Silverdale's Four Horsemen

Seahawks at Boyd-Buchanan in 1A, District 5

Friday, November 1, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

“We have been playing together as a foursome for three years and we know each other’s tendencies so well and that each of us is ready to cover for the others.

--  Silverdale senior Matt Millard on the four running backs which comprise the Four Horsemen


Eight decades ago, fall 1924 – the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame forged a 10-0 season (including a Rose Bowl win), beating some of the best college football teams in the land.

Thanks to legendary sports writer Grantland Rice, running backs Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden became Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death..

Outlined against a blue-gray October sky the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death.

“These are only aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon (Oct. 17, 1924) as 55,000 spectators peered down upon the bewildering panorama spread out upon the green plain below.”

Silverdale’s Four Horsemen: Fast forward to fall, 2013 and it’s Silverdale’s new millennial stable of running backs  - who also play on defense - with hopes of a 10-0 season and a run at a possible state crown.

Hard Work, Destruction, Guts and Glory … better known as Matt Millard, Matt McCulley, Lincoln Phillips and Josh Rogers

“We know what’s on the line (district championship vs. Boyd-Buchanan), but we still have to treat it as another important Friday night and go out and do our job,” said four-year starter Josh Rogers.

“It’s huge,” said the soft-spoken Phillips in reference to tonight’s game.

Far from a possible one-time wonder, the foursome along with other talented teammates were 10-2 a year ago and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

For All The Marbles: Tonight they carry a 9-0 season against Boyd-Buchanan for the 1A District 5 title.

The nine-year program had an tough start at 1-9 in 2005, but improved to 7-4 by 2007, has four appearances in post-season play and a 16-game regular season win streak intact.

The pieces of the winning puzzle include coach Al Rogers moving into the head coaching job in 2011 from being middle school coach, to a few transfers (including Rogers and Millard) from David Brainerd HS (now closed) and Phillips transferring from Warren County.

Good Statistics: Rogers (80.5) and Phillips (49) lead the team in tackles and Phillips has the most quarterback sacks (12).

On offense, Rogers (970) is 30 yards shy of a 1,000 yard season, followed by Millard (544), McCulley (322) and Phillips (307). Together they have 26 rushing touchdowns.

Before this season’s 3-6 record, tonight’s foe, Boyd-Buchanan, has four straight district titles and 42 wins (2009-2012) and a state runner-up finish in 2009.

Silverdale is 10-2 and 9-0 the past two seasons and perhaps ready to challenge the Bucs every year for district supremacy.

The Four Horsemen

Matt Millard … 6-0, 185 .. (pronounced Millard as in Dillard) … RB/DB ... led baseball team to 2013 state runner-up finish … 28 on ACT … hopes to play college baseball …

Transferring from David Brainerd: “It is bittersweet for Josh (Rogers) and myself having had to leave David Brainerd when it closed to now playing for Silverdale and a chance at a district title.”

Coach Rogers Comments: “quiet leader …. leads by example … great eye as a running back for the open space in the defense”

Matt McCulley   5-9 ½  180 … RB./LB … has been at Silverdale since kindergarten and has played for coach Rogers in middle school and varsity … plans to wrestle in the winter … plans to go into the ROTC program at UTC next fall.

Coach Rogers: “Matt is a work horse … never gripes … never complains … lot of heart.”

Lincoln Phillips … 6-3, 215 … RB/DE … wants to play college football …

“I never was given the chance to play football at Warren County in at any level, but Silverdale gave me a chance.”

Coach Rogers: “Very emotional player … plays hard … when he came here he had never played organized football .. he didn’t grasp the linebacker position, but once we put him at defensive end he has not looked back and we had a great one-two DE tandem with Colton Rogers.”

Josh Rogers --. 6-0, 185 … RB/DB … four-year starter … when asked who is the fastest and smartest among the four, all fingers pointed to Rogers with a 4.65 time in the 40 and a 3.92 grade point average … hopes to play college football …

Life Changer: "I became a Christian Sept. 9, 2011 and that changed my life ... I was a church kid, but I was just going through the motions ... it was all an act."

Al Rogers Comments: “Student of the game … great vocal leader … big proponent of watching game film


contact B.B. Branton at

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