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Football Team Back At Home Hosting Norwood In Final Non-Conference Tilt

Posted on: September 8, 2016

SETTING THE SCENE: Following a pair of tough, but competitive setbacks to start the season, the Milford High School football team will be looking to close its non-conference slate on a winning note when the Eagles return home to host Norwood on Friday night (Sept. 9) at 7 p.m. The night has also been dubbed Junior High Football/Cheer/Band Night at Eagles Stadium. Milford has put up strong efforts in both of its games to date but will be looking to put a full game together against a Norwood squad that is 2-0 on the year and averaging over 50 points per game on offense. This will mark the second straight year the squads have met in the season’s third week.

 

A LOOK BACK: Sept. 2 at Dixie Heights: After struggling to get on track in the first half, the Milford High School football team looked like a different squad in the second half, but Dixie Heights ultimately held on for a 28-13 non-conference win over the Eagles on Sept. 2. Trailing by 21 points midway through the third quarter, the Eagles scored two straight touchdowns but one final big play by the Colonels was the last swing in momentum that pushed the hosts to victory.

 

The first half wasn’t pretty for Milford as the offense accounted for just 58 total yards and Dixie Heights’ running back Jose Torres started his big night with a pair of scores. Some offensive adjustments at the half proved key for Milford as they finished the contest with 228 yards of total offense after an improved second half. Making his first start at quarterback, senior Chase Witte finished with a team-high 122 yards rushing. Classmate Dawson Slone was also solid, collecting 78 yards and a pair of scores. Witte also became the first Milford signal caller to top 100 yards rushing since Drew Ashcraft ran for 158 yards on Oct. 31, 2014 against Loveland.

 

The night started strong for Dixie Heights as Torres went to work early and often. On his way to collecting 292 yards rushing, Torres took the third Colonels’ snap of the evening 58 yards for a touchdown. After the teams traded several punts, Torres found the end zone again with just under seven and a half minutes to play in the second when he jetted 29 yards to paydirt. The jaunt capped off an eight-play, 50-yard scoring drive for the Colonels. Milford’s Robbie McQueary came up big on the conversion though as he got a hand on the Dixie extra-point attempt, causing a missed kick.

 

Through the end of the first half and on Dixie’s first possession of the third quarter, the Eagles were able to recover a pair of Colonels’ fumbles, but couldn’t turn the miscues into points. With 6:38 remaining in the third, Colonels QB Noah Smedley bulled in from one-yard out following a 90-yard sprint down the field by Torres.

 

The Milford offense finally came to life on its next possession behind the legs of Slone and Witte. Witte picked up a key 24-yard gain, setting up Slone for a four-yard plunge for a score. The diminutive running back picked up 33 yards on the scoring drive. The next sequence saw the Eagles again recover a Dixie fumble, but this time they capitalized with Slone again scoring from four yards out. Staying on the ground all the way, Slone’s scored capped an eight-play, 44-yard drive.

 

In a second half of momentum swings, the Colonels grabbed it for the last time as Cameron Barrett took a handoff and raced 76 yards late in the third quarter for the final 28-13 margin.

 

Click here to view the final Milford-Dixie Heights stats.

 

A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT: A look at Norwood, Milford’s 2016 Week 3 opponent:

  • Friday, Sept. 9 vs. Norwood, 7:00 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: 2-0 (T-4th Division III area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Offensive Player: Junior QB Matt Goodman (357 yards passing, 270 yards rushing, 4 total TDs)
    • Top Defensive Player: N/A
    • Last Meeting: 2015; Milford 42, Norwood 26
    • Capsule look at the Indians: Norwood is off to a fast start, topping 50 points in each of its victories over Madeira and Woodward, but this marks the first time the team has ventured onto the road in 2016. The Indians will be looking for redemption after last year’s Milford victory at a soggy Shea Stadium.

 

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

  • Milford scoring offense (5th-13.5) vs. Norwood scoring defense (N/A-24.0)
  • Milford total offense (5th-219.5) vs. Norwood total defense (N/A-350.0)
  • Milford rushing offense (5th-164.5) vs. Norwood rushing defense (N/A-216.5)
  • Milford passing offense (5th-55.0) vs. Norwood passing defense (N/A-133.5)
  • Norwood scoring offense (N/A-51.0) vs. Milford scoring defense (4th-22.5)
  • Norwood total offense (N/A-429.5) vs. Milford total defense (5th-407.5)
  • Norwood rushing offense (N/A-251.0) vs. Milford rushing defense (6th-291.0)
  • Norwood passing offense (N/A-178.5) vs. Milford passing defense (2nd-116.5)

 

INSIDE THE ECC: Four Eastern Cincinnati Conference squads, including two under first-year head coaches, have started the season with wins in each of their first two games. Anderson and Walnut Hills, both under new head coaches, are 2-0 as are last season’s co-champions in the league, Kings and Turpin.

 

The Week 3 ECC schedule includes: Norwood at Milford, Mount Healthy at Glen Este, Harrison at Anderson, Kings at Hamilton, Oak Hills at Loveland, Western Hills at Turpin, Walnut Hills at Purcell Marian and Aiken at Withrow.

 

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

Rushing Yards: Chase Witte (157)

Passing Yards: Chase Witte (97)

Receiving Yards: Max Brewer (51)

Tackles: Eric Richey (24)

Sacks: Bryce Dugan/Eric Richey (0.5)

Interceptions: None

Kickoff Return Yards: Chase Witte (49)

Punting Average: Chase Witte (43.84)

Punt Return Yards: Evan Baugh (44)

 

POLL WATCH: The Eagles received a pair of votes in this week’s weekly Division I area coaches’ poll sponsored by the Cincinnati Enquirer and released on Sept. 6. Colerain continues to hold the unanimous No. 1 position with all nine first place votes. The remainder of the top-five is made up of Fairfield, Mason, Moeller and St. Xavier. The Division II rankings where the balance of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference members reside is headed by Kings in second with Turpin third, Anderson fifth, Walnut Hills seventh, Loveland eighth and Withrow and Glen Este both receiving votes. The coaches’ poll is released every Monday at Noon at preps.cincinnati.com/coachespolls.

 

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 is against Norwood on Sept. 9, with cameras returning 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!