Defense Dominates, Offense Picks Apart LaGrange
LAGRANGE, Ga. - The Millsaps Majors had over 479 total yards of offense and held the LaGrange Panthers to 211 yards of total offense as they stomped the Panthers, 54-7 on Saturday afternoon.
The Majors got plenty of huge performances on the afternoon as they took control of the game early and improved their record to 2-0 on the season. For Millsaps, it's the first time they've started 2-0 since 2008, where they finished the regular season 10-0.
Millsaps got on the board first as senior quarterback Garrett Pinciotti found sophomore Zander Romano for an eight yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. For Romano, it was his first career touchdown reception.
The two teams exchanged possessions throughout the first quarter as the Majors clinged to the one touchdown lead. As the second quarter began with the Panthers holding possession in their own territory, sophomore Zach Bell began a huge day with a sack of quarterback Ed Russ and a forced fumble that junior Alex Stewart fell on to give the Majors excellent field position.
The Majors steadily powered their way to the endzone including runs of seven and 11 by Pinciotti to get inside the ten. On the sixth play of the drive, sophomore Mike Barthelemy capped the drive off with a one yard plunge into the endzone to put Millsaps up 14-0.
After holding LaGrange to a three and out which included a sack from sophomore Jeff Milner, the Majors put another drive together, resulting in eight plays and ending in a 28 yard field goal from sophomore Beau Brady.
LaGrange then got on the board after a good kick return and a personal foul penalty on a third down put the Panthers in good field position. Kent Gibson ran it in from 27 yards out to make it a 17-7 game in favor of Millsaps.
The Majors responded with an eight play, 92-yard drive, which included completions of 18 and 38 to sophomore Trevor King and a brilliant diving catch by Romano. Pinciotti capped off the drive with a four yard tocuhdown pass to junior Taylor Morris to make it 24-7.
On the ensuing kickoff, Morris made another huge play by forcing a fumble that sophomore Jorrick Battle fell on to give the Majors another opportunity for points with 45 seconds remaining in the half.
It only took one play as Pinciotti found senior Kegan Joplin across the middle, who made a man miss and streaked down the sideline for a 41 yard touchdown and a 31-7 lead going into half.
The Major defense was excellent in the first half, holding LaGrange to only 94 yards of total offense, while Pinciotti led the Majors with over 200 yards passing and three touchdowns.
The Millsaps Defense came out smoking in the second as they held LaGrange to a three and out and got the offense the ball back.
And the offense did not disappoint as Pinciotti led his squad on another eight play drive, this time in only 33 yards, resulting in another short touchdown to Morris to put Millsaps up 38-7.
The Major defense again harassed the Panthers on offense that led to another three and out. This time as LaGrange went back to punt, Bell made another big time play with a blocked punt that went out the back of the endzone for a safety as Millsaps went up 40-7.
Millsaps added two more touchdowns throughout the second half, thanks to a 48 yard run by Barthelemy and a nine yard run by freshman Zach Cart to finish LaGrange off, 54-7.
Pinciotti was terrific, going 17-for-27 for 270 yards passing and four touchdowns as he threw to nine different receivers on the afternoon. Barthelemy struggled early, but found a pace later in the game, carrying 14 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns. King had a career day with three catches for 77 yards while Joplin added five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.
The Millsaps offensive line led by seniors Nathan Quick and Kyle MacDonald, captain Kyle Skene, and the likes of junior Charlie Sagan and sophomore Greyson Smothers dominated the LaGrange front line all day.
The same could be said for the Millsaps defensive line, led by Bell who had a career day with six tackles including two sacks, a forced fumble, and a blocked punt. Milner and junior Blake Price also added sacks on the day. The Major D had eight tackles for loss on the afternoon
Junior Dustin Harscher and sophomore Alex Jackson each had six tackles on the afternoon. Junior Jonathan Moore picked up his first interception of the year. The Majors also got another blocked punt to set up their final score from junior Mitchell Keeton.
The Majors are back in action next weekend as they travel to Valley, Ala. to take on Point University. Kickoff will be set for 1 p.m. and will be live on College TV Ticket.