MILLVILLE - The Millville High School football team took a perfect 3-0 record into its upcoming bye week.
The week off couldn't have come at a better time for the Thunderbolts, who might need the extra time to dry off their equipment and uniforms following Friday night's 30-6 win against Egg Harbor Township.
At the start of Friday night's game, the field at John Barbose Stadium at Wheaton Field had some standing water. The field ended the night doing its best impression of a mudpit with large chunks of earth scattered everywhere.
"It was slippery," Millville quarterback Shaquille Lee said. "There was a lot of mud. The ball was muddy. You couldn't get your footing so it was tough."
Lee found his footing just fine on the first offensive play of the second half. He faked a counter to running back Alquann Jones and took off down the left side.
"I saw one man," Lee said.
Ed Shockley took care of that. The sophomore tight end, who was stellar defensively as well, threw a big block in the hole to spring Lee.
"Ed took off to (the defender) and got him," Lee said. "I just went up the seam."
Lee went untouched for a 53-yard touchdown to give the Thunderbolts, No. 11 in The Press Elite 11, a 16-0 lead. Lee led Millville, completing 7-of-11 passes for 77 yards and running for 56 yards and two touchdowns.
He also completed passes on two different two-point conversions (one a picturesque jump pass a la Tim Tebow) and ran in another one.
"We accomplished one of our many goals, which was to get to the bye at 3-0," Millville coach Jason Durham said. "We looked at that as a mini season and we were able to accomplish that. There is still a lot of work to be done."
Millville's defense was dominant Friday.
The Thunderbolts held the Eagles to 42 yards of total offense and then gave up only five total yards in the third quarter.
Egg Harbor Township had only one first down all night, until picking up three in a row against mostly backups en route to its only score, a 29-yard run by Curtis Fitzpatrick.
"They are definitely the best Millville team we have faced in the past five or six years," Egg Harbor Township coach Tony DeRosa said. "Millville has always been a good team but it seems like they got it all together this year - good line, good up front, good defensively and sound special teams.
"They are definitely a team I think could be a presence in Group IV."
It was obvious the Eagles focused on stopping Jones, and rightfully so.
Jones came into the game with 450 yards in the previous two games but was held to 56 yards on 22 carries. He did have a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Millville plays at Ocean City on Oct. 7. Egg Harbor Township plays at St. Augustine at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Contact John O'Kane:
Egg Harbor Township 0 0 0 6 - 6
Millville 0 8 16 6 - 30
M-Jones 10 run (conversion good)
M-Lee 53 run (conversion good)
M-Lee 1 run (conversion good)
M-Ennis 26 run (kick failed)
EHT-Fitzpatrick 29 run (conversion failed)
Rushing 96 176
Passing 6 77
First Downs 4 13
Penalties 9-66 5-30
Turnovers 0 2
Rushing: EHT-Fitzpatrick 10-45, Clayton 7-44, Doughty 2-7, Garris 3-0. Millville-Jones 22-56, Lee 7-56, Ennis 8-48, Bowman 1-16, McShan 1-0.
Passing: EHT-Doughty 1-10-6-0. Millville-Lee 7-11-77-1.
Receiving: EHT-Vance 1-6. Millville-Sorrell 2-40, McShan 3-19, Bowman 1-16, Jones 1-2.
Records-EHT 1-2; Millville 3-0.