EAST HERKIMER, N.Y. — Senior quarterback Austin Mills rushed for 250 yards and five touchdowns and also threw a touchdown pass Friday and Herkimer defeated Tully 48-14 in Section III’s Class D quarterfinals while delivering Alan Steele his 100th career victory.
Mills scored from three, 41, 10, one and seven yards — raising his season total to 17 rushing touchdowns — and threw his 15th touchdown pass before leaving the game with a leg cramp with eight minutes remaining. Backup quarterback Mitchell Scherer later scored on a 48-yard run.
Mills’ 27-yard touchdown pass went to junior Dan Appley, who was celebrating his 16th birthday. Brennen Thompson added 88 yards on eight carries for the state-ranked Magicians (7-1), who will meet Westmoreland (7-1) in a Class D semifinal.
Herkimer’s defense forced four turnovers — Appley, Ryan Fahy and John Zaleski had fumble recoveries and Scherer an interception — to help Steele improve his 17-year coaching record to 100-54.
Mills’ performance and the Herkimer win overshadowed a big night by Tully running back Jon Warner, who rushed for 248 yards and two scores on 20 carries before leaving with an injury early in the fourth quarter.
The teams combined for 36 first-quarter points. Thompson ran for 27 and 20 yards on the first two snaps, Herkimer needed only nine plays to score on its first three possessions, and a successful onsides kick helped Warner score on long touchdown runs just 10 seconds apart, cutting the Magicians’ lead to 22-14.
Herkimer then converted fumbles recoveries by Appley and Fahy into two second-quarter touchdown runs by Mills and the Magicians took a 35-14 lead into halftime.
By intermission, Mills had 169 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries and Warner had rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
HERKIMER 48, TULLY 14
Tully 14 0 0 0 — 14
Herkimer 22 13 6 7 — 48
HERK — Austin Mills 3 run (Eric Johnston pass from Mills).
HERK — Mills 41 run (Johnston pass from Mills).
TULLY — Jon Warner 62 run (John Mondo pass from Nick Edinger).
TULLY — Warner 49 run (run failed).
HERK — Dan Appley 27 pass from Mills (pass failed).
HERK — Mills 3 run (kick blocked).
HERK — Mills 1 run (Matt Borek kick).
HERK — Mills 7 run (run failed).
HERK — Mitchell Scherer 48 run (Borek kick).
Records — Tully 5-3; Herkimer 7-1.