By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR October 30, 2001 Visiting Millbrook grabbed a three touchdown lead in the first quarter and didnt look back in Saturdays Class D football game versus Livingston Manor.
Millbrook (8-0, 4-0 Class D) went on to post a 46-13 win over Manor to earn a spot in the Class D Championship game on November 11 at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. The Blazers will face Roscoe in the title tilt.
Wasting little time, the Blazers took the opening kickoff and drove 54 yards for a touchdown. Tailback Billy Martini burst through the line from the one-yard line to give Millbrook a 6-0 lead with 8:59 left in the first quarter.
Manor (3-5, 1-2 Class D) was forced to punt on its first possession, giving Millbrook the ball back less than two minutes later.
Martini, who rushed for 212 yards in the game, soon found the endzone again. On first-and-10 from the Blazers 30-yard-line, Martini swept to the left and scampered down the sideline for a 70-yard score.
Four plays into the ensuing Manor possession, the Millbrook defense forced a fumble and recovered the ball.
On the very next play, Millbrook quarterback Quinn Shaw connected with wide receiver Perry Owens for a 51-yard touchdown pass. The scoring strike boosted the Blazer lead to 18-0.
Late in the second quarter, Wildcat receiver Travis Morton capped a 13-play drive by running for a six-yard touchdown on a reverse play. He then was successful with the PAT kick to cut the Millbrook lead to 18-7.
But the Blazers quickly grabbed the momentum back as Owens took the ensuing kickoff and ran it back for an 85-yard-touchdown. That score and a two-point conversion run by Martini gave Millbrook a 26-7 lead going into the locker room.
After Millbrook scored another touchdown late in the third quarter, Wildcat Brian Will gave the home crowd a reason to cheer as he ran back a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. After gathering the ball in the eight-yard-line, Will raced down the sideline for the score.
Wills run to paydirt cut the Blazer lead to 33-13 with 1:28 left in the third quarter.
But he and his teammates could not get any closer in the fourth quarter as Millbrook added two more touchdowns.
We had a bad week of practice, Millbrook coach Denny Riva said. But on Thursday, the assistant coaches and I really yelled at them. I guess that woke them up.
Millbrook, which has 18 seniors on its roster, earned a trip to the D title game for the second consecutive year. But Riva noted that it wasnt easy.
Roscoe, Tri-Valley and Manor have good teams and Eldred will come back strong next year, Riva commented. And I have a lot of respect for the coaches in this division.
Manor coach Scott Branning noted that turnovers hurt his team in the contest. The Wildcats had three fumbles that stopped drives.
We are not going to be a good football team until we stop fumbling the ball, Branning said. It seems like any time we get back into the game, we do something to give the ball right back to them again.
Notes: The Millbrook defense limited Wildcat running back George Thomas to 66 yards on 23 carries. . . . Manor will play its last game of the season on Saturday. The Wildcats will host Tri-Valley at 1:30 p.m. in a Class D game.