Millington finally did it.
When Bryce Bearss threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Kohlton Sherman early in the fourth quarter, Millington accomplished something none of Frankenmuth’s first four opponents had been able to do.
“That was the first touchdown,” Frankenmuth coach Phil Martin said, “that hasn’t been scored on our defense in the last couple of minutes of the fourth quarter.”
That pretty much sums up the Frankenmuth defense this season, as well as Friday night in its dominating 24-7 victory in one of the state’s biggest matchups. The Eagles suffocated a Millington offense which had averaged over 45 points a game in earning the No. 1 spot in the Division 6 rankings.
“I don’t know that they ever got in rhythm on offense,” Martin said. “We went into the game trying to take away the run game first, not to let them be a balanced offense, and make them throw to beat us and our front seven did a great job with that.”
Not only did the Frankenmuth defense take away the Cardinals running attack, it took away all hope of ever moving the ball on the ground or through the air.
Seven times Frankenmuth sacked the Millington quarterback, and Millington wound up with minus-three yards rushing after subtracting the sack yardage.
“Our kids just executed the plan like no other, I guess you could say,” Martin said. “Our down-three did a great job demanding double-teams and that’s what allowed our linebackers and defensive ends to have the game they did.”
Frankenmuth rotates six players at the three interior line spots, and their play permitted Dan Stone to record nine tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss.
Stone, 6-feet-4, 220-pounds, spent Saturday at Michigan State and next weekend will visit Western Michigan, but there is a catch.
“He was visiting for shot put, actually,” Martin said. “He was runner-up in the state last year in the shot put, so this wasn’t necessarily for football.”
Additionally, Stone punted five times for a 37-yard average (and almost no return yardage) to flip the field on several occasions.
“The way our defense played,” Martin said, “most of the time it was a field position game.”
Aaron Haubenstricker, the other defensive end, had two tackles for loss and a sack, and tackle Nate Lambeth added three tackles and three sacks.
Frankenmuth quarterback Jared Davis passed for 91 yards and was the game’s top ball carrier, netting 76 yards rushing. He scored the Eagles’ touchdowns on runs of 43, 14 and 23 yards.
Davis also shined on defense, contributing five tackles, including one for a loss.
“He’s probably, what I would say, is the guy that stirs the drink,” Martin said. “He’s the one that gets things going for us.”
Frankenmuth had everything going for it against Millington, which is why the Eagles are ranked No. 4 in Division 5.
“We look at it as a complete game,” Martin said. “We spend a lot of time on special teams setting up our offense. If you look at our drives this year, we’ve won the field position battle and offensively we’ve been able to take advantage of it.”
Precisely what the Eagles did in their dominant Week 5 performance.
“That doesn’t happen to Millington too often,” Martin said. “They’re a very, very good football team.”
He is right. Millington is very, very good.
And what does that make Frankenmuth?
Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1