WAREHAM — Led by dynamic quarterback Bryce Latosek, Millis had enjoyed success this season through the air. But on a chilly Friday night in Wareham, the run game was the difference.
On defense, the Mohawks shut down the Vikings’ high-powered rushing attack. On offense, running back Kurt Hopkins compiled 207 yards and two touchdowns as Millis won its second consecutive Division 8 South title with a 31-8 victory.
The Mohawks (9-1) will move onto the Eastern Mass. final next weekend against the winner of Saturday’s North final between Lynn Tech (9-0) and Cathedral (8-1).
Eight of Hopkins’s 20 carries went for more than 15 yards, with his longest (36 yards) accounting for the Mohawks’ first touchdown late in the first quarter.
“A lot of the stuff we do is zone reads, zone runs,” said Hopkins. “I make cuts off certain zone blocks [the offensive line] makes, so all the credit to them.”
Going up against a Wareham offense that had punished opposing defenses with its versatile Wing-T, Millis limited the Vikings (8-2) to just 63 yards on the ground.
Isaac Nascimento, Wareham’s dual threat, rushed for just 24 yards. In the air, Nascimento had a difficult night, going 7 for 19 with 151 yards and four interceptions. His second pick resulted in an 80-yard pick-6 for Dom Zonfrelli in the second quarter, extending the lead to 17-0.
In Millis’s only loss this year on opening night against Holliston, the Mohawks were beaten by the Panthers’ Wing-T. Nine weeks later, the Millis defense redeemed itself.
“Their whole game is the run game,” said Millis coach Dana Olson. “We’re familiar with this offense. We see it with Holliston. Isaac’s a dynamic kid, but we’ve faced dynamic kids before.”
“That’s not [Wareham’s] thing,” said Olson. “They don’t want to throw the football. We wanted to put them in situations where they had to throw the football.
“We watched on film, no one down [in the South Coast Conference] attacked them,” said Olson. “And I said, ‘We might give up a couple big plays, but we’re going to attack them.’ ”