By Bill Burt firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — METHUEN — It appears they have to change the moniker for Central Catholic quarterback Michael Milano.
“Quarterback of the future” isn’t going to cut it any more.
Last night at Nicholson Stadium, he showed he has arrived in Central’s convincing 35-14 win over Methuen High.
While Central’s running attack had all guns blazing last night — senior Santino Brancato had 13 rushes, 112 yards and one TD while junior D’Andre Drummond-Mayire had seven rushes for 93 yards and one TD — it was Milano who stole the show.
He not only rushed for 103 yards on just six carries, including a 49-yarder on Central’s first play from scrimmage and another 37-yarder for a third-quarter TD, but he completed six of 12 passes for 101 yards and two more scores.
“I’m starting to feel comfortable running the team,” said Milano, of Tewksbury. “A lot of it has to do with my teammates. They have given me their trust. That means a lot. Now I just try to make plays.”
Drummond-Mayire says that Milano’s recent play changes everything.
“We knew he had the talent,” said Drummond-Mayire. “He was called up last year as a freshman for a reason. We just have more options when he’s playing like this. It’s fun to watch our offense with Mike running it.”
Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos said Milano has been progressing every week.
“He took his lumps against St. John’s,” said Adamopoulos. “But he’s learning the position, being a leader, and looking more confident. Michael gives us a lot of balance that we’ve been hoping for.”
Fast start for Methuen, but ...: For five minutes last night, Methuen looked like they belonged with Merrimack Valley Conference power Central. On the game’s first drive, they calmly moved the ball to the Central 15-yard line with a fine mix of running and passing.
But 15 minutes of action and four Central touchdowns later, the rout was on.
“That was the best half of football we’ve played so far,” said Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “Our defense has been pretty good the entire season, even the loss to St. John’s Prep.”
Methuen’s dueling QBs: Junior Austin George-Williams played the entire first half at quarterback for Methuen and did a decent job, going 7-for-17 and 78 yards. But Methuen’s offense appeared to get a little boost when sophomore Mike Baglieri, only 5-8 and 140 pounds, opened with a 58-yard run on his first play. He also completed four of nine passes for 80 yards.
Manning was huge: North Andover native Cam Manning was among a handful of defenders who brought their “A” game to Nicholson Field last night. The versatile Manning, who has literally played every position on the field besides center since playing football in fifth grade, was dominant at right defensive end/outside linebacker. The junior had two of Central’s three sacks, defended two passes and finished with six solo tackles.
Central Catholic 35, Methuen 14
Central Catholic (4-1): 7 21 7 0 — 35
Methuen (1-4): 0 0 7 7 — 14
CC — Thomas Jenoski 20 pass from Michael Milano (Jenoski kick), 2:44
CC — Ryan Doherty 32 pass from Milano (Jenoski kick), 8:48
CC — D’Andre Drummond-Mayire 45 run (Jenoski kick), 6:35
CC — Santino Brancato 20 run (Jenoski kick), 2:24
M — Brian Cole 2 run (Austin George-Williams kick), 3:22
CC — Milano 37 run (Jenoski kick), 0:00
M — Colin Langford 19 pass from Mike Baglieri (George-Williams kick), 4:09
RUSHING: CC — Santino Brancato 13-122, Michael Milano 6-103, D’Andre Drummond-Mayire 7-93, Nicholas Boes 5-57, Markus Edmunds 2-7; M — Mike Baglieri 6-65, William Weinhold 9-44, Austin George-Williams 4-14, Jake Amodio 1-9
PASSING: CC — Milano 6-12-0, 101 yards; M — Baglieri 4-9-1, 80 yards and George Williams 7-17-0, 78 yards
RECEIVING: CC — Ryan Doherty 2-43, Michael Barry 2-26, Thomas Jenoski 1-20, Drummond-Mayire 1-1; M — Evan Lacroix 5-67, Spencer Bilich 2-26, Brian Cole 1-32, Colin Langford 1-19