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High school football: Millard Eagles 2020 preview

Here’s an in-depth look at the Millard Eagles football team heading into the 2020 season.

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Note: Millard finished with a 9-3 overall record in 2019 and was third in 2A South with a 4-2 record. It was RPI seed No. 3 in the 2A playoffs, and was eliminated by Milford 28-21 in semifinals. 


FILLMORE — Squandering a two-possession lead to Milford in the final five minutes of the 2A semifinals was tough to swallow for Millard last year, but it’s not something this year’s team is dwelling on.

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Head coach: Ethan Stephenson

Entering his fifth year as head coach at his alma mater, owning a 25-20 record during that stretch and back-to-back semifinal appearances in 2018 and 2019. He’s a graduate of Southern Utah University.

The bulk of last year’s key contributors were seniors, so it’s back to the drawing board in many ways for Millard in 2020.

Coach Ethan Stephenson said reverting to basics especially early in the season will be key as the newcomers adjust to the speed of varsity football. One area he isn’t worried about is the offensive line with three returning starters, Zach DeHerrera, Danny Garcia and Joe Flynn.

“Last year’s biggest question mark was our line because we only had one returning starter, so it’s kind of nice to have a couple lineman because that’s the most important part of football is having a solid line. So to have that I feel like we can build pieces off of there and I feel like the young skill players they know our offense well enough that they’re going to be able to run it. We’ll just have to expect mistakes out of them every once and a while,” said Stephenson.

The first half of Millard’s schedule isn’t nearly as difficult as the second half, which is advantageous with a young team.


Millard Eagles at a glance

Coach Stephenson’s thoughts on how his players dealt the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“I feel like they’ve come together more than I ever imagined. It’s made my seniors step up into that leadership position and to organize activities this summer. Overall, the excitement level of our team is higher than I could’ve ever imagined. I’ve had more consistency, more kids at practice and these weight trainings that I’ve been doing than I’ve ever had before. In that aspect it’s been good. But it was hard on them, you could tell they just craved an interaction or sport just for something to do.”

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2020 Schedule


Aug. 14 — EMERY, 7 p.m.

Aug. 21 — at Judge Memorial, 7 p.m.

Aug. 28 — at Delta, 7 p.m.

Sept. 4 — KANAB, 7 p.m.

Sept. 11 — at Monticello, 7 p.m.

Sept. 18 — at Parowan, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25 — NORTH SEVIER, 7 p.m.

Oct. 2 — at Milford, 7 p.m.

Oct. 9 — at Beaver, 7 p.m.

Oct. 15 — ENTERPRISE, 5 p.m.

Millard Eagles offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Ethan Stephenson/Blaine Burraston

2019 offense: 32.4 (4th in 2A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • 4 returning starters
  • Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Zech DeHerrera (OT)
  • Jed Degraffenried (WR/RB)
  • Danny Garcia (OG)
  • Joe Flynn (OG)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Dakota Maxfield (WR)
  • Braxton Bond (QB)
  • Mekhi Davis (WR)
Coach Stephenson’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“It’s about basics. Last year I was kind of spoiled having so many kids that had played varsity and knew my offense the year before. The experience level was so high especially at quarterback, I could call a play and we were always on the same page. This year with there being so many new kids we’re going to have to go back to basics. We’re going to have to focus on establishing the running game first and foremost, and that will open up the passing game and hopefully the short routes will be there and then we can build off of that.”


Millard defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Stoney Myers

2019 defense: 20.0 ppg (4th in 2A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • 3 returning starters
  • 4-4 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Zech DeHerrera (DT/LB)
  • Jed Degraffenried (OLB)
  • Danny Garcia (MLB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
  • Taylor Davies (S)
  • Morgan Wade (CB)
  • Eric Larsen (CB/OLB)
  • Mekhi Davis (DB)
Coach Stephenson’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“First and foremost is our D-line. I know that’s coach Myers’ thing, that’s his baby. We need to solidify that up and make sure we have the right personnel there. And then being able to use our linebackers and our DBs, to get them to work together and mesh on preventing the pass. I was looking at who we play this year and the their styles of offense, and we don’t have a Bryson Barnes we have to go up against this year. I know there will still be teams that are passing, but I know most of them will be a little more run-heavy, so our D-line and linebackers need to stop that run, but when they do pass our backers have to be hybrids to drop back at help our DBs too.”

2Asouthprojections
Coaches preseason 2A South straw poll
  1. Beaver
  2. Parowan
  3. Millard
  4. Enterprise
  5. Milford
  6. Kanab
  7. North Sevier

Deseret News outlook for 2020

Of the top four projected teams in 2A South this year, Millard has the fewest returning starters and as a result the biggest question marks. How quickly the newcomers pick things up will determine if Millard will be knocking on the door championship game again or if a simple semifinal appearance is the ceiling again.


Felt’s Facts for Millard

  • All-time record: 586-275-22 (94 years)

  • Region championships: 40 (1933, 1937, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947 co, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1967 co, 1969, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983 co, 1988 co, 1989 co, 1997, 1998, 1999 co, 2001, 2002 co, 2003, 2004 co, 2006, 2007, 2009 co, 2010)

  • Playoff appearances: 71
  • All-time playoff record: 84-54

  • State championships: 13 (1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1958, 1960, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1995, 2001)

  • State championship record: 13-8

  • Most played rivalry: 96 meetings with Delta dating back to 1926. Millard leads 51-41-4.


Last 5 Seasons

  • 2019 — 9-3 (4-2 in 2A South – 2A Semifinals)
  • 2018 — 9-3 (3-2 in 2A North – 2A Semifinals)
  • 2017 — 7-4 (3-2 in 2A North – 2A Quarterfinals)
  • 2016 — 0-10 (0-5 in 2A North – 2A First round)
  • 2015 — 5-6 (2-3 in 2A North – 2A Quarterfinals)

Millard coaching history


  • 2016-current — Ethan Stephenson (25-20)
  • 2000-2015 — Marshall Sheriff (135-55) *1 state title
  • 1999 — Dennis Alldredge (7-4)

  • 1995-1998 — Franklin Bramall (36-9) *1 state title
  • 1992-1994 — Al Marshall (12-17)

  • 1984-1991 — Dennis Alldredge (50-32) *1 state title
  • 1973-1983 — Lew Monsen (99-27) *4 state titles
  • 1967-1972 — Nyle Norris (40-22)

  • 1965-1966 — Lynn Foxley (10-7-1)

  • 1964 — Rex Lilly (3-5)

  • 1943-1963 — Taft Watts (149-33-10) *6 state titles
  • 1942 — Sam Gordon (1-3-1)

  • 1941 — Meldon Walker (2-3)

  • 1938-1940 — Stan Watts (8-6-1)

  • 1936-1937 — “Riff” Kimball (6-4)

  • 1935 — Unknown (1-3-1)

  • 1934 — F.G. Richards (0-2-1)

  • 1933 — Dunn Taylor (6-2)

  • 1931-1932 — Leo Probert (0-6)

  • 1930 — Phil Baker (0-4)

  • 1927-1929 — Royal Chamberlain (2-8)

  • 1926 — Eddie Kimball (0-3-1)


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Deseret News All-State Archives

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Check out our archives of Deseret News all-state teams from 1929 to 2019 at Deseret.com.

Millard All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

  • 2019 — Austin Burraston, RB
  • 2019 — Sam Marshall, WR
  • 2019 — Kael Myers, DB
  • 2019 — Wyatt Alcala, K
  • 2018 — Brooks Myers, QB
  • 2018 — Dillon Lund, OL
  • 2018 — Calun Whitaker, DL
  • 2018 — Jadden Cranney, DB
  • 2017 — Slade Sheriff, DB
  • 2017 — Dillon Lund, DL
  • 2015 — Kyler Rowley, QB/DE
  • 2015 — Cole Whatcott, OL/LB
  • 2014 — Skyler Cranney, QB/DB
  • 2014 — Gerardo Ruvalcaba, RB/LB
  • 2013 — Eric Alcala, OL/LB

  • 2012 — Jesse Rhodes, RB/DB

  • 2011 —Pancho Alcala, RB/DB

  • 2011 — Jesse Rhodes, RB/DB

  • 2011 — Keith Kesler, OL/DL

  • 2010 — Nate Robison, QB/DB

  • 2010 — Jesse Rhodes, RB/DL

  • 2010 — Pancho Alcala, RB/DB