James Milliner.

James Milliner.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior put on such a dazzling display of power running yesterday, his name should be mentioned twice. Milliner blasted through a normally stingy T.C. Williams defense for 223 yards and scored on runs of 41 and 86 yards to lead No. 5 Annandale to a stunning 27-6 victory over the No. 2 Titans in the Virginia AAA Northern Region Division 6 championship game before 8,500 at W.T. Woodson.

In winning its first region title since 1978, Annandale (11-1) advanced to the state semifinals against Hampton (10-2) at Woodson Saturday. Williams finishes its season at 11-1.

The relative ease with which the Atoms, a 28-14 loser to Williams earlier in the season, methodically took apart the Northern District champions even shocked Titans Coach Glenn Furman.

"Did he get 200 yards? No one has ever rushed for that many yards against a Williams team I've coached," said Furman, in his ninth year. "He was simply great."

In defense of the Titans' defense, they played yesterday's game without two of their best players. Rashawn Jackson, the leading rusher and best defensive back, contracted bronchitis last week and didn't play. On the third play of the game, the team's best defensive player, end-tailback Ricky Ross suffered a pinched nerve in his shoulder and didn't return.

"We didn't know Jackson was out until just before the game. And when Ross went out, that really hurt them. We just started running everything over there," said Atoms Coach Dick Adams, who replaced longtime coach Bob Hardage this season. "We made our minds up, come hell or high water, we were going to give the ball to James {Milliner} and Richard {Roberts} and let them run."

And run they did. Milliner, who came into the game with 1,981 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns, put his team on the scoreboard first when he raced around the right side with a pitchout for 41 yards. Joe Nash's kick made it 7-0 with 7:40 left in the first period.

Williams got a big break when it recovered a fumble at the Annandale 34. But the Titans, having all kinds of problems getting first downs, needed 11 plays to reach the Atoms' four where, on a fourth and a yard play, Williams failed to get the necessary yardage to keep the drive alive. But Williams held and took possession this time at the Atom 30. Seven plays later, Morris Armstrong scored from six yards out. After a penalty moved the ball to the 1-yard line, the Titans decided to go for the two-point conversion and the lead.

But Annandale's Moses Song burst through and tackled quarterback Ezra Whorley for a loss and the Atoms led, 7-6, with 1:53 to play in the half.

Taking the second half kickoff, Annandale drove 79 yards in 14 plays to increase its lead to 13-6. After lulling Williams to sleep with Milliner runs up the middle much of the drive, quarterback Rhasheyd Williams faked a handoff to his tailback, rolled to his right and threw a perfect 19-yard pass to a wide-open Todd Kalin in the back of the end zone.

Williams did nothing on its next possession and punted to the Atoms 14. Seconds later, Milliner took a handoff, shook off three would-be tacklers at the line of scrimmage, bounced to the outside and outran the Titan secondary for an 86-yard touchdown.

"I was just trying to fight through the tackles and get outside," Milliner said. "Our guys did a real good job blocking up front and we were much better prepared to play them this time." Annandale (11-1) 7 13 0 7 27 T.C. Williams (11-1) 0 6 0 0 6 A -- Milliner 41 run (Nash kick) W -- Armstrong 5 run (run failed) A -- Kalin 19 pass from Williams (kick failed) A -- Milliner 86 run (Nash kick) A -- Roberts 6 run (Nash kick)