BHS Falls, 39-36
WINCHESTER — The Broadway High School football team hammered and chiseled away at Millbrook’s defense with its running game, and Gobblers quarterback Kirk Rygol had plenty of success moving Broadway up and down the field by frequently hitting the bull’s-eye with his figurative arrows.
None of it could match Millbrook’s bag full of dynamite sticks and fireworks, though.
Despite running 40 fewer offensive plays and recording 18 fewer first downs, the Pioneers emerged with a wild 39-36 win over Broadway in the season-opener for both teams.
With touchdowns of 73, 70 and 65 yards, Millbrook was explosive on offense.
While the Pioneers’ defense gave up 492 yards and were on the field for 71 plays, they frequently turned the tide with their timely plays. Millbrook had six sacks, including four by junior linebacker A.J. Brandon. One in the first half forced Broadway to kick a field goal inside the Millbrook red zone, another inside the Gobblers’ 20 allowed senior Tyler Gray to kick a 32-yard field with 3:59 left in the third quarter, which turned out to be the winning points.
Gray also kicked a 31-yard field goal in the first half. With seven of his eight kickoffs going for touchbacks and two of his punts going inside the 20, Broadway was repeatedly forced to go great distances on offense.
The victory wasn’t quite how Millbrook coach Josh Haymore drew it up — Broadway’s comeback from 39-17 down was aided by penalties, as the Pioneers had 14 for 106 yards.
But after winning just two games last year, he’ll definitely take the win.
“We played well tonight on offense,” Haymore said. “I thought we played well tonight on defense, but we’ve got to cut out the penalties and mental mistakes.
“We had some big plays tonight, but the thing I was happiest with tonight was blocking. We blocked well at the point of attack and were where we needed to be.”
The last three minutes of the first half and first three of the second half were particularly rough for the Gobblers.
Millbrook sophomore P.K. Kier caught a pass that went off the hands of intended receiver Chris Oates inside the Broadway 40, allowing him to go the rest of the way untouched for a 73-yard touchdown reception that made it 16-10 Millbrook. The Pioneers then forced a three-and-out, took over at their own 47 with 59 seconds left and went in to score a touchdown with three seconds left in the first half to go up 23-10.
Finally, Millbrook linebacker Jakob Albert intercepted a Rygol pass on the third play of the second half, and he returned it 26 yards to the Broadway 3-yard line to set up a 3-yard TD run from quarterback Mark Paxton that made it 29-10 with 10:21 left in the second half.
As good as Broadway was in the second half, the Gobblers were forced to just do too much work.
“The big plays, we came out on the long end of a lot of those, but our kids just played so hard,” Broadway coach Brad Lutz said. “I feel like we were the more physical team and I feel like we outplayed them, but that doesn’t always win football games.
“[Millbrook] came out and they played well. I don’t want to take anything away from Haymore because they’re a great football team. I’m pleased with the way our kids handled themselves after those big plays because it could have been detrimental. We didn’t hang our heads, but big plays is what it boiled down to.”
For Broadway, Kirk Rygol completed 22 of 30 passes for 234 yards and one touchdown (he completed passes to eight different receivers, led by Tristen Boyer’s four catches for 45 yards), and rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Austin Delawder had 10 carries for 43 yards and three touchdowns, and Ryan Smith had 11 carries for 60 yards and one touchdown.
Broadway 7 3 7 19 – 36
Millbrook 0 23 16 0 – 39
B — Smith 1 run (Hylton kick), 2:30
M — Gray 31 field goal, 11:54
B — Hylton 30 field goal, 6:53
M — Kier 70 run (kick blocked), 6:19
M — Kier 73 pass from Paxton (Gray kick), 1:59
M — C. Hartigan 3 pass from Paxton (Gray kick), 0:03
M — Paxton 3 run (kick blocked), 10:29
B — Delawder 1 run (Hylton kick), 6:01
M — R. Hartigan 65 pass from Paxton (Gray kick), 5:49
M — Gray 32 field goal, 3:59
B — Delawder 4 run (Hylton kick), 11:47
B — Delawder 3 run (run failed), 7:51
B — Rygol 22 run (run failed), 1:19
First downs 28 10
Rushes-yards 49-258 26-190
Passing Yards 234 164
Passing 22-30-1 5-7-0
Punts-Avg. 3-16.6 3-37.0
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 6-40 14-106