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Next Challenge For Football: Battle For Victory Bell At Loveland

Posted on: September 21, 2017

SETTING THE SCENE: One of the most improved teams in the Cincinnati area, the Milford High School football team, is back on the gridiron for Week 5 of the prep season, when they make the short inter-township trip to Loveland on Friday night. The annual match-up is billed the Battle for the Miami Township Victory Bell. The Eagles, at 3-1 have already surpassed their win total from 2016 and will be looking for a 2-0 start to league play. Action from Loveland is set to kick off at 7 p.m.


A LOOK BACK: Sept. 15 vs. Turpin: It was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait as the Eagles picked up an Eastern Cincinnati Conference opening win over Turpin by a 14-7 score on a warm Friday evening at Eagles Stadium. Junior RB Cameron Kells had the biggest game of his short varsity career, rushing for 166 yards, including a 55-yard first half jolt to key the Milford win. The triumph over the Spartans is believed to be Milford’s first over Turpin since the 2000 season.


The Eagles defense also proved up the challenge throughout the night, including making a game-clinching stand deep in their own territory as the Spartans moved towards the tie. Milford improves to 3-1 on the season, already surpassing the team’s win total from a year ago and is victorious in its league opener for the first time since 2014.


Turpin entered the evening ranked as the top defense in the league in several categories. Yielding just 223 yards per contest entering the night, the Milford offense put up 326 for the evening, including a season-best 162 on the ground. Blake King threw for 164 yards on 17 of 25 passing, with four different receivers hauling in four passes each, including junior Dylan Hughes who totaled a game-high 83 yards receiving.


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


A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT: A look at Loveland, Milford’s 2017 Week 5 opponent:

  • Friday, Sept. 22 at Loveland, 7:00 p.m.
    • 2017 Record: 1-3, 1-0 ECC (10th Division II area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Offensive Player: Sophomore RB Liam Hamill (143 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving, 2 total TDs)
    • Top Defensive Player: Senior Sam Schwantes (1 INT, 1 fumble recovery)
    • Last Meeting: 2016; Loveland 27, Milford 14


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

  • Milford scoring offense (3rd-26.5) vs. Loveland scoring defense (5th-27.3)
  • Milford total offense (3rd-310.3) vs. Loveland total defense (6th-304.0)
  • Milford rushing offense (8th-93.5) vs. Loveland rushing defense (8th-226.5)
  • Milford passing offense (2nd-216.8) vs. Loveland passing defense (4th-77.5)
  • Loveland scoring offense (7th-14.5) vs. Milford scoring defense (4th-22.0)
  • Loveland total offense (8th-135.8) vs. Milford total defense (5th-296.0)
  • Loveland rushing offense (6th-106.5) vs. Milford rushing defense (2nd-162.8)
  • Loveland passing offense (8th-29.3) vs. Milford passing defense (7th-133.3)


INSIDE THE ECC: The four winners in the opening week of conference play were Anderson, Loveland, Milford and West Clermont. Anderson continues to be the class of the league, remaining undefeated at 4-0.


The Week 5 ECC schedule includes: Milford at Loveland, Anderson at Withrow, West Clermont at Kings and Walnut Hills at Turpin.


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

Rushing Yards: Cameron Kells (284)

Passing Yards: Blake King (781)

Receiving Yards: Jake Ayler (251)

Tackles: Bryce Dugan (44)

Sacks: Bryce Dugan (2.5)

Interceptions: Evan Baugh (1)

Kickoff Return Yards: Evan Baugh (149)

Punting Average: Robbie McQueary (39.7)

Punt Return Yards: Evan Baugh (86)


POLL WATCH: The Eagles continue to hold down the No. 9 position in the Sept. 18 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer Division I area coaches’ poll. St. Xavier continues to be the favorite, earning all seven No. 1 votes this week. The balance of the top-five includes Moeller, Colerain, Elder and Sycamore.


The ECC also has a strong presence in the Division II rankings with four the top-10 representing the league. Anderson is the top-ranked ECC squad, coming in third and earning a number one vote. Kings and Turpin share the No. 7 spot, with Loveland in 10th, along with West Clermont and Withrow receiving votes. The coaches’ poll is released every Monday at Noon at


PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS?: The first 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. The current top-eight in Region 4 by ranking are: St. Xavier, Moeller, Sycamore, Elder, Lakota East, Mason, Milford and Fairfield.


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.


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!