Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

April 5, 2014

McMillan caps spring event with touchdown

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

Mason McMillan made a name for himself at Tahlequah High School by running the football. Now he's back at the same position where he became the Tigers' all-time single-season leading rusher.

McMillan, a 6-foot, 185-pound sophomore at Northeastern State, played defensive back for the RiverHawks during the 2013 campaign. Now he's back in his comfort zone.

"I'm liking it," McMillan said. "I'm learning a lot [from Joel Rockmore and Terrance Dixon]. Learning to keep my pads low, which is something I did not do in high school, so they make sure I do that."

McMillan capped off what was dubbed as NSU's spring game on Saturday with a short touchdown run up the middle. It was the RiverHawks' only touchdown on the ground at Doc Wadley Stadium.

"It was nice to revisit the end zone," said McMillan, who also played his home high school games on Gable Field.

The RiverHawks, under newly-appointed head coach Rob Robinson, started off without any offensive success. Then, after shifting to red zone offense, the RiverHawks posted three touchdowns — each one by a different quarterback (Johnny Deaton, Thor Long, Kevin Pantastico, a transfer from Phoenix College).

"Very happy," Robinson said, talking about his quarterbacks. "Those guys have some very good things going on. [But] we won't name a starter until fall camp because I want them to push each other."

Two of the three touchdown passes were to transfer wideout Garrett Powell. Ray Dobbs was also on the receiving end of a scoring pass from Long, who split time with Cory Meadors as NSU's quarterback last season when Deaton went down with a season-ending fracture of his fibula in the season opener against Pittsburg State.

NSU will conclude spring drills next week with the final practice on Friday morning.

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