Boys Varsity Football · Playoff Preview District Semi-Final

MILLINGTON – The Millington Cardinal football team enters Week 2 of the playoffs for the 19th time in school history after beating Lakeville in the first round 48-0. The Cardinals will have a gridiron battle with Mt. Morris of the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference this Friday in their continuation for an eighth district title and first since 2017.

The Panthers enter Friday’s game with a 3-4 record after their 48-18 playoff victory over Pinconning last week.  Mt. Morris also has wins over Byron (54-12) and Ovid-Elsie (14-13) during the 2020 season.  Their four losses have come against New Lothrop (35-8), Durand (38-13), Montrose (35-14), and Centreville (42-0).

The Mt. Morris victory over Pinconning was their first playoff victory since a 2008 33-12 victory over Yale in the district semi-finals.  The Panthers have now been in the playoffs nine times in school history and have a 4-8 postseason record.  By contrast, the Cardinals have now been in the playoffs 27 times including a school-record 17 straight years.  Millington has a postseason record of 31-26 after last week’s win over Lakeville.

Millington Varsity Football 1933

Millington and Mt. Morris have never faced each other in the postseason, but have played eight times during the regular season with the last meeting coming in Week 1 of the 2013 season.  Millington holds an undefeated 8-0 record versus Mt. Morris.  The first fall the two schools met on the field was 1933.  The Cardinals won that first contest 13-0 and went on to have Millington’s first undefeated season after a 5-0-1 record.  The only blemish was a 7-7 tie with Otisville.

The 1933 team was coached by a recent graduate from Central State Teachers College (now Central Michigan University).  The recent graduate was an All-American football player for the Bearcats by the name of Cecil Swenson.  “The Swede” graduated in

Cecil Swenson College Football

1932 from Central State with a bachelor of science degree.  While there he was a member of the varsity football team, the Varsity Club, and was the Men’s Union Treasurer.  The Holton High School graduate coached Millington from 1933 until

Cecil Swenson College Photo

1935.  After the 1935-1936 school year, Swenson accepted a teaching position with Shepherd High School.  He passed away in 1991 at the age of 83.  He is buried in Shepherd.  His best Millington team was the 1933 season.  Steve Glaza took over coaching duties for the Cardinals beginning in 1936.

In the Panthers win over Pinconning they were led by junior running back Cameron Love’s 264 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 17 carries, and senior Day Day Williams’ eight tackles, an interception, and two fumble recoveries.  Williams returned one fumble for a defensive score.  Senior Sam Tagg had 11 tackles and three sacks, while Ray Gatica recorded three sacks and a safety.

Millington was dominant in their opening playoff victory outgaining Lakeville by over 300 yards.  The Cardinals were led by Brendyn Callahan’s touchdown and 72 yards rushing.   The senior wide receiver/running back now has four touchdowns in the last two games.  For the season the dual-purpose athlete has over 500 all-purpose yards and has scored a combined seven touchdowns.  He has also added two interceptions from his defensive back position.

Even though Friday’s playoff 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.