News Archive

Football Team Chases Third Straight Win Friday Night At Walnut Hills

Posted on: September 28, 2017

SETTING THE SCENE: For the second time in the 2017 season, the Milford High School football team will be looking to extend its winning streak to three when the Eagles travel to Walnut Hills for a Friday night battle. The annual Eastern Cincinnati Conference Battle of the Eagles is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Milford is 4-1 on the season and just two wins shy of guaranteeing the program’s first winning campaign since 2000. MHS is coming off a 41-6 victory over Loveland that pushed it to 2-0 in ECC play. Walnut is 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the ECC after falling to Turpin 27-14 last week.

 

A LOOK BACK: Sept. 22 at Loveland: The Miami Township Victory Bell has returned to Milford for the first time since 2014 as the Eagles dominated Loveland on both sides of the ball, storming past the Tigers by a 41-6 score on Sept. 22. The win improves Milford’s record to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference as the Eagles’ resurgence under first-year head coach Tom Grippa continues.

 

The Eagles’ dominance started early and often as they scored on their first offensive possession of the night en route to three first quarter touchdowns and a 20-0 lead after 12 minutes of play. Senior QB Blake King was super efficient throughout the contest, completing 18 of 22 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns in less than three full quarters of action. Milford had outgained Loveland (1-4, 1-1 ECC) by a 357-206 margin when the final whistle blew.

 

After the Milford D forced an opening possession three and out by Loveland, King and company went right to work, quickly going 65 yards in six plays for the first score of the night. King laid a perfect ball into the endzone that junior wideout Dylan Hughes hauled in from 29 yards out to make it 6-0 after the two-point conversion attempt failed.

 

Click here for the full recap and click here for the final Milford-Loveland game stats.

 

A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT: A look at Walnut Hills, Milford’s 2017 Week 6 opponent:

  • Friday, Sept. 29 at Walnut Hills, 7:00 p.m.
    • 2017 Record: 1-4, 0-2 ECC (NR Division I area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Offensive Player: Senior RB Robvae McDonald (237 yards rushing, 18 yards rushing, 5 total TDs)
    • Top Defensive Player: Junior DL Jowan Briggs (2 sacks)
    • Last Meeting: 2016; Milford 29, Walnut Hills 15

 

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

  • Milford scoring offense (2nd-29.2) vs. Walnut Hills scoring defense (6th-31.8)
  • Milford total offense (3rd-313.6) vs. Walnut Hills total defense (2nd-238.2)
  • Milford rushing offense (8th-88.8) vs. Walnut Hills rushing defense (5th-180.4)
  • Milford passing offense (2nd-224.8) vs. Walnut Hills passing defense (1st-57.8)
  • Walnut Hills scoring offense (6th-17.8) vs. Milford scoring defense (3rd-18.8)
  • Walnut Hills total offense (7th-198.2) vs. Milford total defense (5th-278.0)
  • Walnut Hills rushing offense (6th-120.6) vs. Milford rushing defense (2nd-164.8)
  • Walnut Hills passing offense (5th-77.6) vs. Milford passing defense (6th-113.2)

 

INSIDE THE ECC: Milford remains tied for the top spot in the league standings, sharing the No. 1 slot, all at 2-0, with Anderson and West Clermont. Anderson continues to remain unbeaten overall at 5-0, with the Eagles at 4-1 and West Clermont at 3-2.

 

The Week 6 ECC schedule includes: Milford at Walnut Hills, Loveland at Anderson, Turpin at Kings and Withrow at West Clermont.

 

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

Rushing Yards: Cameron Kells (284)

Passing Yards: Blake King (996)

Receiving Yards: Jake Ayler (320)

Tackles: Bryce Dugan (57)

Sacks: Bryce Dugan (2.5)

Interceptions: Adam Bartrum/Evan Baugh (1)

Kickoff Return Yards: Evan Baugh (202)

Punting Average: Robbie McQueary (39.3)

Punt Return Yards: Evan Baugh (140)

 

POLL WATCH: The Eagles’ win at Loveland pushed them up a spot to No. 8 in the weekly Cincinnati Enquirer Division I area coaches’ poll. St. Xavier remains the favorite of the voting panel, earning all seven first place votes. The rest of the top-five includes Colerain, Elder, Sycamore and Moeller.

 

The ECC also has a strong presence in the Division II rankings with half of the top-10 representing the league. Anderson is the top-ranked ECC squad, coming in second. Turpin comes in seventh this week, followed by Loveland, Kings and West Clermont. Withrow is also one of three teams also receiving votes. The coaches’ poll is released every Monday at Noon at preps.cincinnati.com/coachespolls.

 

PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS?: The second regular season 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. Milford found favor with the computers this week, jumping four spots to No. 3 in the region. The current top-eight in Region 4 by ranking are: St. Xavier, Sycamore, Milford, Moeller, Fairfield, Mason, Elder and Colerain.

 

In the Division II, Region 8 rankings, of which much of the ECC resides, Anderson in second is the only squad among the top-12.

 

“SPECIAL” TEAMS: Among the many positives to the start of the 2017 season for the Eagles has been the exception play of its special teams. Milford’s return teams have been game-changing, while the kick block squad has also made an impact. A look at some of the special teams highlights to date by game:

  • Oak Hills: blocked two extra point attempts by the Highlanders; Evan Baugh (69 yards) and Dylan Hughes (60 yards) each tallied lengthy kickoff returns that led to Milford touchdowns.
  • Dixie Heights: returned two punts for touchdowns; one an 87-yard bolt by Evan Baugh and the second a 39-yard dash by Dustin Loudermilk.
  • Turpin: senior Robbie McQueary took over the punting duties for the first time, averaging nearly 40 yards in three punts, including a long of 47.
  • Loveland: Baugh continued his heroics returning kicks, totaling 107 yards between four combined kick and punt returns.

 

WHAT A DEBUT: When head coach Tom Grippa arrived in Milford, he did so with a reputation for favoring 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!