With starting senior quarterback Austin Larson out from an Achilles tendon injury since the Sept. 1 Amador game, backup senior quarterback Gavin Compton out from a concussion after last week’s game in Oakland, and third string junior quarterback Manjot Atwal injured in practice, it fell on junior wide receiver Giacomo Oliveri to take over as quarterback Saturday.
Millennium team went almost entirely to the running game, which worked in the first half. The Falcons maintained possession on extended drives, reaching the red zone once only to lose the ball on a fumble.
Stubborn defense allowed the Vacaville Christian team just one first-half touchdown on a 20-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
“With the injuries, it hurt us, but we played great,” head coach Jayson Dias said. “I know (Vacaville Christian) came in thinking they would roll over us, but they’ve got to take into consideration that the teams we played previous to them are much bigger and faster.”
Millennium stayed mostly on the ground Saturday with 120 yards rushing, including 64 yards on 17 carries for Oliveri. He completed one pass for eight yards.
Daryl Martinez ran the ball 13 times for 38 yards, but he, too, was sidelined with an injury at the start of the fourth quarter. Devon Wright also ran the ball, covering 20 yards on nine carries.
“All you can do is try your best and leave it on the field,” Oliveri said afterward. “We were primarily going to try to pound the ball. We were getting some pretty good yardage (in the first half).”
Falcons covered 80 yards total in the first half, and then were stalled by the Vacaville Christian defense in the second half. The Vacaville team scored twice more in the fourth quarter on short runs.
Millennium’s defense turned out to be a factor in keeping the game within reach for most of the way, with Malik Charles, Daniel Solares and Justin McKee all grabbing interceptions as Vacaville Christian got close to the goal line.
“Our defense is gaining our confidence back. We keep getting better every week,” junior defensive back Solares said.
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.