Week 6 opens up in Milledgeville featuring two teams hungry for a victory. The AFC Raiders and Milledgville Missiles both have started the year 0-6. Last week Milledgeville lost to an undefeated Forreston Cardinals team. AFC also lost at home to an NUIC power 5 team West Carroll who are 4-1. The Raiders and Missiles are looking to generate some offense this week as Milledgeville has scored 9.6 points per game and the Raiders have notched 7.2 points in the first 5 weeks of the season. Defensively, the teams have allowed the 12th and 13th most points in the NUIC. Milledgeville has allowed 31.2 and AFC has allowed 38.2, respectively. Week 6 is the perfect opportunity for both NUIC South opponents to break out and shake off the first 5 weeks bitter taste.
Friday nights match-up was a mix of sloppy offense, oppressive defense, and big special teams plays that led to an overtime nail-bitter.
The opening kick-off was a foreshadowing of what was awaiting the two teams. AFC elected to defer to the 2nd half and kicked a low line drive grounder that bounced off of a Milledgeville defender and was recovered by the Raiders. Unfortunately, that was the end to the 1st quarter excitement as both teams ended drives quickly. The Raiders put a late 1st quarter drive to sleep after Ryan Kendall's fumble recovery for the Missiles. However the Raiders were able to regain composure and forced a turnover on downs the following possession.
In the 2nd quarter, the best scoring drive for either team came off of a huge punt return by the Missiles return man Ashton Nobis, which gave Milledgeville possession on the 12 yard line of AFC. On 3rd down Quarterback Nicholas Smith had a wide receiver open in the endzone but the Raider's Safety Rodney Ramirez was able to tip the pass to force another turnover on downs at the very end of the 2nd half, bringing the first half to a close with no score.
The best scoring opportunity in the 3rd was after two previous unsuccessful possessions from either team. AFC returned a punt back to the 19 yard line of Milledgeville. On 3rd down Quarterback Ethan Drew targeted his TE in the endzone, however the Missiles cornerback Ashton Nobis came up with a huge pick to end the scoring threat for AFC.
The biggest play of the 4th could arguably be a punt by AFC's punter Xavier Contreras. The Raiders long-snapper sent a ball back over his head inside the 5 yard line that would have set up the Missiles in the red-zone if recovered or downed. Contreras was able to recover the ball and with Milledgeville defenders all around him he was able to get a great punt off to at least get the ball back to the 46 of Milledgeville.
After a pair of unproductive drives from either team regular time ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Milledgeville got the first crack at scoring in OT and did not waste the opportunity. After three runs Nicholas Smith rolled left and delivered a dime to Ryan Kendall for a touchdown. Two defensive penalties on the Raiders set up the Missiles on the half yard line for a 2-point conversion attempt which was punched in by the QB Smith, making the score 8-0.
AFC ran the ball three straight times to get the ball down to the 1 yard line for a do or die chance at scoring. The Missiles defense stood tall on the goal line ending the game and their losing streak. The game ended in an overtime victory for Milledgeville 8-0.
AFC had 60 yards of rushing in this ball game, 30 of those yards were gained by FB Matt Thompson. Milledgeville had 80 yards rushing and 23 yards passing. The Missiles were led by Marcus McKenna, Ryan Kendall, and Damon Miller on offense.
AFC (0-6) will host Aquin (6-0) next week in week 7 of the season. Milledgville (1-5) will travel to West Carroll (4-2) to take on the Thunder.