Clark Mills Just Wants To Win
Just under two hours until kickoff on Friday I received a text from North Pontotoc senior signal caller Clark Mills.
“Watch out for us,” the message concluded.
He was right.
Mills guided the Viking offense to an impressive output of 484 total yards. Which included his 346 yards through the air and 42 yards on the ground. He accounted for all four of his team’s touchdowns, with two coming on the ground and two coming through the air.
“We are explosive,” Mills said of the offense.
“The new offense is still getting worked on. It will be completely good by the time division rolls around.”
Though the Vikings showed much promise on offense, 5A foe Saltillo defended their turf with 36-28 win Friday night. Mills offered an honest assessment of the opener.
“They were in better shape and that showed at the end,” He said. “We were making really bad penalties at the worst times. We would have a drive going, and it would get killed by a penalty.”
“I feel like we are a really strong team, in the fact of how close we are. We never gave up.”
Following the game first-year head coach Andy Crotwell’s message to the team addressed the conditioning. Mills is confident that will be addressed going forward.
“(Crotwell) was proud of the way we fought the whole time. He said there are things we did good and things we must get better at. Must get in better shape,” the veteran signal caller explained.
“We will amp up our daily conditioning.”
Following week one Mills stands atop all quarterbacks in the state with his 346 passing yards. His four total touchdowns also puts him just one behind the state leader in that category.
Entering his senior season Mills was widely considered one of the top returning quarterbacks in North Mississippi. However, his focused remained on using that help his team get to the top.
“It’s a really cool thing, but wins are way more important to me than statistics. As long as we can win, that’s all I care about,” Mills stated. “It’s my senior year, so I’m willing to do anything.”
That was evidenced by his two rushing scores in week one. Last season he only rushed for two scores all year. Following the first game of the season, the talented quarterback is hungry to improve.
“Taking more checkdowns,” He noted as an area he would like to grow. “Just doing everything I can for the team no matter what.”
“I usually watch film every day. I try to figure out what will work and what will not. I’m focusing in practice each and every day, while trying to make the right reads on putting my guys in the right place.”
This week North Pontotoc heads to Mooreville to face a familiar foe. The Troopers and Vikings are old division rivals, but not too old. Recent reclassifications moved Mooreville to 4A through the 2019 season.
“It’s going to be a good task,” Mills said. “Just ready to prepare for them in every way we can.”
**Photo courtesy of Anna Claire Wise