Mill Valley looks to snap four-game losing streak against new rival, old friends
Last spring, Cody Plummer sat in the cafeteria at DeSoto High and pondered the future.
His days at DeSoto had dwindled down to a precious few and the standout athlete was thinking ahead to a night in October.
"I can't even tell you what it's going to be like playing football against DeSoto," said Plummer, the senior wide receiver who left with most of his teammates to start a new program at Mill Valley. "It's going to be strange."
That night is upon us.
Mill Valley travels to DeSoto Thursday night for the first-ever football meeting between the two schools.
On paper, the more-experienced Jaguars have to be favored even though they have lost four straight games, including last Friday's 27-6 loss to Frontier League champion Eudora.
Were it not for a fourth-quarter touchdown by sophomore fullback Chris Vanlerberg, the Jaguars would have suffered their second straight sub-state district shutout loss.
Chances are, they will find the going much less resistance against a young DeSoto squad that had been torch for 378 points in eight games and has given up more than 70 points on two occasions this year.
Against Eudora, the Jaguars seemed intent on playing a physical brand of football and taking Brian Harris, the Cardinals' leading rusher out of the game.
They keyed on Harris early and it opened up passing lanes for quarterback Ronnie Morelan to exploit. Tight end Stephen Krutz had his biggest game ever for the Cardinals. He hauled on four passes for 70 yards in the first half and added a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Eudora jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and extended it to 20-0 before the intermission. In the second half, the Cardinals established their ground game and took time off the clock while putting their seventh victory into the bank.
On Thursday, Mill Valley will look to unleash a sometimes-punishing rushing game of its own. John Gooden, Justin Cobb and Vanlerberg account for most of the carries and have shown flashes of brilliance this season.