One year ago, the Westview Chargers entered Week 10 without a loss and in pursuit of a perfect regular season. The visiting Milan Bulldogs spoiled that goal with the upset win.
Crash — Westview senior running back J.C. Griggs bulls over Milan’s Trey Milan on the way to the end zone for the second Charger touchdown in their 45-14 loss to the host Bulldogs last Friday night.
Last week, it was the Bulldogs aiming for perfection in the regular season as Week 10’s game approached.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, they could not return the favor by handing Milan its first loss.
The Bulldogs used three interception returns for touchdowns to foil any Westview hopes, winning easily 45-14 Friday night in Milan.
“We didn’t execute. I thought we needed to throw the ball to move it against their defense. We got the looks we expected, but we just didn’t execute,” Westview head coach Don Coady said after the loss.
The Milan victory locked up first place in Region 8-2A and a top seed in the TSSAA’s Class AA playoff bracket. Despite the loss, Westview finished in third in Region 8-2A and advances to the postseason.
In the opening round of the playoffs, Milan (10-0, 7-0) will host Booker T. Washington (2-8, 2-2), the third seed from Region 9-2A. The Chargers will travel to Memphis to take on the Oakhaven Hawks (6-4, 3-1), the second seed from Region 9-2A. Kickoff for both games is at 7 on Friday night.
Milan, the No. 2 ranked team in Class AA statewide polls, set the tone with a powerful march on the game’s opening drive. Runs by Jobronski Gilbert, including a 36-yard rumble to convert a fourth-and one near midfield, set up a Justin Coleman to Avery Williamson 13-yard swing pass for the game’s first touchdown. Rick Moody nailed the PAT, as he did after every MHS touchdown, to give the host Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 8:30 left in the first quarter.
On its first possession, WHS moved the chains on a Brian West to Mark Tucker pass good for 15 yards before punting.
Starting at its own 20, Milan needed eight plays to cover the 80 yards. A Milan penalty negated a 50-yard run to paydirt by Jobronski Gilbert, but on the next play Chris Bledsoe rumbled 28 yards to the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 2:53 left in the opening quarter.
Already trailing, the Chargers then became their own worst enemy. Quarterback Brian West’s third down pass was picked off by Hakim Hart and returned 40 yards for a Milan 21-0 lead with just under two minutes to play in the first quarter.
After the kickoff, Westview got its biggest offensive play of the half — a 43-yard run by Chevy Taylor — to move the ball down to the Milan 30.
One play later, West was picked off again, this time by Tim Adkisson, and returned 79 yards down the sideline to increase Milan’s lead to 28-0 with 20 ticks left in the quarter.
The third consecutive Charger drive ended abruptly when snake-bitten West was picked off for the third time. J.W. Williams returned the pick 41 yards for Milan’s fifth touchdown and a 35-0 lead with 10 minutes to play in the first half.
Staying with the running game, the Chargers moved to the Bulldog 36 on gains by Chris Gardner, J.C. Griggs and West, but were stuffed on a fourth-and-three at the 36 to give the ball back to Milan with four minutes left in the half.
Coleman hit on four of seven passes to set up Gilbert’s 1-yard TD run to provide the halftime score of 42-0.
With the clock running continuously in the second half thanks to the TSSAA mercy rule, Westview took the kickoff to begin the third quarter, but fumbled the ball on the second snap of the half.
For the fourth time in the game, Milan scored points after a WHS turnover. This time the Bulldogs converted a Moody 29-yard field goal to stretch their lead to 45-0 with 6:40 left in the third.
The Chargers got on the board with their second drive of the second half — a seven-play, 59-yard march. Freshman Abraham Haddad picked up 30 of those yards on four carries. West took the scoring honors with a 1-yard run and Hyeontae Kim added the PAT to cut the Milan lead to 45-7 with 31 ticks remaining in the third quarter.
Milan’s next drive ended when Gardner intercepted Bulldog backup QB Zach Ryan.
On the next snap, Griggs raced 52 yards for a touchdown, running over a would-be Milan tackler in the open field along the way. Kim’s kick closed out scoring in the 45-14 WHS loss.
Westview 0 0 7 7—14
Milan 28 14 3 0—45
MHS — Avery Williamson 13-yard pass from Justin Coleman, (Rick Moody kick), 8:30.
MHS — Chris Bledsoe 28-yard run, (Moody kick), 2:53.
MHS — Hakim Hart 35-yard interception return, (Moody kick), 1:55.
MHS — Tim Adkisson 79-yard interception return, (Moody kick), 00:20.
MHS — J.W. Williamson 41-yard interception return, (Moody kick), 10:02.
MHS — Jobronski Gilbert 1-yard run, (Moody kick), 1:44.
MHS — Moody 29-yard field goal, 6:40.
WHS — Brian West 1-yard run, (Hyeontae Kim kick), 00:31.
WHS — J.C. Griggs 52-yard run, (Kim kick), 8:35.
First Downs 15 13
Rushes-yards 40-254 24-165
Passing yards 15 77
Comp-Att-Int 1-7-3 6-11-1
Punts 1-30 1-45
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 1-5 4-30
Rushing — Westview, J.C. Griggs 14-104, Chevy Taylor 5-67, Abraham Haddad 8-42, Chris Gardner 4-21, Brian West 8-17, Tremaine McKinley 1-3; Milan, Jobronski Gilbert 11-102, Chris Bledsoe 3-31, Zach Ryan 3-17, Justin Coleman 1-6, Tim Adkisson 1-4, Donnie Criswell 1-3, Avery Williamson 2-2, Jerkarden Harris 2-0.
Passing — Westview, West 1-7-3 — 15; Milan, Coleman 6-10-0 — 77, Ryan 0-1-1 — 0.
Receiving — Westview, Mark Tucker 1-15; Milan, Dominic Moore 3-47, Beau Vandiver 1-14, Williamson 1-13, Williams 1-11, Tristian Peoples 1-11.
Records — Westview 6-4 (5-2 Region 8-2A), Milan 10-0 (7-0 Region 8-2A).
Next Game — In the first round of the TSSAA playoffs, Westview will visit Oakhaven in Memphis, while Milan will host Booker T. Washing with kickoff for both games at 7 p.m. on Friday.