Mill Creek 65, West Forsyth 27
Mill Creek 7 30 28 0–65
West Forsyth 7 8 6 6–27
W: McConnell 80 pass to Anderskow (kick good), 11:23
MC: Hawkins 4 run (kick good), 1:40
MC: Hawkins 97 run (kick good), 11:46
MC: Safety, 11:31
MC: Otiwu 75 interception return (kick good), 5:46
MC: Turner 40 run (kick good), 3:26
MC: Hawkins 2 run (kick good), 2:30
W: McConnell 9 run (2-pt good), 0:14
MC: David 6 run (kick good), 9:30
MC: Turner 4 run (kick good), 6:00
W: McConnell 69 pass to Schmitz (2-pt missed), 5:15
MC: Efianayi 27 run (kick good), 2:53
MC: Turley 45 pass to Turner (kick good), 0:57
W: Grinstead 4 pass to Lingo (2-pt missed), 0:28
Mill Creek looked to have a heavyweight bout on their hands when West Forsyth receiver Grant Anderskow caught a screen pass and sprinted 80 yards to the end zone on the game’s second play.
Any thoughts of a slugfest ended 14 seconds into the second quarter. Mill Creek running back Johnathan Hawkins took an inside handoff at his own 3 yard line, broke one tackle at the line of scrimmage and outran every Wolverines defender for a 97-yard score.
The Hawks scored 37 unanswered points in the span of 11 minutes, 10 seconds in the first and second quarters and cruised to a 65-27 win over West on Friday at The Den. It was the most points allowed by the Wolverines in school history.
“Overall, we’ve got to be proud of our offensive line and our backs,” Mill Creek (1-1) coach Shannon Jarvis said. “Hawkins, [Brian] Efianayi and Malik Turner all ran the ball real well.”
Mill Creek, already down a score after just 37 seconds, gave the ball right back to the Wolverines (0-1). Ryan Guthrie recovered a Hawkins fumble at the Hawks’ 42. Three Hampton McConnell (9-for-16, 248 yards, 2 TD, INT; 43 rush, TD) runs and one incompletion later, West’s 33-yard field goal attempt was blocked.
“You can’t give a team like Mill Creek opportunities,” West coach Adam Clack said. “We jumped out on them early and had a chance to add to the lead, but we get a field goal blocked. Instead of 10-0, they’re still down one score and get a shot in the arm.”
Mill Creek marched to the West 26 on two long runs from Hawkins (15 carries, 179 yards, 3 TD), but the senior running back was stopped just short of the first down marker on 4th-and-4. After a West three-and-out, Mill Creek finally got on the board as Hawkins plowed in from four yards on first-and-goal.
Hawkins’ long run turned the tide. McConnell’s pooch punt had the Hawks pinned deep in their own territory, but not for long.
“You take five stinkin’ plays out of this game—and that was one of them—and you look at it on film, you’d say that looks like a pretty good game,” Clack said.
The Hawks forced a West safety 15 seconds later to extend the lead. Midway through the second quarter, Mill Creek linebacker Sidney Otiwu stepped in front of a screen pass and rumbled 75 yards for a touchdown.
“We had the screen set up, but our back ran the wrong way,” Clack said.
The Wolverines, sensing the contest slipping away, went for it on 4th-and-2 from their own 40-yard line. McConnell found a receiver open deep down the middle, but his throw was dropped. On the next play, the Hawks’ Turner (4 carries, 44 yards, 2 TD) scampered off right tackle for a 40-yard touchdown.
Mill Creek kicked deep to West and forced and recovered a fumble on the return at the Wolverines’ 16. Hawkins ran it four consecutive times and tallied his third touchdown of the first half from two yards out.
“Once you start shooting yourself in the foot, bad stuff like that starts to happen,” Clack said. “Our defense was out there so much, and they started to get worn down. When you’re giving up an average of 50 pounds a man, something’s got to give.”
McConnell accounted for most of West’s offense. The senior quarterback evaded Mill Creek pressure to run in for a 9-yard score with 28 seconds left in the first half and found Nathan Schmitz for a 69-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
“I thought Hampton was up and down,” Clack said. “He tried to do too much at times, but he can make some plays that nobody else on the field can and makes us look smart on offense.”
“Hampton’s a great player and a Georgia Southern commit for a reason,” Jarvis said. “Our safeties are young, but we’ve got to play better in the back end and not have the coverage busts we had on a couple deep throws.”
Brian Efianayi (12 carries, 95 yards) added a 27-yard touchdown run and Turner caught a 45-yard score over the middle in the third quarter for Mill Creek’s final tally. The Hawks finished with 359 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Quarterback Daniel David, an Appalachian State commit, attempted just five passes.
“We’re not where we want to be anywhere on the field yet,” Clack said. “We played at least 11 guys tonight that had never played a varsity snap. Now, we just have to go get ready for Alpharetta.”