Millennium football preview

Millennium is preparing to play the defending 5A champion in Sunrise Mountain on Friday.

Millennium looks to rebound on Oct. 15 against Sunrise Mountain after suffering its second loss of the season to Horizon High School this past week.

Once again, it wasn’t the Tiger offense that was the problem as much as it was the Tigers’ defense. Millennium let up 43 total points against the Huskies and it is starting to become a trend for this defense to let up a lot of points.

Another notable stat to look at is the home and away record for the Tigers.

So far this season, Millennium has been undefeated when playing in Goodyear on its home turf. So far the Tigers have been 3-0 and average at least three touchdowns per home game this year, making it tough on opponents to come in and steal a win.

However, on the road, it’s a bit of a different story for the Tigers. They are 0-2 on the road so far this season and that is a number that will have to change if this Millennium team wants to make a run in the postseason.

For Sunrise Mountain, it was a slow start to the season. After picking up a 49-6 win in, Week 1 against Cienega, the Mustangs started to falter and dropped their following three games. With a 1-3 record they went into a matchup against Mesquite and were able to pick up a big time win, boosting them to 2-3 on the season.

The Mustangs bring a balanced offensive attack style, splitting the run game and pass game virtually right down the middle. Senior quarterback Hunter Kronengold has had a steady workload this season as he works closer to amassing 1000 yards through the air for the Mustangs. On the ground for Sunrise Mountain, its junior Rex Underhill, who has 363 yards off of 101 carries for 5 total touchdowns. Underhill, a two sport athlete, recorded 135 yards and 3 touchdowns last week against Mesquite proving he will be dangerous on the ground against the Tigers.

For Millennium, it will be about feeding the two players that have shown the most explosiveness and veteran experience as well as executing on offense. Head coach Lamar Early spoke on the importance of offensive execution.

“We need to be looking to execute so we can win ball games,” Early said.

Senior quarterback Blake Sparks and sophomore running back Zues Pinder have looked like the go-to guys for Millennium this season. Pinder knows he’s a hunted player on the field.

“Defenses key on me and I have to do what I can to help my team,” Pinder said.

Similar to the Mustangs, the Tigers also split their play calling right down the middle making it hard for defenses to predict what’s coming. Sparks and Pinder make that easy to do, both of these athletes have displayed time and time again that they possess the skill and experience to make the right plays down the stretch in the game.

Head coach Lamar Early spoke about his confidence in Sparks.

“When you have a guy that's that poised, you never have to doubt if he can get the job done,” Early said.

Sparks' numbers back up that statement as he already has over 1000 yards through the air and threw for two touchdowns and 324 yards against Horizon in their last matchup. Sparks had this to say about his team and their effort this season.

“So much willingness to fight from guys all over the roster and field,” Sparks said. “We always want to make a statement.”

“Statements,” are exactly what the Tigers will strive to produce the rest of the season as they head forward with their season in Goodyear. With just five games remaining this season for Millennium, it will look to make the most of every opportunity throughout the remainder of the season.