News Archive

New Era In Milford Football Kicks Off In Crosstown Showdown At Oak Hills

Posted on: August 23, 2017

SETTING THE SCENE: The beginning of a new era in Milford High School football kicks off this Friday night (August 25) when the Eagles, under the leadership of new head coach Tom Grippa, travel to Oak Hills for a Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown match-up with the Highlanders. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. inside Oak Hills’ Betz Memorial Stadium. Grippa takes over a Milford program coming off a disappointing, injury-riddled 2016 campaign that saw the Eagles finish just 2-8. The highly successful veteran head coach will try to breathe new life into the Milford program and will rely on the contributions of a trio of returning all-conference performers and several budding stars.

 

A LOOK AT THE EAGLES: Grippa has long been known for his offensive prowess and fans can expect more of the same this fall. While the Eagles graduated several standouts from the offensive side of the ball, they do return a potential breakout star in senior QB Blake King. King showed great promise in the parts of two games he started last season, before an injury cut short his junior campaign. Now healthy, King will be counted on to engineer the Eagles’ offense with help from a bevy of talented newcomers. When the Eagles keep the ball on the ground, junior RB Cameron Kells figures to have his number called often. The air attack should feature lots of weapons at King’s disposal, headlined by the tight end duo of senior Dax Creager and junior Connor Foster. The hulking pair, at 6’2” and 6’6”, respectively will be match-up nightmares for opposing defenses this year. On the outside, the Eagles will feature returning senior wideouts Robbie McQueary and Sam Pickett, along with junior newcomers Jake Ayler and Dylan Hughes.

 

The defensive side of the ball should feature a solid backfield with returning all-conference player Evan Baugh, along with 2016 regulars Luken Dalessandro, Ryan Hezlep and Pickett all back in the fold. Senior Bryce Dugan was a second team All-ECC choice last year and is back on the defensive line. Bailey Knox tallied three sacks at linebacker last year and also returns. Milford will also count on two-way contributions at times from Creager and Foster.

 

Special teams should also be in good shape with returning All-ECC second team choice Dillon Coleman back at kicker, along with several experienced returnees including Baugh, Kells and Pickett.

 

A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT: A look at Oak Hills, Milford’s 2017 Week 1 opponent:

  • Friday, Aug. 25 at Oak Hills, 7:00 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: 4-6, 3-4 GMC (10th Division I area coaches’ preseason poll)
    • Top Returning Offensive Player: Junior QB Jake Woycke (1st team All-GMC 2016; 2500 yards passing, 19 TDs)
    • Top Returning Defensive Player: Senior DL Alexander Trujillo (2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries)
    • Last Meeting: 2006; Oak Hills 37, Milford 22

 

THE MATCH-UP: A look at the Milford-Oak Hills match-up by the numbers (2016 per game averages with conference team rankings):

  • Milford scoring offense (5th-23.8) vs. Oak Hills scoring defense (9th-34.8)
  • Milford total offense (5th-304.4) vs. Oak Hills total defense (9th-365.2)
  • Milford rushing offense (2nd-235.3) vs. Oak Hills rushing defense (9th-237.7)
  • Milford passing offense (6th-69.1) vs. Oak Hills passing defense (4th-127.5)
  • Oak Hills scoring offense (3rd-27.4) vs. Milford scoring defense (6th-33.8)
  • Oak Hills total offense (1st-387.3) vs. Milford total defense (5th-367.4)
  • Oak Hills rushing offense (7th-127.6) vs. Milford rushing defense (6th-220.0)
  • Oak Hills passing offense (1st-259.7) vs. Milford passing defense (5th-147.4)

 

INSIDE THE ECC: If the area preseason coaches’ poll is any indication, the ECC should be wildly competitive again in 2017 as all eight league members received at least one vote. Despite a coaching change, defending champion Turpin (7-0) should be strong again, as will last year’s runner-up in Kings (6-1) and third place Anderson (5-2). Just two games separated the top-three in the final 2016 standings. Loveland started slow, but finished fourth in the league last fall at 4-3, while new member West Clermont should also be a factor. The balance of last season’s final standings showed Withrow (2-5), Walnut Hills and Milford (each 1-6).

 

The Week 1 ECC schedule includes: Milford at Oak Hills, Lakota East at Walnut Hills, Sycamore at Loveland, Woodward at Withrow, Anderson at Cabell Midland, Kings at Lebanon, McNicholas at Turpin and Princeton at West Clermont.

 

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

Rushing Yards: Blake King (84)

Passing Yards: Blake King (99)

Receiving Yards: Robbie McQueary (118)

Tackles: Bryce Dugan (84)

Sacks: Bailey Knox (3.0)

Interceptions: Luken Dalessandro (1)

Kickoff Return Yards: Evan Baugh (167)

Punting Average: Blake King (51.5)

Punt Return Yards: Evan Baugh (115)

 

POLL WATCH: The Eagles received a single vote in the Cincinnati Enquirer’s preseason area Division I coaches’ poll. Perennial area heavyweights Colerain and St. Xavier are again atop the standings, with each receiving three first-place votes to share the preseason No. 1 ranking. Fairfield and Moeller are tied for third, with Elder rounding out the top-five. The only other Division I team in the ECC, Walnut Hills, also received votes. In the Division II rankings, five members of Milford’s conference are among the area top-10, headlined by Kings tied for second, Turpin in fourth and Anderson in fifth, with the Redskins even earning a first place vote. Loveland is eighth in the rankings, West Clermont is 10th and Withrow is in the others receiving votes category. The coaches’ poll is released every Monday at Noon at preps.cincinnati.com/coachespolls.

 

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!