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Football Opens Home Slate With Saturday Night Visit From Dixie Heights

Posted on: August 31, 2017

SETTING THE SCENE: The start to the Tom Grippa regime at Milford got off to a flying and dramatic start last week and the Eagles football team will now look to start 2-0 when they open the 2017 home schedule on Friday night against Dixie Heights. The Eagles scored the improbable win when senior QB Blake King hit the game-winning four-yard TD pass to Cameron Kells with 13 seconds left to seal a 42-39 win over Oak Hills last week. Now, the Eagles will turn their attention to an 0-2 Dixie Heights squad, a team that has been the Eagles Week 2 opponent for the last two seasons. Kickoff for Booster Kickoff/Alumni Night is scheduled for 7 p.m.

 

NEW STANDS: When Milford fans arrive at Eagle Stadium this week, they will be greeted by a new set of home bleachers to enjoy the game from. In addition, Milford will be occupying a new sideline as the home bench (including bleachers) has shifted to the north side of Eagles Stadium.

 

A LOOK BACK: Aug. 25 at Oak Hills: 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 Aug 25.

 

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.

 

Click here to read the complete recap and here for the Milford-Oak Hills game stats.

 

A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT: A look at Dixie Heights, Milford’s 2017 Week 2 opponent:

  • Saturday, Sept. 2 vs. Dixie Heights, 7:00 p.m.
    • 2017 Record: 0-2 (RV Kentucky area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Offensive Player: N/A
    • Top Defensive Player: N/A
    • Last Meeting: 2006; Oak Hills 37, Milford 22

 

THE MATCH-UP: A look at the Milford-Dixie Heights match-up by the numbers (per game averages with conference team rankings):

  • Milford scoring offense (1st-42.0) vs. Dixie Heights scoring defense (N/A)
  • Milford total offense (2nd-451.0) vs. Dixie Heights total defense (N/A)
  • Milford rushing offense (4th-102.0) vs. Dixie Heights rushing defense (N/A)
  • Milford passing offense (1st-349.0) vs. Dixie Heights passing defense (N/A)
  • Dixie Heights scoring offense (N/A) vs. Milford scoring defense (6th-39.0)
  • Dixie Heights total offense (N/A) vs. Milford total defense (6th-409.0)
  • Dixie Heights rushing offense (N/A) vs. Milford rushing defense (2nd-145.0)
  • Dixie Heights passing offense (N/A) vs. Milford passing defense (5th-264.0)

 

INSIDE THE ECC: Five of the league’s eight teams opened the season with a victory, including the Eagles. West Clermont was triumphant in the first game in its new school’s history, while Anderson, Kings and Withrow also scored Ws.

 

The Week 2 ECC schedule includes: Dixie Heights at Milford, Lakota East at Kings, Anderson at McNicholas, Withrow at Mason, Turpin at Northwest, Walnut Hills at Ross, Lebanon at Loveland and Winton Woods at West Clermont.

 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: A look at Milford’s statistical leaders:

Rushing Yards: Cameron Kells (69)

Passing Yards: Blake King (295)

Receiving Yards: Jake Ayler (160)

Tackles: Bryce Dugan (12)

Sacks: Dax Creager/Bryce Dugan (1.0)

Interceptions: Evan Baugh (1)

Kickoff Return Yards: Dylan Hughes (93)

Punting Average: Blake King (40.0)

Punt Return Yards: Sam Pickett (7)

 

POLL WATCH: After receiving just a single vote in the preseason rankings, Milford’s huge season opening win over Oak Hills got the attention of the voting coaches in the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Division I area coaches’ poll, as the Eagles are now tied for ninth. St. Xavier stands alone at the top of the rankings, after sharing the number one spot last week. The Bombers received five first place votes to outdistance Moeller (one vote), Colerain (one vote), Elder and Sycamore (one vote) to round out the top-five. ECC member Walnut Hills received one vote for a spot in the others receiving votes section.

 

The league is also once again well represented in the Division II rankings, with two in the top-five and four of the top-10. Kings is second with one first place vote, with Anderson also earning a No. 1 nod and occupying fourth. Turpin comes in seventh this week, with West Clermont ninth, Withrow tied for 10th and Loveland also receiving votes. The coaches’ poll is released every Monday at Noon at preps.cincinnati.com/coachespolls.

 

COACH SPEAK: Click here to watch Head Coach Tom Grippa interviewed on ICRC-TV - The Gridiron Report.

 

WHAT A DEBUT: When head coach Tom Grippa arrived in Milford, he did so with a reputation for a high-octane offense and he wasted no time in unleashing it in the opener against Oak Hills. Against the Highlanders, Blake King (295 yards passing) and Jake Ayler (160 yards receiving) posted the best individual performances by a Milford player in those categories in at least a decade. King also did damage with his legs, becoming the first Milford player since Chase Witte last season to score four touchdowns.

 

TICKET TALK: Once again this season, pre-sale tickets for all ages are available for all home and ECC away games only in the Milford High School Athletic Office for a cost of $5. Please note tickets for all ages at the gate are priced at $7 each. Come out and support the Eagles and save by purchasing your tickets in advance!