Up-and-coming Tri-Valley League Small contender Dedham visited Millis High on a perfect night for football still in the hunt for a division championship - albeit needing a bit of help. The Marauders were also trying to boost playoff seeding as the regular season winds down.

Millis, in a rebuilding season under new coach Brian Kraby after consecutive Division 8 Super Bowl titles, was coming off its first victory of the season over Bellingham and had been competitive in all three TVL contests thus far this year, including a heartbreaking one-point loss to Dover-Sherborn the week prior.

That wasn’t the case on Friday as Dedham cruised to a 41-14 victory, improving to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the TVL. Quarterback Ryan Flaherty three four touchdown passes, three to Jack Tannous, to lead the way.

"We've got a great group that's playing well, but we have stuff to clean up,” said Dedham coach Dave Flynn. “I was a little worried about a letdown game because Millis has some athletes and we've been known to not have our full attention ready to go at times.”

Dedham currently sits in the No. 4 position in the Division 6 South rankings and will be looking to earn a home playoff game this Friday when it hosts Dover-Sherborn. A share of the TVL Small crown is also in play, although the Marauders would need a win and a Bellingham upset on Medway to make that happen.

Mills falls to 1-4 overall and 1-3 in TVL play.

"They've got some good athletes and we just couldn't match up with them," said Kraby. "We didn't give up though and kept battling right until the end so I'm proud of them for that. We knew this was going to be a learning process and we're going to continue to try and get better every week until they tell us our season is over."

The Mohawks received the opening kickoff and quickly went three-and-out as Dedham took over near the Millis 40. One long bomb down the right sideline and a 2-yard touchdown run for Tyler Martel later a long with an extra point and the Marauders led 7-0.

After another Mohawk three-and-out Dedham needed just four plays to go up 14-0 thanks to a 6-yard slant from Flaherty to Tannous with 5:00 left in the first.

Millis began its next drive with 4:51 to go in the quarter and it extended into the second, but a turnover-on-downs on the first play of the frame gave the ball right back to Dedham at its own 31. The Mohawk defense forced a punt and Stephen Melia actually blocked the punt, giving Millis its best field position of the half, setting up a first-and-goal at the 10.

Two plays later quarterback Thomas Fallon hit Tally Smith with a 10-yard slant and Chris Edwards added the PAT to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 9:55 left in the half. Both teams then traded punts with Dedham taking over at the 50 with 5:43 to go.

Eight plays later Flaherty hit Tannous again, this time from 12-yards out to make it 20-7, with the PAT hitting the right upright.

Millis' sixth and final drive of the half began at its own 41 with 1:30 to go and actually stretched all the way down to the Dedham 5-yard line in 10-plays with three seconds remaining in the half. After a discussion about an Edwards field goal the Mohawks went for the TD and came up empty handed, wasting a golden opportunity for some important momentum heading to the locker room.

Dedham quickly ended the game for all intents and purposes in the third quarter as Flaherty hit Tannous (15 yards) and Mike Brennan (12 yards) touchdown passes and Tyler Martel added a 3-yard TD run in the quarter to make it 41-7 heading to the fourth.

Following a 61-yard run by Fallon to set up 1st-and-goal, Millis got a late 2-yard touchdown run from Andrew Finley and PAT from Edwards with 7:15 remaining to make it 41-14.

“The third quarter was big for us to come out and step on the gas, but we've definitely got things to work on before next week against D-S and hopefully we can get a home playoff game, that's one of the goals we set at the beginning of the year," said Flynn.