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Eagles Score Late To Win Wild Crosstown Showdown Battle With Oak Hills

Posted on: August 26, 2017

Milford senior QB Blake King connected with junior RB Cameron Kells on a four-yard touchdown with 13 seconds remaining as the Eagles opened the Tom Grippa coaching era with a wild 42-39 win over Oak Hills in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown on Friday night.


King finished the game with 295 yards passing and 69 more on the ground, rushing for four touchdowns and adding two more through the air to earn game MVP honors for his team. After injuries limited the senior to appearances in just two games last year, King was stellar, becoming the second Eagle single caller in as many years to rush for four touchdowns. The Milford passing attack went well over 300 yards, with King’s total of 295 the most by an Eagle in at least a decade. King’s favorite receiver was junior Jake Ayler who hauled in nine of his 24 completions for 160 yards.


The shootout-style battle featured a little bit of everything with several big plays in the kicking game, nearly 900 yards of total offense and even a pass that deflected off an official for an interception. Milford blocked two Oak Hills’ extra-point tries and totaled 180 yards on kickoff returns to set-up short fields on multiple scoring drives.


After holding Oak Hills three and out on the game’s first series, King engineered a 65-yard scoring drive that culminated in his first of four short touchdown runs. The big play came on a third-and-eight when King found Ayler for a 49-yard catch and run. The next two Milford series also resulted in touchdowns and Dillon Coleman extra points as the Eagles built a 21-0 lead. Junior Dylan Hughes hauled in his first career touchdown reception from 14 yards out for the first score, while King bulled his way in from a yard out as Milford built a three score lead just over a minute into the second quarter.


The Highlanders’ high powered offense finally came to life in the second quarter as Jacob Woycke tossed his first of four touchdown passes. On the next Milford series, Oak Hills came up with an interception in Eagle territory to set-up a short field and capitalized with a Kyle Spille TD run. MHS senior Luken Dalessandro came up with a block on the PAT leaving the score at 21-13 with just over four minutes left before the half.


Despite only four minutes remaining in the half, the scoring was far from over as three more touchdowns would go on the board before the break. Evan Baugh broke loose for a 69-yard kickoff return to set-up shop for Milford in the Oak Hills’ redzone and five plays later, King rushed in from five yards out to make it 28-13. The Highlanders responded with a Woycke to Maxwell Scherra touchdown pass, but like previously, the Eagles got a block on the PAT, this time by senior Max Lewis.


The next big special teams play came on the next drive as Sander Vest blocked a Coleman punt to set-up a quick Woycke to Scherra 25-yard scoring strike with just 16 seconds left on the clock.


The scoring didn’t slow down at the start of the third quarter as Hughes broke off a 60-yard return of the opening kickoff to set-up King’s fourth rushing score, this one from a yard out. The Woycke to Scherra combo hooked up again on the next Oak Hills’ drive as a 24-yard strike left the score 35-33 Milford just over three minutes in.


Both defenses came up with big plays on the ensuing drives as Milford’s Dustin Laudermilk stopped Nick Malone on fourth-and-two deep in Eagle territory. Then, a 54-yard pass from Ayler to Sam Pickett put Milford back in scoring position, but OHHS’ Kenny Bowling snagged the deflected interception in the endzone to thwart the scoring chance.


Midway through the fourth quarter, Oak Hills took its first lead on a Malone one-yard plunge, but the two-point conversion attempt failed. After the two teams traded punts, the Eagles took over at their own 26, down by four with only 3:38 to play.


Needing a score to win, the Eagles dug deep and came through with the game-winning 17-play drive, twice converting on fourth down to keep the drive alive. After taking a timeout with 17 ticks left on the clock, King rolled to his right and found Kells who fought to the goal line for the winning score.


In a game that was even until the end, the Eagles held a slim 451-409 edge in total yards, with each team earning 23 first downs and the final time of possession showing a Milford edge by just 30 seconds. Kells finished with 69 yards on the ground and 79 receiving to contribute to King’s big night through the air. Woycke completed 20 of his 34 passes for 264 yards, while Vince Kolb had 23 carries for 117 yards.


The Eagle defense was paced by 12 tackles and a sack by Bryce Dugan, nine stops by Laudermilk and eight each from Dalessandro and Bailey Knox.


Click here for the final Milford-Oak Hills game stats.


Week 2 for the Eagles features the open to a three-week stretch of home games for the Eagles, as they host Dixie Heights from Northern Kentucky for Booster Kickoff/Alunmi Night.