Posted: 8:49 am Saturday, September 5th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
The opening week of high school football concludes tonight with a pair of small-school powerhouses squaring off in Jensen Beach. No. 6 American Heritage is looking to snap No. 5 Jupiter Christian’s state-best 27-game winning streak at Jensen Beach High at 7 p.m.
One of the key match-ups to watch, and there are several, will come when Jupiter Christian has the ball. Eagles QB Marshyl Rothman (5-9, 170) is a dynamic quarterback with great scrambling ability. American Heritage senior Darius Millines (6-0, 175, No. 13 on The Big Board) will see time at corner and safety and maybe even line up at linebacker a few times. These two know each other very well from playing together on a 7-on-7 team, and part of Millines’ job will be keeping an eye on Rothman.
When Millines is at safety, he will be charged with picking up loose receivers and helping contain Rothman if he sprints out of the pocket.
“It’s easy to lose him because he’s short,” Millines said. “They like to run a lot of crossing routes and trick plays, so we have to keep our heads on a swivel for that.”
Millines is one of the headiest, most athletic defensive backs in the area. He started for American Heritage as a sophomore when the team won the 2007 state championship.
Rothman borders on overconfidence at points, but he is smart enough to know that he cannot gamble on passes to Millines’ side of the field.
“I don’t throw it away from people; I throw it to the open guys,” Rothman said. “If that’s in Millines’ spot I’ll throw it there, but the fact that he is there is in the back of your mind a little bit before the game.”
Rothman is a quick, elusive runner, but occasionally is negligent in protecting the ball while he runs. He cannot afford to leave the ball exposed against American Heritage. An opportunistic, savvy defensive player like Millines will strip him and several players in the Stallions’ secondary (James Potts and Isaiah Howard come to mind) have the capacity to turn a fumble into a long touchdown return.