Last year, the Varsity football team had an incredible season, finishing 10-2 following playoffs. The team was equally impressive this year,
Last year, the Varsity football team had an incredible season, finishing 10-2 following playoffs. The team was equally impressive this year, almost being undefeated by the end of the regular season. Still, with an impressive record of 9-1 before the playoffs, Millbrook proved once again to be a strong competitor during the regular season.
There was a lot that went into all of these victories, including the amount of yards put up on offense by the team. They averaged approximately 407 yards per game this season, slightly more than last season’s average of 400 yards. Of course, the team has its fair share of leaders who helped with these stats as well. This included QB Isaac Brown claiming 1,457 yards (mostly passing) as of 10/13, and WR Savan Smith achieving 1,190 receiving and rushing yards on offense by mid-October.
The 2017 season began positively on August 25, with a 52-13 win against Jefferson High School on the road. Their first home game went successfully, with a 47-7 win against Loudoun County. Their next home game was against Washington from West Virginia, where they scored the most points so far in the season with the largest score gap thus far (74-23). Despite how the game ended though, it did not begin as smoothly as Coach Josh Haymore or team captain Hunter Shaw wanted. The game started out with a few penalties on Millbrook’s side, taking them back to 3rd down and 30 yards to go at one point in the first quarter. “We were playing fast, just a couple things… we were lazy”. Eventually though, according to Hunter, “… once we got more focused, we started to play better and better as a team.” Of course though, the game still went well, winning 24-0 at the end of the first quarter. Scoring that quickly, according to Hunter, “… gives you a lot of confidence and deflates the other team’s will to want to continue playing as fast as they want to.”
The following week was an away game against Turner Ashby. Despite the winning score of 62-34, Turner Ashby’s offense still came as a surprise, going for about 470 offensive yards and scoring the most any opponent has against Millbrook this season. According to Coach Haymore, the film they watched from Turner Ashby’s games showed only a spread type of offense. In reality, they ended up running “ three different offenses” and so they had to end up “making in game-adjustments.” Still, he says “That’s no excuse, we should still be able to adapt and play our style of football, which is fast and physical”. Millbrook defeated Fauquier at home 53-31 the following week, and gave Kettle Run its first loss with 40-13 on 9/29. Millbrook’s homecoming game against Handley went well with a 43-0 win, but next week’s game against James Wood came as a slight surprise. They went for 303 yards on offense and won only 24-8, but came back strong next week by winning 22-14 against Liberty (8-2). However, the next week’s much anticipated game against Sherando did not go as planned, breaking Millbrook’s 9-game win streak. With a 9-1 record though, the team’s hard work did not go to waste.
Despite mistakes here and there, Coach Haymore was very impressed with the team. His opinion on the team simply put, was that it was awesome. “We’ve got a lot of explosive guys on offense. The guys are not selfish one bit, if Savan gets a touchdown, everybody gets excited, if Gavin scores a touchdown, everybody gets excited… Our guys are very unselfish, and just want to win.” Every game this season was well-fought, not allowing any game to end very closely.16 points was the smallest score gap this year. Coach Haymore was very impressed with the team’s work ethic. “There were leaders who stepped up this year that we weren’t really expecting… that was really a pleasant surprise”.
Following the team’s final regular season game, Millbrook returned to play Sherando in a Regional playoff game on November 17. Despite achieving 417 yards and coming very close to a victory, Millbrook came up short with a 32-35 loss. Even with the final two games of the year, the team once again did an incredible job and left Coach Haymore very proud and impressed. Looking back, Coach Haymore and co-team captain Hunter Shaw’s mindsets seemed to be examples of how the team was successful. They both claimed to stay on a ‘week by week’ kind of mindset, not looking too far into the future. In terms of their forecast of upcoming games throughout the season, Coach Haymore said, “We didn’t make forecasts, we left that to the weatherman.” According to Hunter, the goal was to “be 1-0 every week.” Haymore concluded by saying they needed to “Keep playing fast, keep playing hard, being physical… we know what we’re about, and what we put on film is actually what we are.”