Mill Valley wide receiver torches THS secondary
Shawnee The Tonganoxie High football team stopped the run as well as it had all season Friday night. Mill Valley ran for only 121 yards, compared to 220 for THS.
Stopping the Jaguars' aerial display was another matter.
Mill Valley's passing game was like watching a fireworks show in its 35-0 blanking of Tonganoxie.
MVHS senior Miles Malec orchestrated the display. The wide receiver caught six passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns. The first four Jaguars' scoring drives finished with Malec touchdowns from sophomore quarterback Luke Lawyer, who completed 8-of-11 passes for 237 yards and four scores.
"Their quarterback put it right on the money," THS coach Mark Elston said. "We were too run heavy with our secondary people and they didn't make their first reads like they were supposed to. They torched us on it."
Lawyer didn't look like a sophomore, particularly on the Jaguars opening drive. On a second-and-12 situation from the Mill Valley 35-yard line, Lawyer aired out his first pass. Malec didn't establish many steps of separation against the THS defense. He was simply taller than the Chieftains secondary, grabbed the ball out of the air with his long arms and sprinted down the left sideline untouched for the score.
"Even in a crowd, we'll take our chances with Malec," Mill Valley coach George Radell said. "He has such strong hands that if he gets his hand on the ball in a crowd, he is going to get it. He is very sure-handed."
Malec finished the first half with five catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on passes from 65, 55 and 26 yards.
The Chieftains made halftime adjustments for guarding Malec, who only caught one pass in the second half. However, it resulted in an 11-yard touchdown.
"First, you have to get more pressure on the quarterback, so he's not allowed to just unleash it," Elston said. "Second, you have to make sure the cornerbacks are taking their proper steps and their proper reads and not trying to guess. When you guess, bad things happen."
Offensively, Tonganoxie moved the ball with occasional success. Freshman quarterback Jeremy Carlisle ran for 111 yards, including a 55-yard run in the second quarter. Carlisle appeared to be tackled on the play, but somehow sprung free of the pile and broke for the left sideline. Fittingly, the only player separating Carlisle from the end zone was Malec, who tracked him down at the MVHS 25-yard line.
Tonganoxie couldn't score on the drive when Carlisle's pass fell incomplete on 4th-and-12. The Chieftains actually backed up to the MVHS 27-yard line before the fourth down because of a false start penalty. Tonganoxie had seven penalties Friday -- five were false starts.
"It's ridiculous," Elston said. "It's just a lack of concentration, lack of desire, lack of effort. It's embarrassing. I'm very disappointed and disgruntled with that."
Mill Valley's special teams unit made it difficult on Tonganoxie as well. Zak King, who ran for 50 yards and a touchdown, also handled kickoff and punting duties.
"They had long fields to drive on," Radell said. "Zak had five touchbacks and twice punted inside the 20 yard line."
Tonganoxie may have the best chance at its first victory Friday when it plays host to Santa Fe Trail for homecoming. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Santa Fe Trail is 1-3 on the season. Its one victory came against Immaculata, which is 0-4, in Week 2. Santa Fe Trail won, 17-8.
Notes: To listen to a podcast on the Tonganoxie High football team, visit www.ljworld.com/podcasts. Sports editor Eric Sorrentino talks about the Chieftains on the High School Spodcasters.
Scoring by quarter:
Mill Valley 14 7 7 7 -- 35
Tonganoxie 0 0 0 0 -- 0
MV -- 5:08, Miles Malec 65 pass from Luke Lawyer (Zak King kick)
MV -- 1:23, Malec 55 pass from Lawyer (King kick)
MV -- 2:54, Malec 26 pass from Lawyer (King kick)
MV -- 2:48, Malec 11 pass from Lawyer (King kick)
MV -- 10:06, King 2 run (King kick)