Mill Valley advances past Turner

Braxton Matlock/Special to PrepsKC

By Fred Davis PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: October 30, 2010 - 2:24 AM

SHAWNEE, Kan. – In a win-or-go home scenario, both Mill Valley and Turner were looking to use a balanced attack in order to advance to the 5A playoffs next week.


And it was Mill Valley, behind 192 yards passing from sophomore quarterback Skyler Windmiller and 191 yards rushing from senior running back Kyle Brunson, whose balanced attack was the most effective in a 39-20 win over Turner Friday night at Mill Valley Stadium.


“This is a very resilient group, they made some adjustments against us, but Kyle is a patient kid and he’s got great vision, and it only took one big run to put us up by two scores,” said Mill Valley Head Coach Joel Applebee.


Turner welcomed junior quarterback Nick Boomer back into the starting lineup after Boomer hadn’t seen significant game action since separating his left shoulder in week one. Boomer had an average night throwing the ball considering he was knocking off plenty of rust, throwing for 73 yards, but he was unable to connect with his receivers for big plays downfield and the Turner offense was relegated to a lot of underneath throws and crossing routes.


The rust factor was definitely part of Boomer’s struggles.


“You can’t ask a kid to not play all season and then be good in one week against a good football team,” said Turner head coach Allen Terrell. “Nick’s a heck of a quarterback, and a heck of a battler, he just hasn’t had game experience this season.”


But the Golden Bears looked as though they were ready to spoil Mill Valley’s night when Eric Haygood took the opening kickoff to the house for a 7-0 lead. But the Jaguars answered right back, putting together an eight play, 64-yard drive on its opening possession and Brunson plunged in from two yards out for the score, his first of three touchdowns on the evening.


On the ensuing kickoff, Haygood went from hero to goat after bobbling the kickoff into his own endzone where he was gang-tackled by a trio of Mill Valley defenders for a safety, and suddenly, the Jaguars were up 9-7 with 9:15 in the first quarter and were getting the ball back.


Without any hesitation, the Jaguars went on a nine-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a Windmiller one-yard touchdown run and a 16-7 lead.


Turner wasn’t ready to concede its season though, and marched 80 yards on its next possession, which was highlighted by a David Bernal 39-yard run that put the Bears into Jaguar territory at the 29. Four plays later, Boomer scored from seven yards out, and the ballgame was back on at 16-14.


The teams traded scores before halftime and Mill Valley led 23-17.


Bernal, who played his last game as a Bruin, finished with 180 yards on 16 carries. And his coach was extremely proud of the 5-7, 175-lb. bruiser.


“For four years, he’s absolutely played his heart out. I don’t know how we’re going to replace him, he’s a warrior,” Terrell said.


Both teams traded field goals to start the second half, and Mill Valley led 26-20 midway through the fourth quarter. After forcing Turner to punt with 5:51 remaining in the contest, the Jaguars finally busted off a big play to the tune of a Brunson 65-yard touchdown run with 4:51 left and bumped the Jaguar advantage to 32-20 after a missed PAT.


Turner was unable to answer the Jaguar score, and Mill Valley took over at their own 43, and scored on a five play drive, punctuated once again by Brunson from seven yards out.


The Jaguars open postseason play next week and for Applebee, the premise for his team is simple moving forward.


“We just have to get better everyday, that’s been the goal all year long.”