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The Milan Wildcats’ varsity squad traveled to Princeton on Friday, September 17, 2021 to tackle the Tigers in a Grand Rivers Conference contest. Milan scored first to lead 7-0. Princeton put together a time consuming 11 play, 81-yard scoring drive at the end of the first quarter, then scored to open the second stanza. Their 2-point conversion was good, and they led 8-7 with 11:48 before halftime.
The Wildcats went on a 39-0 scoring spree, leaving the Tigers in the dust. The Wildcat JV group gave up a score in the fourth quarter. The final was Milan 46, Princeton 14.
Milan kicked off to open the game and Princeton began from their own 33. The Wildcat defense forced a Tiger punt after 3 unsuccessful snaps. A 31-yard boot settled at the Wildcat 29 for Milan’s first offensive possession.
Milan wasted little time covering 71 yards in 10 plays to reach the end zone. Darren Doporto was back in the lineup after an injury and picked right up where he left off. The Doporto boys marched right down the field. Darren had 6 rushes for 44 and Deric 4 for 27. The last carry for 6 yards for the score. Christian Chaparro tacked on the P.A.T. and Milan led 7-0 at the 4:48 mark of the quarter.
Princeton began at their own 19 after the Wildcat kick off. The Tigers pecked away a few successful swing passes, seven running plays and a couple Wildcat penalties had Princeton at the Wildcat 3 as the quarter ended.
On second and goal to open the second quarter, the Tiger running back slid into the end zone.
A successful 2 point running conversion and Princeton led 8-7 with 11:48 before halftime.
The rest of the quarter belonged to the Wildcats as the defense forced turnovers and the offense capitalized, scoring on each of their 4 possessions.
Getting the pigskin at their own 35, Milan quickly reached 65 yards in 5 plays to take the lead, and never look back. Deric got loose, picked up speed for 24 yards into Tiger territory. Darren was tripped up after 4 yards and Deric ran over defenders, bruising the defense for 20 more yards to the 17. John Ray De La Cruz got his first carry, racing for 16 yards to the 1. Deric scored untouched. John Ray De La Cruz ran the 2-point conversion and Milan led 15-8 at the 10:14 mark.
Princeton could not move anywhere. Trying to go to the air, David Eddy intercepted a pass at the Milan 45. Despite being bitten by the penalty flags, the Wildcats continued their march. Seven plays, 68 yards later, Deric ran in from 15 yards for a td. Darren ran 3 times for 13, John Ray 1 for 6 and Deric 4 for 49. Christian knocked home the P.A.T. for a commanding 22-8 lead.
After another Tiger punt, Milan took over at their own 48. Another 5 plays, another Wildcat touchdown. Deric bulldozed players, running 3 times for 45 yards. Darren took 2 hand offs for 7 yards, the last a 1-yard walk in td, and a good kick out block by brother Deric. Christian was perfect and with 1:39 remaining in the quarter, the margin grew to 29-8. Michael Pipes also had a 10-yard competition to David Eddy.
Princeton fumbled on third down with Milan’s Blake Eitel on the recovery with 40 seconds on the clock from the Tiger 22. Darren gained 2 yards, John Ray 6 to the 14. With 3 seconds on the clock, Christian converted a 24-yard field goal and a 32-8 halftime lead.
The Princeton Tigers kicked off to the Milan Wildcats to begin the third quarter. There was no return and the Wildcats began from their own 35. Darren Doporto took the handoff, went wide, saw an opening, cut up field, ran through a couple tacklers, and outran the secondary to the end zone. One play 65 yards and another score for the Wildcats. John Ray came up short on the 2-point conversion, but the Wildcats increased their lead 12 seconds into the second half 38-8.
The kickoff was not returned, and Princeton began from the 35. The Tigers managed to get near midfield, but Carlos Cotto sack stalled the drive, and a punt was in order. A 39-yard punt settled at the Wildcat 11.
With 8:33 left in the third quarter, Milan found themselves deep in their own territory. The Doporto boys literally tore holes in the Tiger defense. Deric took 3 handoffs for 21 yards; the last carry was for 9 yards to the Wildcat 32. From this point, Darren slashed his way 32 yards, then galloped 43 yards for another td. On the extra point snap, holder Greyson Smith rolled out and hit John Ray for the 2 points. At this stage of the contest, with 5:38 left in the third quarter, Milan led 46-8.
With a running clock, the game was all but decided. Bring on the JV squads for some varsity experience. Princeton took the kickoff, marched down field to the Wildcat 17 as the quarter horn sounded. Two snaps into the fourth quarter, after a penalty thrown at the Wildcats, the Tigers scored on a 2-yard plunge. Their 2-point conversion failed, and they trailed 46-14 with 10:30 left in the game.
Anthony Sanchez had a 7-yard kickoff return to the Wildcat 32. Five snaps and the Wildcats were down to the Princeton 42, but a fumble was recovered by Princeton. The Tiger offense fizzled, and Milan took over. A long run by Jose Garcia into the end zone was called back by flags. The hungry Wildcat runners continued to blitz down field trying to hit pay dirt. Jose Garcia ran 5 times for 65 yards, Jose Ayala 4 times for 21 yards. The Wildcats have a nice hard running group of offensive backs. The final was Milan 46 and Princeton 14.
Returns: 1 for John Ray De La Cruz for 11 yards and 1 for Anthony Sanchez for 7 yards.
Offensively: Milan ran 47 times for 522 yards, 6 touchdowns, 3 P.A.T., 1- FG, 1 2-point conversion, and 1 fumble lost.
Princeton 31 rushes for 124 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 2-pointer.
Passing Milan 2 for 2 for 10 yards, 1 2-pointer. Princeton 7 for 16 for 117 yards and 1 interception.
For Milan: Darren Doporto 17 carries, 218 yards, 3 TDs. Deric Doporto 16 rushes for 189 yards, 3 TDs. Jose Garcia 7 carries, 65 yards; John De La Cruz 5 rushes for 27 yards, 1 2-pointer; Jose Ayala 4 carries, 21 yards.
Passing: Michael Pipes 1 for 1 for 10 yards to David Eddy. Greyson Smith 1 for 1 for 3 yards to John Ray and 1 2-pointer. Christian Chaparro 3 for 3 P.A.T. plus 1 24-yard FG.
Milan is 2 for 2 for the season, 2-0 in Conference play.
Defensively the Wildcats held Princeton to 241 total yards. Carlos Cotto had 6 solo tackles, 3 assists, 3 for TFL, and 1 sack. Jerson Lopez had 4 solo, 4 assists; Ahmet Niasse 3 solo, 5 assists; Kamden DeRyke 3 solo, 4 assists, 2 pass breakups; Michael Pipes 5 solo, 2 assist, 1 pass breakup; Eddy Garcia 2 solo, 3 assists; Samuel Roman 4 assists; Blake Eitel 2 solo, 2 assist, 1 TFL, 1 fumble recovery; John Ray De La Cruz 2 solo, 1 assist, 1 for TFL; Jose Garcia 2 solo, 1 assist; David Eddy 1 solo, 2 assist, 1 pass breakup, 1 interception; Ethan Bennett 2 solo; Deric Doporto 2 assist; Brody Trent 1 solo, 1 assist; Anthony Sanchez 1 assist, 1 pass breakup; Eric Hines 1 solo for a TFL; Don Divin Ngombo 1 assist; Chris Valladares 1 solo; Anthony Wilson 1 assist.