Mill Valley record 5-0 after win over Bonner
It can be hard enough to stop one running back.
But trying to corral four quality backs can give defense a headache.
That headache belonged to Bonner Springs High School Friday night as the Mill Valley Jaguars upped their record to 5-0 on the season with a 34-15 victory at home.
Mill Valley's four studs, seniors John Goodin, Chris Vanlerberg, Max Woods and sophomore David Woods, compiled more than 300 yards on the ground in the victory over the Braves.
"Mill Valley's a good football team and they have some good backs," Bonner Springs coach Lew Kasselman said. "That's a tough offense to defend, and they have a couple of studs that ran the ball real well."
After opening the game with a 13-play, eight-minute drive that yielded no points, Bonner Springs fell behind when Mill Valley scored on its first three possessions.
The Jags' first touchdown was set up by Goodin's 60-yard trot on third-and-one. Vanlerberg punched the ball in from three yards out, and Mill Valley led 6-0. Mill Valley added another touchdown on its second drive of the game when Max Woods scored from a yard out, and a third touchdown came a drive later on Goodin's three-yard touchdown run.
The three straight scores put the Jags up 20-0 with five minutes left in the half. Despite scoring on their first three drives, Mill Valley coach George Radell did not call the game an easy win.
"We really expected to play a tougher team than we had seen all year," Radell said after the game. "And I think we got that. This was a hard-fought victory. We did some things well, but we still made too many mistakes. We didn't tackle well and we didn't finish the game as strong as we would've liked."
Trailing 20-0, the Braves made an effort to get back into the game before the break.
Quarterback Aaron Weathers led the Braves on a 14-play, four-minute scoring drive to cut Mill Valley's lead to 21-7 at the break.
On the drive, Weathers connected on five-of-seven passes for 49 yards, including a 15-yard scoring strike to fullback Drew Hess. Weathers also ran for 23 yards on the drive, as he accounted for 70 of the 75 yards the drive spanned.
Bonner Springs fullback and linebacker David Bass said he thought the drive put the Braves back in the game.
"We were back in it, but we knew we still had some work to do to get all the way back," Bass said.
In the second half, Bass and the Bonner Springs defense came out with fire and almost found themselves all the way back.
Mill Valley took the second half kickoff at its own 35-yard line, and after a false start penalty backed the Jags up five yards, the Braves held Mill Valley three-and-out and forced them to punt.
After stalling on offense, the Bonner defense again held the Jags three-and-out and forced another punt.
Then came the turning point.
The Jags punted deep into Bonner Springs territory and as junior Matt Middleton ran up to field, the punt the ball ricocheted off of him and was recovered by Mill Valley.
One play later the Jags scored and put the game away. Goodin took the ball over the left side for three yards and his second score of the game to put the Jags up 26-7.
"That muffed punt really killed us," Kasselman said. "That took the wind out of our sails and put the game away."
Mill Valley added another touchdown late in the third quarter when quarterback Tony Alvarez scored from four yards out on an option play around the right side.
For the game, Alvarez was 2-for-6 for 31 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
The Mill Valley defense forced three Bonner Springs fumbles and recovered one.
Radell was pleased with the victory, but said the Jaguars still have a lot of work in front of them.
"We're happy to get this win, but it's not going to get any easier," he said. "We've got some tough ball games coming up and we're just going to continue to take them one at a time and see what happens."
The Jags next contest will be Friday when they travel to Tonganoxie to take on the Chieftains, who own a 3-2 overall record and a 3-1 Kaw Valley League record.
Game time is set for 7 p.m.