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Defense, Special Teams Push Millbrook Past Heritage

By Evan Moesta, 10/23/16, 10:15AM EDT

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Against the top passing offense in the Cap-8 Conference, Millbrook’s defense took their game to another level on Friday night as they forced five turnovers en route to a 17-15 victory over Heritage.

Senior defensive backs Cameron Celetti, and Nic Vinson grabbed two interception apiece off of one of the area’s leading passers in Gunnar Holmberg. Vinson helped block an early Husky field goal attempt, and as a unit the Wildcats held Heritage to only two scores, one coming in the final minute of play.

After falling behind midway through the second quarter on a 44-yard scramble from Holmberg, the Wildcats responded with a kick return for a touchdown by Tyler Snead that ended up being called back due to a penalty.

Millbrook was unable to get anything going with the poor field position, and momentum started to shift in the direction of the opponents following a three-and-out. The momentum was temporary as Cameron Celetti made a nifty grab at midfield for his first interception of the season.

The first Celetti interception of the night kick-started Kenny McCray and the offense as they navigated their way deep into Husky territory where Larry Rountree would take a hand-off 21-yards untouched for a score to get within a point at 8-7, the score that the two teams would end up taking into halftime.

Snead ignited Millbrook early in the third quarter with a reverse hand-off run for a touchdown, but once more it would be called back due to a flag. Two plays later, Branden Kunz picked off McCray only to see the Huskies’ offense come up short and force a punt.

Pinned deep following the punt, the Wildcats would string together one of their more impressive drives of the season. One of McCray’s three completions on the night got Millbrook to midfield as Isaiah Bowman was on the receiving end of a 16-yard grab. McCray then scooted his way down to the thirty on a quarterback draw, then Larry Rountree got the Wildcats into the redzone with a six yard run.

Kenny McCray pulled back an option and kept it himself to get Millbrook down to the six yard line, and two plays later Rountree found paydirt for the twenty third time this season with a 1-yard run to give Millbrook their first lead of the game at 14-8.

Cameron Celetti sent the game to the fourth quarter with his second interception of the evening, and after coming up short on the ensuing drive, Will Gentile pinned the Huskies inside their own five yard line with a coffin-corner punt. In the shadows of their own endzone, Heritage turned the ball over for the fifth and final time which proved to be the difference in the game.

Flushed out of the pocket, Gunnar Holmberg hooked up with a wide open Nic Vinson at mid-field for Vinson’s fourth interception of the season, and thirteenth of his career. The interception gave Millbrook short field position which would lead to a Will Gentile 38-yard field goal to make it a two score game with three minutes remaining.

Heritage managed to score with a minute to go, and force Millbrook to go three-and-out with thirty seconds left, but Gentile’s third punt inside the 10-yard line on Friday night proved to be too much as the Huskies were unable to go ninety-one yards for the game winner.

Millbrook moves to 7-2 with the victory, and their conference record increases to 4-1. Heritage falls to 7-2 with the defeat, and 3-2 in the conference. For the first time this season, the Wildcats have sole possession of second place in Cap-8, a position that they have not been in since November of 2014. Next week, the team travels to Leesville Road to take on the Pride who nearly upset Wake Forest on Friday night in a 24-17 defeat.