Your Prep Sports
DAVENPORT – West High was looking for a strong start in its Thursday evening match up against Davenport North.
The Trojans focused on creating their own energy in an away game and gaining some early momentum against a team seeking its first win.
Santana Miller did all three of those things in less than two minutes.
Miller returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game to jump start West High in a 42-7 win over Davenport North (0-4) on Thursday at Brady Street Stadium in Davenport.
“I always want to come out and start the game strong,” Miller said. “If we don’t have a lot of energy at the start of the game I want to get it started off for our team.”
Jack Wallace threw four first-half touchdown passes, two to senior standout Christian Janis, as West High improved to 3-1 with its third consecutive win.
It was Miller and the West High defense that set the tone early.
“I think that was a big energy booster,” Wallace said of Miller’s interception return. “Our defense has come up big this year and that gets everything going it gets the offense going, the special teams going so that’s a big energy booster.”
Facing third-and-11 from its own 18 yard line Davenport North senior quarterback Nolan Mosier rolled to his left and fired a pass toward the sideline.
Miller stepped in front of the Wildcat receiver and made a leaping grab before going 16 yards untouched to the end zone.
“I was playing man coverage and when I saw the quarterback scramble out I saw the receiver and I knew I was either going to make the tackle or knock the ball down,” Miller said. “I knocked the ball down and it came back into my hands and I had to go score.”
Davontae Morris ran in the two-point conversion after a penalty on Davenport North and West High led 8-0 with 10:37 left in the opening quarter.
“I was about to get really mad because the guy behind the defender was wide open but we made a play,” West High coach Garrett Hartwig said. “We got a spark and that’s what we needed.”
The early spark from Miller started a nearly flawless first half for the Trojans.
Junior linebacker Ashton Honore stopped the ensuing Davenport North drive with a sack of Mosier on third down.
West High marched 71 yards on nine plays on its first offensive series taking a 15-0 lead when Wallace hit Morris for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Wallace was 5-for-5 on the opening drive for 48 yards with Janis making three receptions for 42 yards.
“We wanted to start the game from the jump with high energy,” Janis said. “That really gave us that tempo for the rest of the game.”
West High broke the game wide open with a 27-point second quarter that featured a trio of touchdown passes from Wallace in the final seven minutes of the first half.
The sophomore quarterback tossed a 55-yarder to Janis to make the score 29-0 and found Janis again for a 13-yard score that made the score 36-0 with 2:38 left.
The ensuing West High kickoff bounced free at the Wildcat 19 yard line and Miller grabbed it with 1:24 left.
Three plays later Wallace hit Bryan Torres for a 16-yard scoring strike on the final play of the first half.
“The coaches said from the beginning that it’s a business trip coming over here,” Wallace said. “We knew that we had to come out and play well because they were going to be ready looking for their first win. It’s good to get this win going into next week.”
Wallace completed 14-of-18 passes for 209 yards in the first half and finished 15-of-20 for 211 yards.
Janis had five receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns while sophomore Mason Woods and two catches for 50 yards and Morris caught three passes for 26 yards.
“My receivers stepped up big time tonight,” Wallace said. “Every team is going to put a safety over Christian and guys like Bryan Torres and Mason Woods really stepped up tonight.”
West High held Davenport to 13 yards of total offense and three first downs in the first half while building its 42-0 halftime lead.
Seth Overton added an interception and Ryne Vander Leest recovered a fumble for West High.
The Wildcats finished with 185 total yards.
“I feel like our defense has been stepping up,” Miller said. “Our motto is don’t let anything past us and I am going by that.”
First Downs 16 10
Rushes-yards 23-107 32-125
Comp-Att-Int 16-24-0 6-14-2
Passing yards 214 60
Total yards 321 185
Punts-Avg. 4-31.3 5-39.6
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 4-40 9-70
West High 15 27 0 0 – 42
Davenport North 0 0 0 7 – 7
ICW – Santana Miller 16 interception return (Davontae Morris run)
ICW – Morris 11 pass from Jack Wallace (Adam Salem kick)
ICW – Morris 9 run (Salem kick)
ICW – Janis 55 pass from Wallace (Salem kick)
ICW – Janis 55 pass from Wallace (Salem kick)
ICW – Bryan Torres 16 pass from Wallace (Kick failed)
DN – Drew Sheedy 3 run (Klayton Bolkema kick)
RUSHING – ICW: Braden Gladwin 6-33, Davontae Morris 6-32, Ashton Honore 3-22, Butali Butali 3-13, Christian Janis 3-8, Zion Shaw 1-3, Team 1-(-4). DN: Drew Sheedy 12-65, Ahmad Shropshire 12-65, Nolan Mosier 9-0, Team 3-(-13).
PASSING – ICW: Jack Wallace 15-20-0 211, Declan Bunn 1-4-0 3. DN: Nolan Mosier 6-14-2 60.
RECEIVING – ICW: Christian Janis 5-110, Davontae Morris 3-26, Barry Diallo 3-0, Mason Woods 2-50, Bryan Torres 2-25, Richard Wu 1-3. DN: Drew Sheedy 3-29, Cael Pairrett 1-36, Izaiah Brooks 1-(-2), Denison Franklin 1-(-3).