Jax Miller Rushes for 306 Yards Against Wash in WPIAL Championship @AvonworthFB @WashHighFB
Written by: Nate Grella on Sunday, November 24th, 2019
For the entire season, both Avonworth and Washington High School have been completely dominant on both sides of the ball. Heading into Saturday’s matchup, both the Antelopes and the Prexies were 13-0, and had completely controlled each of their schedules. For Washington, it was through the bevy of weapons surrounding mobile threat Zack Swartz that allowed for their record. While for Avonworth, it was a strong defense and a hard, grinding runner in Jax Miller that made the difference. Both teams were eager to make a statement, and launch themselves into the PIAA semis.
Throughout the year, the Antelopes’ Jax Miller had rushed for over 2000 yards on the year. A key reason for their offensive success. Another reason was 3 star receiver, Kyros Thorpe. However, with a legal issue still in the air between Thorpe and the PIAA, only Jax Miller would remain as the key offensive weapon for Avonworth. Despite this, it didn’t make much of a difference.
In the opening drive, a Washington fumble would give Avonworth great field position early. However, on the next play, Park Penrod launched the ball into the endzone, and Zahmere Robinson came up with a pic. This play either changed the Avonworth offensive gameplan, or initiated their true strategy. From this play forward, Penrod only attempted 6 passes with 3 completions and 28 yards.
In the quarters that followed, Jax Miller received that ball 46 times, some of those in a wildcat formation, and rush for 305 yards. “There’s nothing you can say, teammate Jacob Horigan said. “He works out all the time. He goes harder in practice than I’ve ever seen. I think that’s the difference, that’s what makes him great.” The Washington Defense, who had been one of the top defenses in the WPIAL all season, was rendered useless by Jax Miller, breaking tackles and giving strong runs up until the end.
Despite the Antelopes success on the offensive side of the ball, Avonworth would still have to limit the big play ability of Zahmere Robinson and the elusiveness of Zack Swartz. Throughout the entire game, the Antelopes defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, and contained Swartz inside the pocket. Avonworth would go onto have 6 TFLs and would not allow the Prexies to cross the 50 until garbage time. “Jax Miller and Drew Harper did it all year, they pressured the quarterback.” Horigan said on containing Swartz. “Josh (Elm) and Kevin (Felter) get double and triple teamed most of the time and that leaves Trevor (Faulkner) one-on-one or Jax and Drew one on one with the QB, so I think that was the difference.”
Avonworth not only won the game, but dominated the strengths of a talented Washington offensive and defensive line. “That’s our defensive coordinator, completely him. He came in this year and changed up the defense.” Defensive Lineman Josh Elm said. “He’s one of the main reasons for our success, he did a really nice job on the gameplan.”
What’s Next?: Avonworth will move onto the PIAA semifinals to face Wilmington, a team that has beaten the WPIAL champion the last two years en route to Hershey. The Antelopes will look to change the narrative.
Video Shane Lux, PAFootballNews.com/WesternPAFootball.net
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