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Football Pulls Away In Fourth Quarter To Dethrone Kings

Posted on: October 8, 2017

The 2017 season for the Milford High School football team has been a storybook tale thus far and it added another new chapter on Friday night as the Eagles picked up a 42-28 win over Kings in a thrilling Eastern Cincinnati Conference battle. In what is believed to be the program’s first-ever victory over the Knights, Milford outscored the visitors by a 21-7 count in the fourth quarter to snap a tie game after three quarters.


The game provided everything that is good about Friday Night high school football as each team gave the other its best shot all night long. Milford (6-1, 4-0 ECC) scored first and never actually trailed but had to turn back answer after answer from Kings (2-5, 1-3 ECC) every time it grabbed the lead. The victory assures the Eagles of their first winning season since 2000 as they have now captured six wins with just three regular season games remaining.


The Eagles’ high-octane offense was firing on all cylinders, running up 434 yards of total offense, including 162 on the ground which matched the team’s season-high. As has been the case all season long, the Eagle offense went as senior QB Blake King did and as usual the signal caller was up to the task. The always efficient King completed 21 of 34 passes for 272 yards, with a pair of touchdowns, while adding a season-best 89 yards rushing and three more scores. King’s favorite target was junior speedster Dylan Hughes who hauled in 10 passes for 143 yards and two scores.


Kings had the first scoring chance of the night, driving inside the Milford 10, but being devastated by a wild snap from center that ultimately set up a 44-yard field goal try that fell short. It took until the final 20 seconds of the first quarter for a score as King would find Hughes open for a 32-yard TD strike.


When the Knights got the ball back, they marched down to score using two Ashton Koller to Justin Wise passes and a healthy dose of Nak’em Williams on the ground. Williams barreled in from two yards out for the score to tie the game early in the second.


Both teams would score again before the half to leave it a 14-all score at the half. Hughes set up the next Milford touchdown with a catch that moved the ball to the Kings’ one where Milford’s King pushed in for the score. Williams did it again on the next Knights’ drive, gliding 33 yards for his second touchdown with five minutes remaining.


As the game rolled over to the second half, the Eagles scored on their first drive of the half, going 69 yards in 14 plays with King to Hughes accounting for a 14-yard strike that pushed Milford up 21-14. The Eagle defense appeared to have a stop on the next Knights’ possession when Dustin Laudermilk snagged an interception deep in Milford territory. The inevitable strike of luck bit the Eagles though as Laudermilk was hit and fumbled with Kings recovering. With the second chance, the Knights converted and tied the game on a one-yard plunge by Koller.


On the ensuing kickoff, Kings tried to catch the Eagles napping with an on-side kick attempt, but after recovering, the home team made the visitors pay as King weaved in from 12 yards out for a 28-21 Milford lead. Needing a defensive stop the Eagles got it, leading King to engineer a 12-play, 85-yard, 4:54 scoring drive that was capped by the senior’s third rushing TD of the night. Back-to-back King strikes to Jake Ayler, a 22-yard reception by Sam Pickett and a Kings’ pass interference penalty were the key plays in the drive.


Feeling comfortable up by two scores with only three minutes to play, it didn’t take long for the Eagles to once again be uneasy after a 28 second scoring drive by Kings again cut the lead to seven. But the Eagles were able to grind out nearly all the remaining time left behind 52 combined rushing yards from King and classmate Bailey Knox. One of the Eagles’ defensive studs, Knox has been moonlighting on offense in recent weeks and he capped off the night’s scoring, jolting 10 yards for the final score with 54 seconds left.

The Eagles were able to come up victorious despite being outgained on the night by a 456-434 yardage count. Williams was as good as advertised for the Knights, rushing for 139 yards and two touchdowns, adding 61 yards through the air and 56 yards in kickoff returns. Koller had a solid game going 20 of 35 for 249 yards.


Adam Bartrum and Bryce Dugan were both all over the field on defense for the Eagles as each finished with 15 tackles. Dugan also forced a fumble and recorded a sack. Knox tacked on 11 tackles in addition to his 58 yards rushing on offense.


Click here for the final Milford-Kings game stats.


The Eagles will next try to stay undefeated in league play when they host Withrow next Friday night for Homecoming.