Mill Creek 38, Westlake 14

Credit: Jamie Spaar

Credit: Jamie Spaar

The Mill Creek football stadium turned into Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood on Friday night.

Typically, Markham Field has been best-known this season as (Caleb) Downs-town, but in the 38-14 third round win over Westlake in the Class 7A playoffs, it was Cam Robinson who took center stage and helped the Hawks reach the semifinals for the second time in school history.

Mill Creek will travel to play at Milton in the semifinal, a rematch of last year’s third-round game that Milton won 36-27. Milton beat Grayson 35-12 in the quarterfinals.

Robinson, a senior, carried 16 times for 201 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 9-yard touchdown pass to pace Mill Creek (12-1). He had runs of 35, 64 and 41 yards and scored on runs of 4 and 7 yards.

“We just knew we had to execute and just take that team apart,” Robinson said. “We knew their weak spots on defense, and we took advantage of that very early in the game. I can’t get those yards without my O-line. I can’t thank them enough.”

Mill Creek coach Josh Lovelady said, “His vision is elite and as far as his physicality, pound-for-pound, he’s a special back.”

The Mill Creek offense was proficient, scoring on all but two possessions and turning the ball over once. Quarterback Hayden Clark completed 8 of 15 passes for 88 yards and needed to throw the ball only four times in the second half.

“I’d say Hayden had one of his best halves he’s had in several weeks,” Lovelady said. “We had opportunities to throw the ball in the RPO game, but he just said, ‘Hey, let’s hand it off. Don’t try to force anything.’”

Mill Creek scored on six of its possessions in the first half and took a 35-7 lead into the break.

The Hawks scored on a 19-yard pass from Clark to Robinson, a 42-run by Downs, a 25-yard nside reverse run by Makhail Wood, a 8-yard run by Robinson and 7-yard run by Robinson.

“As long as I’m in the end zone, I don’t care how I get there,” Robinson said.

The most impressive score for Mill Creek may have been the last drive, a two-minute beauty that came after Westlake scored its touchdown on a 1-yard run by Nadeem Odenyi. They highlight of that drive was a 40-yard pass from Johnson to Avieon Terrell.

With only 1:31 left, the Hawks rushed down the field in seven plays and Robinson scored with 5.7 seconds remaining. They took the second-half kickoff and drove for a 33-yard field goal by the consistent Jacob Ulrich.

“One of the things I’ve been excited about the last few weeks is the last four minutes and the first four minutes,” Lovelady said. “We scored seven points in the last two minutes and came out and got three. So that’s 10 points. Last week we did the same thing.”

Westlake (9-4) was led by quarterback R.J. Johnson, a Toledo commit who completed 24 of 39 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns but threw three interceptions. Terrell caught seven passes for 91 yards and Jabari Jones caught seven balls for 76 yards. Jalen Delapierre caught three passes for 75 yards and a 25-yard touchdown.

The Mill Creek defense limited Westlake to only 76 yards. Trajon Greco had two interceptions and Downs intercepted one pass.

“I’ll have to look at the film, but I thought our secondary played one of the best games they’ve played all year,” Lovelady said. “I thought our secondary contested the ball and it’s hard to get to a mobile quarterback. I thought our secondary had one of its best games as far as keeping tight coverage and making him earn every reception.”