Daily Dive: Starr’s Mill Looks To Make State Championship For First Time Since 2010

Starr’s Mill is looking to make it back to the state championship for the first time since 2010 when they went 14-1 during head coach Chad Phillips first first-ever season with the lone loss coming against Chattahoochee 24-0 in the 4A championship game.

Phillips has led the Panthers to seven region championships in 14 seasons with the program and has achieved 111 wins as a head coach in his career and surpassed 100 wins against Riverdale in 2022. Starr’s Mill has never won a state championship in its 25-year history. The Panthers started the season 0-2 losing to two playoff teams in East Coweta and Northgate in narrow defeats. Since that point, Starr’s Mill has only lost one game and has won 11 of their past 12 contests scoring 40 points in five of those games.

The Panthers played in one of the toughest regions in the state in Region 4-4A which includes LaGrange, Troup County, Trinity Christian, and Whitewater. Starr’s Mill went 6-1 in region play this season after missing the playoffs in 2022 that ended an eight-year streak. Whitewater, the same team that knocked them out, is the team they knocked out this season. They outscored their region opponents by an average of 22 points this season.

The Panthers, led by junior quarterback Logan Inagawa have achieved their first 10-win season since 2019. Inagawa threw a thrilling 41-yard hail mary pass as time ran out to help lift the Panthers past then-undefeated Central-Carrollton. Inagawa finished the game with two touchdown passes. The junior has been quietly having a good season and has 16 total touchdowns, with four coming on the ground. Since taking over as the starter as a sophomore, Inagawa has improved each season increasing his completion percentage, touchdowns, quarterback rating, and passing yards per game.

Running back Dorsey Benefield has been having a great senior season rushing for 960 yards and 17 touchdowns. His breakout game came in the third game of the season against Luella where he rushed for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Benefield also had a pair of touchdowns in the thrilling win against the Lions in the quarterfinals. He’s scored two rushing touchdowns in every playoff game and has been a consistent threat in the running game. Both Inagawa and Benefield are a great 1-2 punch in the backfield and put pressure on opposing defenses to scheme for them both.

Starr’s Mill will look to punch their ticket to Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a win against a really good Perry team that runs the ball well with Ahmad Gordon. It will be the first time the teams have met which will have major implications.  Starr’s Mill will host Perry Friday Night at 7:30 PM in Fayetteville.

Tags: , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply