Miller, Veterans Memorial battle to represent Corpus Christi in regional final

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The Miller Buccaneers and Veterans Memorial Eagles face off to represent Corpus Christi in the Region IV-5A, Division I final.

The teams clashed in District 15 play earlier in the season, and tickets sold out on Monday as almost the whole city of Corpus Christi is talking about this game.

The locals are excited to have a team represent their city in the state quarterfinal.

The first matchup between these two teams was one to remember.

The Eagles had their best statistical game passing with 338 yards and four touchdowns. On the ground, they rushed for only 120 total yards, which is one of their lowest totals for a game.

They had been down on the scoreboard, which forced them to start airing it out to keep up with the Bucs’ high-powered offense.

Miller only had 201 yards passing and two touchdowns, its second lowest statistical game by only two yards but rushed for 184 yards and four touchdowns.

The Bucs forced a pair of interceptions, and Miller didn’t turn the ball over once.

With only a few minutes left in the game, Miller was up by two touchdowns. Many Veterans fans began leaving the stadium, but the Eagles kept fighting. Miraculously, Veterans tied the game and forced overtime, but the efforts fell a little short and Miller won in double overtime 50-43.

Now, the teams face off again for the chance to represent the city of Corpus Christi in the state quarterfinals.

Miller remains undefeated at 12-0 with a district title and is having its best season in school history, averaging 54.5 points and 547 yards of total offense per game. Junior quarterback Andrew Body leads the team. He has 3396 yards passing on the season with a .663 completion percentage, 40 touchdowns and only 1 interception. The Bucs also have three very skilled receivers in Ralph Rodriguez (59 receptions, 929 yards and 14 TDs), Adraen Lloyd (49 receptions, 1,036 yards and 10 TDs) and Cassius Clay (56 receptions, 899 yards and 8 TDs).

Their defense has only forced 10 turnovers all season.

The Eagles are a balanced team. Their offense is averaging 192 yards passing, 190 yards rushing and 40 points per game.

Junior quarterback Carter Senterfitt leads the team with 1651 yards passing on the season and 16 touchdowns. Receiving is done by committee with sophomore Cameron Delapena, senior Joey Perez, junior Bradley Burda, and senior Matthew Krall all contributing.

Where the Eagles really separate themselves statistically is on defense. The defense has 15 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries for 25 total turnovers compared to Miller’s 10 total turnovers for the season. They also have 23 sacks this season.

In the first matchup, the Eagles did not force any turnovers and threw two interceptions. Being minus 2 in the turnover battle made all the difference in the game.

Miller had one of its worst games in total yards against Veterans but has been rolling offensively all season. The Eagles will need to win the turnover battle and slow down Miller’s offense again if they want to win this rematch.

The winner will face off against the winner between Wagner and Harlan.

Harlan defeated Victoria West — a district rival of the Eagles and Bucs — last week 34-14. Wagner defeated Corpus Christi Flour Bluff last week 42-38.

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