel Donoho sitting in a pocket of defenders for 19 yards and first down.
Two plays later, he hit Donoho for a 6-yard touchdown to make it 14-0, and he was hardly pressured the rest of the night.
“Right now, we feel like we can do just about anything we want to,” Shimonek said. “You saw how long I had back there to throw.”
The running game wasn’t automatic all night. Seven of the Eagles 37 carries were for negative yards. But a running play perhaps sealed Lone Oak’s fate, and it came in the first half. Late.
Sterling took a third-and-8 handoff off right tackle for 42 yards and a touchdown with four seconds left in the first half, and instead of 28-0 at the break, Mildred owned an overwhelming 35-0 edge.
After fireworks to start the game, literally, and fireworks during the first 24 minutes, the second half was anti-climatic. Still, it was a big win, Harvell said.
“Lone Oak’s got a good football team,” Harvell said. “They play hard, they play clean. Any time you beat a program like that, you’ve got to be proud.”
Mildred 42, Lone Oak 0
Lone Oak 0 0 0 0 — 0
Mildred 14 21 7 0 — 42
M — Daniel Folsom 1 run (Devin O’Sullivan kick), 7:58
M — Daniel Donoho 6 pass from Nic Shimonek (O’Sullivan kick) :33
M — Folsom 14 pass from Shimonek (O’Sullivan kick), 9:32
M — Folsom 71 pass from Shimonek (O’Sullivan kick), 4:28
M — Draylon Sterling 42 run (O’Sullivan kick), :04
M — Folsom 8 pass from Shimonek (O’Sullivan kick), 4:04
First downs 6 23
Rush-yards 29-86 37-226
Passing yards 68 258
C-A-I 7-19-0 18-24-0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-0
Punts-avg. 9-35 2-37
Penalties-yards 4-43 4-30
Rushing—LO: Jade Seiber 15-45, Kason Freelen 4-7, Cody Prince 2-10, Trever Lasseter 8-24. M: Logan Shelton 17-102, Draylon Sterling 13-113, Nic Shimonek 4-16, Miles Patton 1-(-1), Daniel Folsom 1-1, Team 1-(-5).
Passing— LO: Lasseter 6-16-0-44. M: Shimonek 18-24-0-258.
Receiving— LO: Jace Hart 2-11, Sam Reid 1-24, Seiber 1-8, Reed Elmore 3-18. M: Daniel Donoho 5-28, Folsom 8-179, Mason Rose 3-26, Shelton 1-12, Jeremy Ballard 1-13.