By Frank Dimon
For The Daily Item
TURBOTVILLE — He’s known as Little E, a nickname earned because he is the younger brother of former Milton star Donald English, and partly because he looks like he might carry 150 pounds on his diminutive 5-foot-7 frame.
The Black Panthers senior will never be known as Big E, but with a few more performances like the one he turned in against Warrior Run, he’ll escape the shadow of Donald — who helped carry Milton into the District 4 playoffs a couple of years — and simply be recognized as E.
English ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns, intercepted a pass to set up another Milton score, and added a long kickoff return to boot as the Black Panthers rebounded from a disappointing opener against Danville with a 61-21 rout of Warrior Run on Friday night.
Milton ripped through the Defenders for 419 rushing yards — a week after being held to 59 by the Ironmen — as Josh Brown (100 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Norman Whaley (104 yards and two scores in only four carries) also topped the century mark in the lopsided victory.
"My brother was, obviously, a great player, but I am just trying to be a captain and a leader for this team," English said. "I just want to have my own identity as a player."
His first touchdown came on Milton’s first possession after the Defenders had scored on a 25-yard pass from Hunter Raup to a wide open William Michael that cut the Black Panthers’ lead to 12-6 with 15 seconds left in the first period. English broke through the Defenders for a 24-yard score and less than a minute later, defensive end Clayton Messinger stepped in front of a Raup swing pass for an interception and 27-yard touchdown.
The interception was one of three in the first half for the Black Panthers. Coupled with a recovered fumble by Whaley, it created an uphill battle for the Defenders (0-2).
"I thought at times we showed glimmers of hope," said Warrior Run coach Mark Burrows. "But we cannot make mistakes, we can’t get behind the chains, and we cannot make turnovers because defensively we are really, really struggling. We got it to 12-6, but after that we didn’t recover."
That’s because if English (82 first-half yards) wasn’t tearing through the Warrior Run defense, Brown, Whaley, and Jovan Garrison were. Brown scored a pair of first-half TD’s on runs of 1 and 5 yards, and added a 13-yard burst for Milton’s first tally after halftime.
English’s night ended when his 62-yard bolt through the Defenders upped the Milton lead to 54-6 midway through the third period. Whaley, who didn’t play against Danville because of an injury, scored on runs of 30 and 59 yards late in the game.
But on a night when Milton (1-1) had plenty of stars, it was Little E who led the charge.
"We rode him tonight," said Milton coach George Goodwin. "We still get on him about Donnie doing things better than him, but tonight he stepped up. He contributed in so many ways tonight, as a running back, as a defender, and on special teams. He just goes out and plays the game."