MILDRED — —
A year after setting the bar as high as it’s ever been on South 287, Mildred is starting to climb back up the ladder.
The Eagles ripped off their second straight one-sided victory to open district play with a 56-7 win over Rio Vista on homecoming at Asby Field. In two weeks, Mildred has outscored its opponents, 117-7, outings much like it had last year when the Eagles fell a touchdown short of playing for a state title.
“We’ve played well the last two weeks,” said coach Patrick Harvell, whose team moved to 4-1, 2-0 in District 6-2A Division II. “I’ve been pleased with the effort.”
A 70-22 loss to state-ranked Centerville four weeks ago is long gone.
Rio Vista fell to 2-3, 0-2, and scored with 3:34 left to break up the shutout. The clock ran in the second half as Mildred led 42-0 at the half.
Mildred got the first break of the game, and didn’t look back. Rio Vista fumbled the opening kickoff, and Mildred recovered at the 16. It took two plays to take the lead, as Draylon Sterling went untouched up the middle for 16 yards after a first-down incompletion.
Rio Vista lost three fumbles in the first half, and Sterling would also score on his second run, from 58 yards out, early in the second quarter to make it 27-0 after Raleigh Seilheimer’s two-point conversion run. The Eagles went for two on touchdowns two through four in the first half, failing on the first two, and converting the others.
Sterling’s 1-2 punch for touchdowns was duplicated by Jeremy Ballard, who went 34 yards on his first carry to put Mildred up 19-0 to cap the first quarter scoring, then 27 more when he made it 35-0 later in the second. He made a nifty cut at the 20, changed directions, and easily found the end zone on is second carry of the game.
Mildred was equally effective through the air. The Eagles rushed for 259 yards on 25 carries, and quarterback Nic Shimonek was 9 of 10 passing for 171 more and two touchdowns. He found Jonathan Harrison for 29 yards in the first, then Seilheimer for 15 yards after a pump fake to the junior receiver in the third.
Mildred’s receiving corps was largely untested coming into the year, but the passing game is clicking.
“I thought they have played well all year,” Harvell said. “We feel like we can throw it when we need to, and run it when we need to. Our offensive line is finally healthy, and we’re confident in both areas.”
If Mildred had a strike against it, it was nine penalties for 80 yards, something Harvell told his team it needed to clean up after the game.
Rio Vista had 34 yards at halftime, but managed to gain 124 overall against a defense that gave up 99 last week to Blooming Grove. Rio Vista picked up four of its 10 first downs — including one of two by penalty in the game — on its final drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Nick Russell, who had 41 yards on 22 carries.
That drive, from 70 yards out, included 10 plays, and Rio Vista’s longest play, a 26-yard run from Sean Worlow.
Mildred 56, Rio Vista 7
Rio Vista 0 0 0 7 — 7
Mildred 19 23 7 7 — 56
M — Draylon Sterling 16 run (Devin O’Sullivan kick), 11:39
M — Jonthan Harrison 29 pass from Nic Shimonek (run failed), 6:30
M — Jeremy Ballard 34 run (run failed), 2:34
M — Sterling 58 run (Raleigh Seilheimer run), 10:27
M — Ballard 27 run (Shimonek run), 4:26
M — Shimonek 10 run (O’Sullivan kick), 1:22
M — Seilheimer 15 pass from Shimonek (O’Sullivan kick), 1:51
M — Nathan Childress 3 run (O’Sullivan kick), 10:22
R — Nick Russell 1 run (Joseph Chavez kick kick), 3:34
First downs 10 23
Rush-yards 44-122 25-259
Passing yards 2 171
C-A-I 2-3-0 9-10-0
Fumbles-lost 4-3 3-1
Punts-avg. 5-34 1-36
Penalties-yards 3-26 9-80
Rushing — RV: Jacob Strickland 1-0, Nick Russell 22-41, Jacob Stanley 8-36, Sean Worlow 13-45. M: Draylon Sterling 5-90, Jeremy Ballard 3-61, Nic Shimonek 8-61, Mikey Muncy 1-11, Raleigh Seilheimer 2-21, Nathan Childress 5-23, Team 1-(-6).
Passing — RV: Russell 2-3-0-2. M: Shimonek 9-10-0-171.
Receiving — RV: Tyler Crowe 1-(-3), Stanley 1-5. M: Seilheimer 1-15, Muncy 2-65, Jonathan Harrison 3-71, Sterling 1-12, Ballard 2-18.