Preisman Pre-Cap: Millard South

Brendan Preisman, Jay Journal Sports

The #9 Creighton Prep Junior Jays (6-1, 2-1 in district, Last Game: 61-0 win over Omaha Northwest) travel to Millard for a Top-10 matchup with the #3 Millard South Patriots (6-1, 3-0 in district, Last Game: 56-7 win over Columbus).  Last year the Patriots snuck by the Junior Jays, 38-30. This is what to watch for:

The Patriots have benefited from a relatively easy schedule, and the only ranked team that they’ve beaten is Elkhorn South.  They had a shot to take down the unbeaten #2 Millard West Wildcats, but lost 25-14. However, they’ve looked dominant in their victories, winning by an average of 34.2 points per game.  

You don’t get to number 3 in the state without having a lot of talented players, and Millard South absolutely has those.  The Patriots (much like Millard North) are a run-heavy team and these guys could make life miserable for Prep if their offense gets going.

The starting quarterback for this team is junior TJ Urban.  He is a highly efficient passer, and so far this year he has thrown for 664 yards on 41-75 passing and 7 TDs compared to just 1 interception.  2 stats that show how good Urban really is, according to are his 16.2 yards per completion and his 110.1 QB rating. Urban also has 58 carries for 465 yards (a ridiculous 8 yards a carry) and 6 TDs.  

His main man in the backfield is Isaiah Harris.  Harris has 65 carries for 797 yards (an even more preposterous 12.3 yards a carry) and 13 TDs.  His best game was against Millard North, where he had 12 carries for 189 yards and 4 TDs.  

Urban can spread the ball around in the passing game as well.  The leading receiver is sophomore Antrell Taylor. Taylor has 16 catches for 290 yards and 5 scores.  The second option for the Patriots is Tyson Gerdes, who has 10 catches for 188 yards and a score.  

The Patriots offense is potent, but the defense has given up just 12.8 points a game.  This team has more than earned their number 3 ranking.

Last week the Junior Jays had their way with Omaha Northwest, and both the offense and defense came to play in a game that was over halfway through the first quarter.  Prep is currently sitting at 6-1, setting themselves up nicely for a high playoff seed. While Northwest may be considered a “tune-up game”, Millard South is an opponent that could easily walk out of Lincoln champions.  This game will help reveal if the Junior Jays could as well.  

On the year, senior quarterback John Coniglio is 90-168 for 1102 yards (12.2 yards per completion) and 15 TDs against 1 pick.  He has also contributed to the ground game with 61 carries for 238 yards and 1 TD.  

Junior running back Vinnie Cacioppo has 62 carries for 417 yards and 4 TDs.  The backup quarterback, senior Brayden Woodward, has also contributed, with 26 carries for 183 yards and 4 TDs.

The number 1 guy in the Junior Jays’ receiving corps is, without a doubt, senior Mason Armstead.  Armstead has 38 catches for 539 yards and 6 TDs in the year. The next man up is junior tight end AJ Rollins, who has 11 catches for 153 yards and 2 TDs.  

In a battle of high-powered offenses with different philosophies, the game will come down – like so many have – to who can win the 4th quarter.  The Patriots offense has big-play capability on every snap, but Prep’s consistency is difficult for any defense to stop.

These teams have both earned spots in the top 10, and good playoff seeding when the time comes.  In the end, Prep’s defense, which has allowed just 54 second half points all season, will win the day.  

My final prediction is 28-24 Creighton Prep.  



On a personal note: I will be turning 16 on Friday.  Because I will be attending this game, I have 3 things I would like to happen against Millard South:

  1. Get 150 or more rushing yards as a team 
  2. Have at least 3 players reach the end zone
  3. Force 2 or more turnovers

Good luck, gentlemen.