It’s been nearly 10 months since Mill Valley put the finishing touches on the first football state championship in school history.
You wouldn’t know the team had been off for that span by the way the Jaguars played on Friday.
Mill Valley was relatively crisp and plenty productive in a 35-13 victory over St. James Academy in the 2016 season opener.
The game was the Eastern Kansas League debut for both schools.
Mill Valley quarterback Brody Flaming lived up to his last name, completing 25 of 37 passes for 310 yards and five touchdowns, with no interceptions. There were also a few dropped passes scattered amongst the incompletions.
“We’ve worked so hard over the past few weeks,” Flaming said. “Standing behind probably the biggest O-linemen in the state right now, I feel so much more comfortable. And I have the best receiving corps that I could ask for.”
Mill Valley’s hyper-aggressive offensive tempo paid dividends in the middle of the game. The Jaguars barely let a second tick off the play-clock before snapping the ball, and the openings in the St. James defense grew wider as the game wore on.
“I think it’s the best weapon we have,” Flaming said. “Once we get up and going, we don’t stop.”
The Mill Valley defense did its part too, holding St. James quarterback Sammy Wheeler, a K-State commit, to 12-of-25 passing for 128 yards and two interceptions.
“Obviously we were kind of bend-but-don’t-break tonight, but I’m very proud of the way they played,” Mill Valley coach Joel Applebee said.
“They made adjustments on the fly tonight, and being the first game, you’re going to have to make a ton of adjustments. That’s where (the defense) we lost the biggest part of our team, and I thought they did a very good job of making the stops when we needed them.”