Angelus League Football: Milliner’s 245 Yards Rushing, 3 TDs Not Enough; St. Francis Downs La Salle, 38-28, With Special Teams Advantage

Anyone who came to see La Salle star running back Amon Milliner Friday night didn’t get cheated. The Lancers senior rushed for 245 yards and had three touchdown runs. He had a 64-yard would-be TD called back on a hold, or Milliner would have scored four times. St. Francis, however, had an enormous advantage in […]

Anyone who came to see La Salle star running back Amon Milliner Friday night didn’t get cheated.

The Lancers senior rushed for 245 yards and had three touchdown runs. He had a 64-yard would-be TD called back on a hold, or Milliner would have scored four times.

St. Francis, however, had an enormous advantage in special teams and discipline.

The Golden Knights (6-0, 1-0) opened Angelus League play with a 38-28 victory over the visiting Lancers to stay perfect this season.

La Salle (4-2, 0-1) started the game brilliantly, going 80 yards, eating up six minutes of the game clock, and finished it with a 1-yard Milliner score.

The Lancers had all the momentum and had momentarily quieted an almost always raucous St. Francis crowd.

But Bobby Gazmarian changed all that by taking the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for the score, and tying the game at 7-7.

Milliner went on to have two identical TD runs of 42 yards, and carried the ball 32 times. His three scores give Milliner 15 on the season, and near 1,400 yards on the ground.

A stark advantage, though, on special teams and two Michael Bonds TD passes allowed the Golden Knight to cruise.

After the kickoff return for a score, La Salle’s special teams would take its next hit in the second quarter.

Trailing 21-14, the Lancers were set to punt deep in their own territory.

The snap was bad (over the punter’s head) and headed for the goal line. Instead of kicking or pushing the ball out of the back of the end zone and taking the safety (2 points), the La Salle punter picked the ball up and tried to make a play.

He kicked it about 25 yards while on the run.

Unfortunately for the Lancers, St. Francis’ Daniel Scott picked it up at the 25-yard line, made a couple moves, and found his way into the end zone for a 28-14 St. Francis lead.

The Golden Knights would not trail the rest of the night.

Scott was as good as advertised.

The two-way stud had 6 catches for 80 yards, including a 10-yard score. Scott now has 7 receiving TD’s this season, and that doesn’t include his punt return for a score.

“I think in general our team did a good job,” Scott said. “Our defense was a little shaky at first, but we battled throughout the game, and at half time, we made some adjustments.”

Bonds threw a 7-yard TD to Greg Dulcich in the second quarter to get the Golden Knights even, and then connected with Scott on another score.

Bonds finished 13 of 18 for 183 yards and two TD passes.

“We just really turned it on, and our game plan worked out,” Michael Bonds said. “We had them right where we wanted them. Our defense played hard tonight. Just because of those (Milliner’s) numbers, doesn’t mean they didn’t play hard. Special teams is a big deal to us and we take it seriously.”

Jake Caan drove La Salle 98 yards on the Lancers final drive, capped by a 10-yard score to Tommy Radle.

Caan finished 9 of 13 for 163 yards and a score. He did not turn the ball over.

Dante Coxsom had an 88-yard reception to set up the final score for La Salle.

One other area coach Russell Gordon will address is his team’s discipline.

For most of the game, the Lancers looked good.

But as time was running out, and the writing was on the wall, La Salle’s frustration showed and the personal fouls mounted quickly.

“I thought we played well in two phases of the game (offense and defense), but we were inconsistent in our special teams,” Gordon said. “I thought our offensive line did a great job, Amon ran the ball well, but we made some mistakes that cost us.”

Jace Harrick had a 3-yard TD run to give St. Francis a 38-21 lead.

Harrick finished with 39 yards on seven carries, and Elijah Washington gained 67 yards on just seven carries.

Dulcich had four huge catches for 66 yards, including a TD for the Golden Knights.

“We stress special teams back in spring time and it showed up tonight,” coach Jim Bonds said. “The kickoff return was huge for a TD and Daniel made a really athletic play on the punt return. We were yelling for him to get away, but he saw something and brought it in for the touchdown.”

To cap off a near perfect night on special teams for St. Francis, Dulles Hanula made good on a 21-yard field goal to extend the lead to 31-21.

Scott took a minute to explain what he saw on the punt return that resulted in a 25-yard TD run, and the 28-14 lead.

Said Scott: “I thought (the punter) would get tackled in the end zone. Then, I felt like if I scooped it up, I’d have a good chance of scoring. My teammates made the blocks and I was able to score.”

La Salle’s schedule doesn’t any easier, as the Lancers will host Cathedral (6-0, 1-0) next Friday at 7. The Phantoms are coming off a 40-0 victory over St. Paul.

St. Francis will play its final home game of the season next Saturday against a Salesian (5-1, 1-0), team that defeated Harvard-Westlake, 51-14, on Friday.

** Video highlights and interviews will be up soon. Please check back.

Box Score:
La Salle: 14-0-7-7-(28)
St. Francis: 14-14-3-7-(38)

LS: Amon Milliner 1 run (Johnny Clarizio kick)
SF: Bobby Gazmarian 90 Kickoff Return (Dulles Hanula kick)
LS: Amon Milliner 42 run (Clarizio kick)
SF: Greg Dulcich 7 pass from Michael Bonds (Hanula kick)
SF: Daniel Scott 10 pass from Bonds (Hanula kick)
SF: Daniel Scott 25 Punt Return (Hanula kick)
LS: Amon Milliner 42 run (Clarizio kick)
SF: Dulles Hanula 21 FG
SF: Jace Harrick 3 run (Hanula kick)
LS: Tommy Radle 10 pass from Jake Caan (Clarizio kick)

Offensive Leaders:

Jake Caan (LS) 9 of 13 for 163, 1TD; Michael Bonds (SF) 13 of 18 for 183, 2TD.

Rushing: Amon Milliner (LS) 32 for 245, 3TD; Jace Harrick (SF) 7 for 39, 1TD; Elijah Washington (SF) 7 for 67.

Dante Coxsom (LS) 2 for 90, Harrison MacDonald (LS) 1 for 25, Treynel Stewart (LS) 4 for 25, Tommy Radle (LS) 2 for 16; Daniel Scott (SF) 6 for 80, 1TD, Greg Dulcich (SF) 4 for 66, 1TD, Will Mudie (SF) 1 for 20.

Angelus League Standings:
St. Francis (6-0 overall, 1-0 in league)
Cathedral (6-0, 1-0)
Salesian (5-1, 1-0)
La Salle (4-2, 0-1)
St. Paul (3-3, 0-1)
Harvard-Westlake (3-3, 0-1)

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