MN football facing lofty early expectations
October 5, 2015
They started at the top, #1 in the preseason ranking. The Mustangs football team found themselves looking at a hole early though, down 10-0 to Millard South in the first game of the season. However, after halftime they were able to rally back, scoring 14 unanswered points for the win. The second game didn’t go as well.
10 minutes into the first quarter Millard North was up 7-0, but it only went downhill from there. Millard West went on to score 42 points and shutting out Millard North’s offense through the rest of the game.
“The loss hurt our pride, and as a team we have got to lose the sense of entitlement. Nothing will be given to us.” Senior fullback and middle linebacker Jacob Matthew said.
As of print the Mustangs have had a tough start to the season, pulling out a close win in the first week, and a loss the second that surprised even Millard West’s quarterback. It was not the start that the players thought that they were ready for.
“We were prepared, we just didn’t execute” Matthew said.
The first week of June is when Football players began showing up for practices again, 7:30 sharp, all week Monday through Saturday.
“June was when everyone was done with spring sports.” Senior quarterback and free safety Ethan Morrison said. “If we were not playing a sport though we still had winter and spring lifting and some conditioning.”
The Mustangs have been hard at work getting ready for this season, after a disappointing end to the last one, going 10-0 in the regular season, but lost in the quarterfinals game to Papillion-Lavista South.
“It was a game we felt we were in control of” Coach Chavez said “but at the end of the day they made one more big play than we did.”
During the preseason critics praised Millard North’s chances this year, The Omaha World Herald put them at number one of their class-A rankings, but Chavez was adamant that this year is no different than any other.
“We are always ready, every season we are ready to make a run at the title. We always do our best to prepare for each game, and never disrespect a team by not taking them seriously,” Chavez said.
After a very successful season last year MN has a lot of returning players that will have a large impact on the team. Their quarterback, who was on the team when they last won the state championship in 2012-2013, says he sees many similarities between that team and this one.
“We had a lot of playmakers on that team, Isaac Aakre, Nick Roth, and we have a lot of players like that here again.” Morrison said, “Having Jake Matthew and Adrian Kellog back will be great for our offense.
Morrison was also insistent that having back multiple offensive linemen will help improve the offense.
“The linemen are a huge part of the team, having seniors like Ethan Butler, Daniel Jahn, Josh Reil and Corey Casper back on the line is a huge help to our offense. They are the one’s we are always running behind” Morrison said.
Any football coach will tell you how important it is to have a good, tough offensive line, especially when running the ball. And MN should not have any shortage of running plays.
However not everyone is coming back this season. Adrrell Taylor was a big part of Millard North’s offense last season but graduated last spring.
“With players like Adrrell you can’t replace them. We miss them but we always plan for the future, and there are guys that are ready to step up.” Chavez said.
One of those that stepped up was Tate Moyer, Senior Wide receiver that played behind Taylor last season. He scored the game-winning touchdown against Millard South on a 56 yard run in the fourth quarter. It was his only touch of the game.
Though Moyer had success in that first game, the team as a whole struggled. The second loss was by a very large deficit, and many fans thought the first should not have been as close.
“We having been preparing a lot for this season but there is only so much you can prepare for” Petito said “We have lots of returning guys but we also having guys that are new that are still adjusting.”
Petito thought that everyone on the team needs to toughen up to have success this season, but he was confident in his squad.
“I’ve been doing this awhile, and I can tell this is a good group of guys, they’ll get there” Petito said.
Petito is right, he has been doing this a while, and in that time he and the rest of the coaching staff have shown that they know how to win. By no means is Millard North down and out, but they still have a long season ahead of them. At the moment they can only come out swinging, and in such a competitive sport, they will need to be.