The Mllburn Millers were defeated 35-19 by the Tornadoes of Orange HS last Friday October 5 at Bell Stadium in Orange. Millburn’s record now stands at 2-2.
In a shift from the previous week’s loss to Barringer, the Miller offense was able to move the ball well, racking up 356 yards of total offense. Senior running back Steven Montuoro (16 rushes, 154 yards, 1 TD) led the charge, followed by Junior Quarterback Milo Freeman (18 rushes, 80 yards, 2 TD) and Senior running back Alex Schoen (10 rushes, 53 yards). Millburn’s passing attack was stifled, however, as Freeman was able to complete just 3 times in 10 attempts, one each to Senior Jake Grzeszczak (30 yards), Junior Evan Steinfeld (24 yards) and Sophomore Jared Harris (15 yards).
On their opening 2 drives the Millers offense was able to advance downfield, but a combination of dropped passes and penalties for false starts and holding halted their progress toward the end zone. Orange got on the board at 9:20 of the 1st quarter when QB Safee Fisher hit wide receiver Jamar Summers at the Orange with a short pass in the left flat. Summers eluded Miller tacklers near the sideline, and then raced all the way downfield for a 77 yard touchdown. The Tornadoes kicker, perfect on the night, tacked on the PAT and Orange led 7-0. On Orange’s next possession Fisher launched a high, arching bomb down the left sideline that wide receiver Jean Valcius was able to snatch for a 56 yard scoring play at 0:48 of the second quarter. Orange now had a 14-0 lead.
But the Millers were not ready to give up. The offense marched downfield on their ensuing drive, courtesy of a 24 yard play action strike from Freeman to Steinfeld, a 12 yard Freeman QB draw, and a 13 yard burst from Montuoro. Freeman eventually ran it into the end zone from the 2 yard line behind blocks from Seniors AJ Simon and Steven Stimmler, but the PAT was unsuccessful. With 4:17 gone in the 2nd quarter Millburn was back in the game, trailing 14-6.
The next Tornado series of plays was considered to be the turning point of the game by many in the stands. Following an Orange holding penalty and a quarterback sack by Seniors Mac Novich and Kelsey Graham, the Tornadoes faced a 2nd and 26 from the Millburn 40, but Fisher was able to hit receiver Craig Bradley for a 24 yard gain. Orange picked up the first down, and then 3 plays later Fisher hit his slot receiver down the right sideline for a 25 yard TD. With 10:23 gone in the first half Orange led 21-6.
The Millers continued to charge back on offense. On their first possession of the 3rd quarter the ground game came back to life. Runs by Freeman and Schoen and an Orange penalty for grabbing the facemask moved the ball to the Tornado 17. Montuoro burst into the end zone through a gaping hole, thanks to blocks from Senior linemen Joe Weiner, Sam Brody and Steven Stimmler. Gabe Greenberg’s PAT got Millburn back to within 8 points, trailing 21-13 with 5:29 gone in the 3rd.
On the next series the Millers could not contain the Orange passing attack. Fisher hit receivers for gains of 19 and 14 yards before finally connecting again with Summers for a 25 yard TD at 7:52 of the 3rd quarter. The Orange lead was now 28-13. But the Millers once again come back. With 5:13 gone in the 4th quarter Montuoro scored for the second time in the game. Running to his right, behind blocks from Weiner and Junior running back Dan Grinshpun, he accelerated past the Tornado defense for 70 yards. Millburn’s 2-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the score 28-19.
Orange answered with a score of their own, this time on an 8 yard run with 3:47 left in the game, pushing their lead to the final score of 35-19.
Other standouts on defense include Junior linebacker Brent Abrams (14 tackles), Dan Grinshpun (10 tackles) and Jake Grzeszczak (9 tackles).
Gabe Greenberg, filling in for injured punter Jake Pickard, booted 3 times for an average of 41.7 yards, including one for 52 yards.
Miller’s next game will be away against West Essex on Friday Oct 12 at 7:30 PM. Next home game is scheduled for Saturday Oct 20 at 1pm against Irvington.