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Big Plays, Strong Second Half Key Eagles Win Over Walnut Hills

Posted on: September 17, 2018

Milford scored five of its six touchdowns from at least 35 yards out and turned a six-point halftime lead into a runaway as the Eagles knocked off Walnut Hills 42-21 in the home and Eastern Cincinnati Conference opener. Junior QB Hunter Johnson threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns to key the Milford offensive attack.

 

First Quarter

  • After forcing a three-and-out on Walnut’s first possession of the game, the Eagles scored their first big play of the game when senior Dustin Laudermilk ran a punt back 79 yards for a 7-0 lead just 1:30 into the contest.
  • Near the 2:30 mark of the quarter, Johnson found a streaking Jake Ayler for a 46-yard catch and run TD that looked to put the home team up 14-0, only to have a holding penalty wipe out the score. Not to be deterred, Johnson went deep on the very next snap, this time finding Dylan Hughes for a 56-yard scoring bomb.

 

Second Quarter

  • Just a minute the quarter, the visiting Eagles cut their deficit in half when QB Ryan Mickens capped an 11-play, 70-yard drive with a one-yard TD plunge.
  • Walnut Hills was able to take advantage of an interception, when Mickens cashed in from a yard out at the 5:13 mark, capping a 67-yard, nine-play drive.
  • A Hayden Johnson interception paved the way for Milford to take a 20-14 halftime lead. Two plays after Hayden intercepted Mickens and returned it to the Walnut 27, younger brother Hunter found Cameron Kells out of the backfield for a 16-yard score, Johnson’s third TD toss of the half.

 

Third Quarter

  • After netting just four yards rushing in the first half, Kells helped change that just 1:23 into the third when he burst up the middle and to the end zone for a 43-yard touchdown run. Ayler found Connor Foster for a two-point conversion that pushed the score to 28-14.
  • Following a punt by Walnut Hills, Ayler made one of the biggest plays of the last decade for Milford when he hauled in a perfectly thrown ball from Hunter Johnson, streaking 85 yards for a TD. At the 3:39 point of the third, Milford led 35-14.

 

Fourth Quarter

  • A big play by senior DL Brian Stevens in the waning seconds of the third quarter set the stage for Milford’s final score in the early stages of the fourth. Stevens grounded Walnut QB Mickens with a strip sack, recovering the fumble at the visitors 31. Just six seconds into the fourth, Johnson went up top, finding Hughes for the second time for a 37-yard TD.
  • Walnut rounded out the night’s scoring when Ronald Williams rushed in from 15 yards out against some of Milford’s younger defenders.

 

Notable

  • Hunter Johnson’s 261 yards passing and four touchdowns were the most by an Eagle since Blake King last season when he threw for 293 yards against Sycamore in the OHSAA Playoffs and tossed four TDs against Walnut Hills.
  • The 113 yards receiving by Ayler marked the third 100-yard receiving game of the senior’s career.
  • Ayler’s 85-yard reception was the longest scoring play from scrimmage by the Eagles since before 2007.
  • Laudermilk’s punt return TD was the second of his career (first came against Dixie Heights last season).
  • Jacob Turner led the defense with 11 tackles, while Hayden Johnson and Stevens added 10 each. Johnson added a fumble recovery and an interception, while Stevens added a second sack to his strip sack.

 

Click here for the final Milford-Walnut Hills game stats and here for a photo gallery from the game courtesy of Tammy Ruehrwein.

 

Up Next

  • The Eagles, now 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the ECC are back home on Friday for a Week 5 battle with Miami Township rival Loveland.