MUNCIE – Every single game Brogan Miller gets under his belt, he’s going to grow up a little bit more. That’s the way Yorktown coach Mike Wilhelm is looking at it, especially with Miller making only his second varsity start Friday night at Central.
By the end of Yorktown’s 35-29 win, it was buried under a flurry of second-half touchdowns from Yorktown backs Dawson Allen and Jordan Spangler, but Miller led what might have been the most important drive of the game for the Tigers at the end of the first half.
With Central poised to go into the locker room with a seven-point lead and all the momentum, Miller led an eight-play, 67-yard drive just before the half to pull the Tigers even. That, in turn, allowed Yorktown to stick to its game plan and pound the ball behind its experienced offensive line and lead for the final 17:40.
“He showed leadership, honestly,” Spangler said of Miller, who is replacing All-State quarterback Riley Neal. “He’s been showing leadership more and more at practice, learning more from the coaches and looking better each day.”
Central quarterback Trenton Hatfield had just given the Bearcats (1-1) a 14-7 lead with 1:58 left in the first half, but Miller found Kevin McNamara for 13 yards, Nathan Preston for 25 on third-and-6, and Brandt Applegate for a 14-yard touchdown with four seconds left in the half.
Then, behind that veteran line of Anthony Todd, Joe Pier, Daniel LaVoie, Matt Phillips and Shawn Llamas, Allen and Spangler ran wild, combining for 245 yards and three scores — all the while a Central defense with size and speed stacked the line.
“That’s our strength, and it’s no secret,” Wilhelm said. “When we have this experienced of an offensive line, we have to take advantage of it and pick and choose when we throw the ball.”
Miller, who finished 5-of-12 for 84 yards, shrugged off the pivotal drive, saying, “I really wanted to help our team out, get it tied going into halftime and give us a positive attitude (going into the locker room).”
Once in the locker room, it was no surprise who got the Tigers (2-0) going.
“Anthony Todd, he gets us up,” Spangler said of the Ball State-bound center. “He’s our guy.”
Andre Wells bulldozed his way for 133 yards on 14 carries, including two scores — the last of which came with 1:54 remaining. But Spangler recovered the onside kick and the Tigers ran out the clock.
“The plan was right, and the kids executed the plan,” Central coach Adam Morris said. “But we dropped some passes, missed some tackles. … It’s little stuff.”
Contact sports features writer Ryan O’Gara at (765) 213-5829. Follow him on Twitter @RyanOGaraTSP.