CLARKSVILLE – —
CLARKSVILLE – Mildred’s attack offense slowed to a crawl in the second half. And that was a good thing.
Up three touchdowns, the Eagles didn’t need to show they could score at warp-speed. They showed they can change the pace, throw a punch, take one, then throw another.
This winning thing is expected now, and Mildred’s playing deep into the playoffs again after an impressive 44-14 win over Clarksville in the Region II-2A Division II regionals.
Clarksville, as advertised, had big-time athletes who were quick and fast. But Mildred, now 11-1, has played 25 games the last 15 months, and Friday was another example of how it could manage a formidable opponent and adjust to any style of play.
The Eagles will face Nocona (12-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Aledo, with the winner representing Region II in the state semifinals.
“I thought (our effort) was excellent,” said coach Patrick Harvell, who is now 46-13 in his fifth season at Mildred. “We played hard all night long, and the only disappointing aspect of the game was the number of penatlies. We had far too many.”
Mildred again bullied an opponent on the ground behind a cohesive offensive line, running up 347 yards on an astounding 57 carries. That total included four kneel-downs at the end of each half that cost the Eagles 24 yards.
Draylon Sterling was again the workhorse, carrying 24 times for 196 yards and a 16-yard touchdown as Mildred built a 30-6 lead out of the gates in the second half. But like last week when the Eagles ran for 356 in a 38-14 win over Cooper, the Eagles had strength in numbers.
Jeremy Ballard, who had three interceptions on defense, ran for 95 yards, and Nic Shimonek added 64 and three touchdowns from 1, 2 and 12 yards. The senior quarterback threw for 95 yards and two scores to Mikey Muncy.