CLARKSVILLE – —
The Eagles turned every one of Ballard’s interceptions into touchdowns. The senior ran his season total to 11. Mildred forced four total turnovers.
The first seven and a half minutes could not have been scripted any better for the Eagles.
On Clarksville’s opening possession, Taylor Barlow – who had a monster game at defensive tackle – and Nic Stone combined on a sack that moved Clarksville back to the 18, facing fourth down. The snap to the punter sailed into and out of the end zone, giving Mildred a 2-0 lead.
The Eagles needed just seven plays to make it 9-0 on a drive that ended with a 10-yard Shimonek to Muncy strike on a slant.
The Blue Tigers’ next drive last three plays, and started with a 15-yard sack of TJ Tinnell by Mildred’s other tackle, Thomas Finigmow, who also had a big game. On third down, Ballard got his first pick at the Clarksville 31, and eight plays later Shimonek scored from a yard out to make it 16-0.
Late in the first, Clarksville showed its explosiveness when Devontray Forte found a gap and went 39 yards into Mildred territory. The Blue Tigers got on the board with a 37-yard Tinnell-to-Kelton Scales pass as the senior wide receiver slipped past Sterling in the secondary.
Forte had 93 yards on his first nine carries, but ended with 83 on 13.
The Eagles botched the ensuing kick return, started at their own three, and Clarksville had a chance to get back in the game. But Mildred embarked on a 10-play, 97-yard drive that featured two Sterling runs for first downs, and Shimonek pass of 12 yards to Jase Butler on third-and-9 and ended with a 2-yard Shimonek score to make it 23-6.
Mildred was flagged for roughing the kicker late in the second, and Clarksville drove to 17 before Mildred stiffened.