Millard Head Coach Dennis Alldredge recorded the first state prep football championship of his young coaching career, while the the Eagles claimed their first 2A title since 1982 with a 21-7 triumph over Richfield.
Played Friday afternoon at SUSC's Thunderbird Stadium, Region 10 rivals Millard and Richfield entered the championship contest after having traded top-ranked honors throughout the season. Richfield had dominated the polls through most of the season before having lost to the Eagles 7-0 at the end of the regular season.Ranked No. 1 in the postseason poll, Millard realized its ranking with the title triumph, thanks to a three-touchdown effort by Eagle running back Tilden Swallow.
Millard took control immediately in the contest when sophomore quarterback Rick Robins hit Matt Dastrup with a 20-yard pass play on the game's first play from scrimmage. From that point, Robins helped to establish Millard's insurmountable wishbone option attack, which the Wildcats couldn't stop.
Robins used his running backs methodically to chew up both yardage and the clock simultaneously as he engineered three scoring drives in the first three quarters.
Swallow bulled his way three times into the end zone - twice from 2 yards out and the third from 3 yards to lead Millard. Robins kicked all three PAT points for the Eagles, which led 14-0 at intermission and 21-0 at the end of the third quarter.
Swallow teamed with Tyrel Stephenson to serve as the Eagles' workhorse on the ground, while Mike Brown and Daniel Cummings snagged two key passes from Robins to aid Eagle scoring drives.
Richard Hatton, Clint Turner and Stacey Stephenson shut down Richfield's running attack, and Brian Wade and George Richards stymied the Wildcats' passing by picking off two Ryan Cuff passes. One interception was hauled in the end zone as Richfield threatened just before halftime by moving to the Millard 19-yard line; the other was picked off at the 25 late in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the Eagles missed another scoring opportunity in the third quarter when Bill Mace rambled for a 65-yard gain down to the Wildcat 25. But Millard was stopped later at the 11.
Late in the fourth quarter, Cuff staged Richfield's sole scoring drive, which culminated with an 18-yard scoring strike to Clint Henrie. But it was too little too late for the Wildcats, whose other serious scoring threats had been shut down by the interceptions.
Millard claimed the 2A title with a 10-2 overall record, with the Eagles finishing with a 10-game winning streak after dropping their first two contests of the '88 season. Richfield concluded also with a 10-2 mark.