Joe T. Robinson allowed Mills to run only five plays in the first quarter and intercepted three passes as the Senators advanced in the Class 4A playoffs with a 63-18 victory over the Comets on Friday on Robinson's home field.
Robinson (8-3) will continue its attempt at a second consecutive Class 4A title next week at Stuttgart, which claimed a 51-21 victory over Hamburg on Friday.
Robinson Coach Todd Eskola, while pleased with the victory, was concerned about what he called the "chippiness" of the Comets (5-7).
Several Mills players and Coach Cortez Lee were ejected from the game, and Eskola said he stopped counting when the unsportsmanlike penalties against the Comets reached 11.
"It was not a very pretty game," he said. "For the longest, it seemed like every time we scored, we would give a touchdown to Mills. I mean, it was crazy, but we got that cleaned up. When you score then let the other team score, it took a little time to get rolling.
"I thought our kids executed well, but their kids did some good things, too. But we finally got our coverages figured out and kids played pretty well."
The Senators needed only seven plays before scoring their first touchdown on a 35-yard pass from quarterback Buddy Gaston to James Jordan. Much of the yardage on the drive was secured by running back Hunter Smith, who ran the ball on the team's first four plays for 29 yards.
Mills started at its 35, and the drive lasted one play when Q.J. King was intercepted on first down by Deldrick Withers at the Mills 37.
Two passes and two running plays put the Senators on the scoreboard on a 23-yard run by Smith for a 14-0 lead with 8:21 left in the opening quarter.
Then Robinson attempted an onside kick that the Senators' Ivan Thomas recovered at the Mills 32.
Mills took advantage of a bad snap on first down at the Mills 2, resulting in a fumble that the Comets returned the length of the field for a touchdown with 6:32 remain in the first quarter. Mills still had only run one offensive play to that point.
A 30-yard return on the kickoff by Anthony Freeman gave the Senators a first down at the 49. Nine plays later, Smith blasted over from the 1 for a 20-6 lead for Robinson.
Starting a drive with 3:07 left in the first quarter, the Comets controlled the ball for 18 plays that covered 72 yards, ending with a 3-yard run by Keilon Davis with 7:19 left in the first half to cut Robinson's lead to 20-12.
After 31-yard kickoff return, the Senators needed only five plays to score on a 7-yard pass from Gaston to Donovan Young with 5:30 left in the half. A two-point conversion gave Robinson a 28-12 lead.
Mills tried to get something going on the ensuing possession and managed to get the ball to the Robinson 19, but quarterback Achilles Ringo was intercepted by Jordan with 2:27 left in the half. Gaston connected with Jordan for a 34-yard scoring play with 47 seconds left in the half and a 35-12 lead.
Mills opened the second half by scoring on a 79-yard pass from Ringo to Kylan Deadmon, trimming the margin to 35-18.
Robinson needed only two plays to score again, this one on Smith's third touchdown run from 42 yards for a 49-18 lead. Daryl Searcy scored on a 3-yard run for a 56-18 lead. Noah Freeman completed the Senators' scoring with a touchdown.