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Kells Named ECC Player of the Year; 12 Eagles Earn Postseason Honors

Posted on: November 18, 2018

Led by Offensive Player of the Year Cameron Kells, the Milford High School football team saw 12 of its players earn All-Eastern Cincinnati Conference honors for their exceptional play during the recently completed season. The Eagles placed a league leading eight players on the All-ECC first team. In addition, five of those players were also chosen for All-Southwest Ohio accolades.


Kells, who also earned first team All-Southwest Ohio honors, becomes the second Milford player in as many years to be named the top player in the league, joining Bryce Dugan who shared the Defensive Player of the Year award last season. Joining Kells as All-ECC first team as well as all-district choices were Connor Foster (first team All-SWO), Dustin Laudermilk (second team All-SWO), Brian Stevens (second team All-SWO) and Jake Ayler (honorable mention All-SWO).


Also representing Milford on the All-ECC first team were Nate Flannery, Dylan Hughes and Hayden Johnson. Second team honorees included Tony Facciolo, Hunter Johnson and Jacob Turner, while Owen Martin was the team’s honorable mention selection.


Kells had one of the greatest single season performances ever by a Milford player. For the year, Kells led the ECC in rushing with 1,607 yards and 29 touchdowns. Also a dangerous and capable receiver, Kells was third on the squad in both receptions (34) and receiving yards (348), adding four more touchdowns for a total of 33 on the year.


Foster, headed for Northwestern University next season, was a force on both sides of the ball at tight end and defensive end. On offense, Foster caught 18 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns, while also serving as a key blocker in the running game. He added 26 tackles and three pass break-ups on defense.


Laudermilk was one of the top defensive backs in the conference, as well as a dangerous player in the return game. Despite missing one game, Laudermilk recorded 55 tackles, nine pass break ups, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. He also recorded over 200 yards on returns, including a 79-yard punt return for a TD.


Stevens was relentless on defense, leading the team with five sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss, among his 71 total stops. He also forced two fumbles, recovered two and broke up a pass. In addition to moonlighting on the offensive line, Stevens also handled the punting duties for the Eagles, averaging 39.5 yards per boot.


Ayler excelled from his slot receiver position, hauling in a team-high 53 passes for 743 yards and five touchdowns, including an 85-yarder. The versatile senior added 33 yards rushing and four touchdowns, returned a punt for a touchdown, blocked another punt and had the victory-sealing interception in the playoff win over Fairfield.


Flannery was Milford’s starting left tackle on the offensive line. His play helped the Eagles lead the league in points per game, while ranking second in total offense and passing yards per game.


Despite being hampered by injury late in the year, Hughes finished with over 900 yards receiving. As Milford’s biggest deep threat in the passing game, Hughes had 51 catches for 929 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year. He also led the Eagles with 254 yards on kick returns.


Hayden Johnson paced the Milford defense with 92 tackles, including nine for loss. In addition to a sack, Johnson also intercepted two passes, broke up another and recovered a pair of fumbles.


Facciolo, Milford’s starting center, was nearly flawless on his snaps from center. Along with his offensive line mates, the Eagles surrendered just six sacks in 12 games this year.


Hunter Johnson ably took over the controls of the Milford offense at the quarterback position and responded with 2,618 yards passing. For the year, Johnson had a pair of 300-plus yard passing games, while throwing 25 touchdown passes.


Turner was another beast on defense, rotating between defensive line and linebacker. In 12 games, Turner ranked second on the squad with 82 tackles, including 3.5 behind the line. He had one sack, an interception and a forced fumble.


Martin led Milford with three interceptions as a starting cornerback. He totaled 32 tackles, broke up two passes and forced a fumble.


Milford had a second straight season to remember, finishing with a school record nine wins and a second consecutive OHSAA Playoff appearance. In one of the most memorable moments in school history, the Eagles overcame a 35-7 third quarter deficit to stun Fairfield and score the school’s first-ever football playoff win.