SMITHVILLE — Isaac Miller may have missed the first game of his senior campaign, but he made up for his absence with a standout performance in the Warriors’ home opener Friday, Sept. 6.
Miller rushed for all three of his touchdowns in the first half as Smithville owned a six-score lead by halftime before rolling to a 47-0 victory at Smithville High School.
Miller finished with 125 yards on 12 carries in his first action of the season after missing the opener due to sickness.
“It sucked,” he said of his absence. “It really did being my first game of my senior year. But it’s all good and I’m back in here.”
After sitting the first series, Miller announced his presence in series No. 2, capping a strong drive with a 2-yard run to give the Warriors a 13-0 lead with 9:12 left in the first quarter.
He went on to add touchdown runs of 15 and 4 yards in the second quarter, the second one coming with 5:24 left in the half to give Smithville (2-0) an eventual 40-0 halftime advantage.
“He’s a heck of a football player, so it’s really good,” Warriors coach Jason Ambroson said of Miller. “He’s been a starter for two years, so I think you could just see the confidence in our kids when he’s there.
“Having Isaac back, it’s a good deal,” he added.
The rushing game, however, was in good hands in Miller’s absence, with sophomore Hayden Sigg filling in nicely with 99 rushing yards and two touchdowns and brother Spencer Miller totaling 126 rushing yards and three scores.
“He’s very competent and he’s a great competitor,” Ambroson said of Sigg, who tallied Smithville’s first touchdown on a 2-yard run just minutes into the home route. Ambroson said he wanted to start Sigg to reward the sophomore and ease Isaac back into action.
Sophomore receiver Keltin Nitsche hauled in his first varsity touchdown with a nine-yard pass from Spencer, providing the Warriors a comfortable 20-0 lead with 1:56 left in the first quarter.
Sandwiched in between Isaac’s touchdowns, senior receiver George Fisher registered a 34-yard touchdown reception from Spencer Miller for a 33-0 lead with 8:47 left in the half.
Junior quarterback Nate Head recorded the lone points of the second half, which included a running clock, a 4-yard scamper with 10:36 left in the third quarter.
Not to be outdone by the offense, the Smithville defense was dominant once again, registering a second straight shutout to open the season. Nitsche had an interception in the second quarter and sophomore Aidan Krah recovered a fumble in the fourth.
“We controlled the line of scrimmage,” Ambroson said. “I don’t care where you go or what you do, if you can control the line of scrimmage, you have a chance to win a football game.”
The Warriors now shift their focus to next week’s Suburban Blue contest at Grain Valley. Smithville handed the Eagles a 29-0 loss last season.
“They’re a lot more experienced than we are and they’re a team that’s very big and physical,” Ambroson said. “It’ll be a huge challenge.”