The Millington football team is 4-0 for the first time since 2017 AND looking for their first conference championship since 2014 AND it is Homecoming Week, so bring on the Huskies (4-0) of Hemlock High School. A win over the Huskies would give Millington their first Tri-Valley West Conference championship, their first conference crown since splitting the title with Frankenmuth in 2014, and their first outright conference championship since 2011.
Millington holds a 9-4 overall record versus Hemlock and has won five straight against the Huskies including last year’s close 15-6 win in Hemlock. The Cardinals and Huskies first saw gridiron action against each other on September 25, 1981. Millington scored 16 points in the fourth quarter of that game to pull out the victory. A 26-yard scamper by future Millington coach Roger Bearss and a conversion by quarterback Gregg Blake would pull the Cardinals to within a point midway through the quarter. Blake would hit end John Allard towards the end of the quarter from 30 yards out to secure the Millington win. Joe Weber’s conversion made the final Millington 29 Hemlock 22. Bearss finished the game with 93 yards rushing on 15 carries. After a 5-0 start, Millington finished the season with a 7-2 overall record and a second-place finish in the Tri-Valley Conference.
Hemlock enters Friday’s game with wins over St. Louis (49-0), Standish-Sterling (29-7), Bullock Creek (48-32), and Carrollton (36-28) with eyes on their first conference championship since 2012 when they were members of the Tri-Valley Central Conference. The Huskies will travel to Millington with one of the best running games in the area averaging over six yards per rushing attempt. Hemlock’s productive ground game is led by junior running back Robert Knapik. The 175 lb. back has rushed for 570 yards and seven touchdowns in Hemlock’s four games. Knapik averages over eight yards per rush.
Millington’s ground game has been very prolific itself during the 2020 season. The Cardinals have rushed for over 820 yards and an average of just about five yards per carry. Leading the ground game for Millington has been running back Leyton Mays. The junior has run for nearly 300 yards on the season and three touchdowns. He averages over five yards per carry.
The Huskie signal called is #10 Dylan Lagrow. The senior has completed 67% of his passes on the year for just over 640 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Lagrow has a quartet of receivers that he likes to target. Corbin Larkin, Max Dinninger, Jacob Shelagowski, and Bryce Murhpy all have eight or more receptions with 100 or more yards and at least one touchdown. The Cardinals counter with junior quarterback Issac Slough. He has completed 53% of his passes on the year for over 400 yards and four touchdowns. Slough’s favorite target on the year has been Brendyn Callahan. The senior wide receiver has caught 10 passes on the year for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
The Hemlock defense has been stout on the year only allowing 16.8 points per game. The Huskies are led by senior linebacker Brayden Green’s 35 tackles. Millington’s defense has been outstanding during the 2020 season only allowing 10.2 points per game. Only one team (Carrollton) has scored more than once versus the Cardinals. The Millington defense has been led by Will Kirby’s 14 tackles and two interceptions, and Drew Kihn’s 13 tackles and two interceptions.
Even though Friday’s game will be played with limited attendance, fans are still able to watch. In conjunction with the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), Friday’s game and all other Millington events on the football field or in the gymnasium will be live-streamed on the NFHS Network’s website. This is a subscription-based service. Subscriptions can be purchased on an annual basis or a monthly basis through the NFHS Network when you click on the subscribe button. The live stream can be viewed from any computer browser, apps for both Apple and Android devices, or on Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV. Each subscription will allow the user to not only view Millington events that are live-streamed but other high school events as well. A portion of each subscription is donated back to Millington Athletics. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.