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Football Starts Two-Game Road Stretch With Trip To Kings

Posted on: October 6, 2016

SETTING THE SCENE: After securing its first Eastern Cincinnati Conference win of the season last week, the Milford High School football team will now turn its attention to the first of two straight road games with a Week 7 battle at Kings on Friday night. The Eagles, owners of the second-ranked rushing offense in the ECC, used the strong ground attack last week to score a 29-15 win over Walnut Hills, improving to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the league. Kings (4-2, 2-1 ECC) is coming off a defeat in a first place showdown with Turpin and will be celebrating its Homecoming on Friday evening.


A LOOK BACK: Sept. 30 vs. Walnut Hills: Milford rushed for 292 yards and pulled away from Walnut Hills with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns, picking up its first Eastern Cincinnati Conference win of the season with a 29-15 triumph on Sept. 30. Three Eagles went over 75 yards on the ground to pace a balanced rushing attack, while the Milford defense yielded a season-low 192 yards of total offense. Milford improves to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the ECC with the win, while Walnut slips to 4-2, 1-2 ECC.


Dawson Slone came on strong in the second half, accounting for all but 12 of his 126 yards on the ground after the break, along with one touchdown. Tyler Smith added a career-high 87 yards and a pair of scores, while Chase Witte, the ECC’s leading rusher entering the game, finished with 76 yards and a score of his own.


The night got off to a fine start for Walnut Hills as they took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards over 13 plays for an early touchdown. The 5:19 drive culminated with Robvae McDonald plunging in from two yards out. The Eagles went for the two-point conversion and were successful on a run by Jonathan Hollis.


Late in the first quarter, Milford took over on its own 42 yard line after a fourth down defensive hold. Seven plays later, Chase Witte was celebrating in the end zone after a one-yard touchdown run. Looking to even the score at eight early on, the Eagles elected to also go for two and it was Smith racing around the right end for the successful conversion.


The defenses took over for the next almost two quarters, until Milford junior Luken Dalessandro came up with the Eagles’ first interception of the year with just over three minutes remaining in the third. The combo of Slone and Smith then went to work over the next five plays, combining for 37 yards on the ground, with the latter going the final 11 to give Milford a 15-8 lead.


Milford’s lead last just 53 seconds however, as on the second play from scrimmage after the score, Walnut’s McDonald burst up the middle for an 82-yard jolt down the Eagles Stadium turf to once again tie the game.


As the third quarter came to a close and the fourth got underway, the Eagles began what would prove to be the game-winning drive. Smith, Witte and Slone were nearly unstoppable on the 12-play, 57-yard drive that took 5:18 off the clock. Smith again did the scoring honors, powering in from two yards out with 7:23 left to play.


Looking to stay alive, Walnut faced a third and 10 on its next drive when it attempted an option play that went awry. Luckily for the visitors, they jumped on the fumble, but were forced to punt. That set-up the Slone Show as Milford’s diminutive runner tied a bow on the win by handling the ball on all 63 yards of the night’s final scoring drive, ending with a 12-yard scamper with less than two minutes to play. Senior Jeremy Dentino got the home crowd really riled up on the next Walnut drive when he grabbed his first career interception and returned it 28 yards into WHHS territory.


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


A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT: A look at Kings, Milford’s 2016 Week 7 opponent:

  • Friday, Oct. 7 at Kings, 7:00 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: 4-2, 2-1 ECC (4th Division II area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Offensive Player: Senior QB Tyler Knecht (1406 yards passing, 439 yards rushing, 22 total TDs)
    • Top Defensive Player: Senior DL Dan Sichterman (9 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT, 1 TD)
    • Last Meeting: 2015; Kings 34, Milford 7
    • Capsule look at the Knights: One of the most tradition-laid squads in the area, Kings has another strong team this season. The Knights have qualified for the OHSAA Playoffs 12 times since 1999, including each of the last three consecutive seasons.


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

  • Milford scoring offense (6th-21.7) vs. Kings scoring defense (3rd-19.3)
  • Milford total offense (5th-279.7) vs. Kings total defense (N/A-312.8)
  • Milford rushing offense (2nd-212.2) vs. Kings rushing defense (N/A-140.2)
  • Milford passing offense (7th-67.5) vs. Kings passing defense (N/A-172.7)
  • Kings scoring offense (2nd-33.2) vs. Milford scoring defense (4th-28.8)
  • Kings total offense (2nd-401.3) vs. Milford total defense (N/A-355.2)
  • Kings rushing offense (5th-165.0) vs. Milford rushing defense (N/A-242.0)
  • Kings passing offense (2nd-236.3) vs. Milford passing defense (N/A-113.2)


INSIDE THE ECC: Turpin’s first place showdown with Kings last week went the way of the Spartans and they now sit all alone at the top of the ECC standings at 3-0 and 6-0 overall. A logjam of Anderson, Kings and Loveland currently are tied for second.


The Week 7 ECC schedule includes: Milford at Kings, Anderson at Glen Este, Loveland at Walnut Hills, and Withrow at Turpin.


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

Rushing Yards: Chase Witte (563)

Passing Yards: Chase Witte (207)

Receiving Yards: Max Brewer (226)

Tackles: Bryce Dugan (55)

Sacks: Eric Richey (1.5)

Interceptions: Luken Dalessandro/Jeremy Dentino (1)

Kickoff Return Yards: Chase Witte (118)

Punting Average: Chase Witte (35.9)

Punt Return Yards: Sam Pickett (81)


POLL WATCH: Milford’s win over Walnut Hills pushed the Eagles back among the area Division I teams receiving votes in the weekly Cincinnati Enquirer rankings released on Oct. 3. Unbeaten Colerain remains the clear No. 1 with all seven first place votes. The rest of the top-five is made up of St. Xavier, Elder, Fairfield and Moeller. In Division II where the rest of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference is housed, Turpin is the area’s No. 1 squad with five of the six first place votes cast, with Kings in fourth and Anderson tied for fifth also among the top-five. Walnut Hills comes in eighth this week, with Loveland holding down 10th. The coaches’ poll is released every Monday at Noon at


WHAT THE COMPUTER SAYS: The latest installment of the OHSAA Computer Ratings which ultimately determines the playoff match-ups across the state have been released. In DI, the top-eight teams in each of Ohio’s four regions will earn a berth in the playoffs. The current top-eight in Region 4 by ranking are: Colerain, Lebanon, St. Xavier, Elder, Fairfield, Mason, Northmont and Springboro. Milford has jumped up to 11th in the region with its win over Walnut Hills.


In the Division II, Region 8 rankings, of which the balance of the ECC resides, Turpin (first) and Kings (eighth) are in qualifying positions, with Anderson just outside in ninth and Walnut Hills close behind in 10th.


OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION: Milford’s offense had a big night in the Eagles’ Week 3 win over Norwood. On a night that featured 100 points and over 1,000 yards of combined offense in a 52-48 Milford win, the Eagles finished with 449 yards of total offense, the most by an MHS team in nearly a decade. The 52 points were the most since the Eagles put up the same amount against Woodward in Week 5 of the 2010 season.


ON THE TUBE: Local cable access channel ICRC-TV will broadcast a pair of Milford home contests involving this fall for tape-delayed replay. The first of the two scheduled games was against Turpin on Sept. 9 and the cameras will return for the Oct. 21 match-up vs. Anderson.


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!