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Football Falls In OT Thriller At Withrow

Posted on: October 15, 2016

For the second time this season, a Milford High School football game came down the very end and for the second time, the Eagles came up just short as they dropped a heartbreaking 32-31 overtime decision to Withrow in Eastern Cincinnati Conference action on Friday night. After Milford forced overtime with a field goal with 14 seconds remaining and then scored first in OT, Withrow answered the touchdown and subsequently scored the game-winning two-point conversion to steal the win.


After the two teams traded touchdowns on their first possessions of the night, the Eagles (2-6, 1-4 ECC) were forced to play from behind for the bulk of the night as Withrow (2-6, 1-4 ECC) stayed ahead until the final minute. The Eagles fell despite a sizable advantage in total offense (403-262), including 394 yards on the ground. Senior do-everything-man Chase Witte relieved an injured Tyler Smith at quarterback during the second quarter and responded with 267 yards on the ground, his second 250+ yard game of the season.


The game had the makings of a shootout early on as Withrow marched right down the field after the opening kickoff and went up 6-0 after a 21-yard rush by Justin Standifer. The rush capped an 11-play, 83-yard drive for the Tigers. The Eagles countered with a nine-play, 63-yard drive that finished when Smith raced in from 11 yards out on a quarterback keeper.


Withrow would go on to score on its next scoring drive as well and again it was Standifer doing the honors as he plunged in from a yard out. After an unsuccessful PAT try following its first score, Withrow opted for a two-point try but came up short as they would for all but its final attempt of the night. After forcing a Milford punt, Jon Murray connected with Dare Moffet from 17 yards out on fourth and nine to put the hosts in from 18-7 with just over six minutes to go before the half.


The scoring promptly continued as the Eagles eased within four points on its next drive, a 10-play, 64-yard jaunt. On the drive, Smith left with an injury and Witte quickly picked up where he left off, finishing the drive with a 10-yard scoring run to make it 18-14 with 2:12 to go before the half.


The two defenses finally settled in for awhile from there and it was the Tigers defense that actually made the game’s next big play. After starting inside the Withrow 30 following a short punt, the Tigers’ Donzell Tuggle plucked a Witte pass attempt out of the air and rumbled 82 yards down the sidelines to push his team up 10 at 24-14.


Needing a score to stay close, the Eagles did that and quickly as Witte broke loose on the fourth play from scrimmage after the pick-six, darting 58 yards to paydirt. That left the score at 24-21 in favor of the home team as the third quarter wound down.


After a succession of punts, the Eagles looked poised to drive for the win when they took possession at midfield with under four minutes to go. Milford methodically moved into scoring position and appeared to take the lead when Witte scored from 14 yards out, but an illegal block wiped the score off the board. Two plays later, the Eagles settled for the game-tying 31-yard field goal from Dillon Coleman.


As some football fans are aware, the key to overtime is winning the coin toss, but unfortunately for the Eagles the flip went to the Tigers which allowed them to play defense first. On its possession, the Eagles did what they needed to as Witte scored his third touchdown of the game on a five-yard rush and Coleman converted the PAT. On its first possession, Withrow needed just two plays and it was Tuggle scoring for the second time as he raced in from 16 yards out. Following a timeout, Withrow elected to go for the winning two-point conversion and it was Stephen Wheeler crashing past the Milford front line for the win.


Click here for the final Milford-Withrow stats.


With just two games remaining in the 2016 campaign, the Eagles will now return home for Senior Night next Friday (Oct. 21) against Anderson. Kickoff in Eagles Stadium is on tap for 7 p.m.