(Millsaps Sports Information) JACKSON, MS – The Majors football team won their first game of the season by defeating the Belhaven Blazers 52-23.
With the defense forcing six turnovers and the offense accumulating over 400 total yards, the night turned into a convincing win for Millsaps. The win evens the series at 3-3 between Belhaven and Millsaps in the rivalry known as the Riverside Rumble.
After winning the coin toss, the Majors elected to receive and start the game on offense. A three-and-out led to a Ryan Grace punt where Belhaven took over for their first drive of the game.
In front of a record crowd, the Majors defense took the field against the pass heavy offense of Belhaven. Millsaps started the positive momentum on the night by forcing a turnover on downs, giving the offense a short field in Belhaven territory.
The Majors were able to get on the board first when Taz Watson darted into the end zone for a three-yard rushing touchdown. The run by Watson capped off a nine play, 39-yard drive. On the ensuing kickoff, Javis Aultman forced a fumble, which was recovered by Millsaps. The turnover marked the first of the night for Belhaven and gave the Majors another scoring chance in Blazer territory.
Making his starting debut at quarterback for Millsaps, sophomore Ty Proctor took advantage of the good field position by throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass to Nick Glover. After a failed two-point conversion, the Majors led 12-0.
Belhaven quickly answered as starting QB, Clayton Webb, found Darien Thomas in the end zone. The 10-yard touchdown pass capped off a 9 play, 66-yard drive. Following a Majors punt, the Blazers were able to get back on the board with a 38-yard field goal from Alonso Acosta.
After a Majors interception, the two teams traded punts until Ty Proctor found Taz Watson for a 17-yard touchdown pass. The seven play, 59 yard touchdown drive put the Majors up 18-9 in the second quarter.
Clayton Webb and the Blazers offense answered again with a long 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Webb capped off the drive by connecting with Darien Thomas in the end zone for the second time. At the half, the Majors led the Blazers by a score of 18-16.
On the opening kickoff of the second half, the Majors forced a second special teams turnover. Andrew Jarreau recovered a fumbled ball at the Belhaven eight-yard line. Three plays later, Ty Proctor wheeled to the end zone for his second score of the night (first score rushing).
The Majors defense forced another turnover-on-downs, but a punt on the following series led to a 67-yard scoring drive for the Blazers (Webb to Holmes, 24 yards). The Majors were forced to punt again on the following series as Belhaven had a chance to take their first lead of the game. Two plays later, Gary Roberts intercepted a Clayton Webb pass to give the Majors another scoring chance with great field position.
One play later, Ty Proctor threw his second touchdown pass of the night to Beau Wells for 30 yards. With the score 32-23, the Majors never looked back as they scored the game’s final 20 points.
Andrew Warren rushed for a 17-yard touchdown on a five play, 33-yard drive to close out the third quarter. Following Warren’s rushing touchdown, Gary Roberts got his second interception on the night, only this one he returned 65 yards for a touchdown. Roberts’ score gave the Majors defense its first points of the year as they led 45-23.
Warren found the end zone a second time as his 73-yard touchdown closed out the scoring for the evening, leaving Millsaps the victor.
The Majors led the entire game as their defense forced six turnovers (one returned for a touchdown). Offensively, the Majors finished the contest with over 400 total yards. The running game produced 269 yards while the passing game accounted for 140 yards. Andrew Warren led Millsaps in rushing with 113 yards while Ty Proctor finished his first start as a Major going 12-19 for 122 yards and three touchdowns.
The win for the Majors evens the series against Belhaven at 3-3 and marks the first season opening win in two years.
The Majors next game will be on the road at Mary Hardin-Baylor for a 6 pm kickoff in Belton, Texas.