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The Big One! Milford And Anderson To Clash With First Place In ECC On The Line

Posted on: October 20, 2017

SETTING THE SCENE: In what is being labeled by some as the biggest football game at Milford High School in the last 30 years, the Eagles will battle for first place supremacy in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference when they travel to Anderson on Friday night for a 7 p.m. clash. Both teams are unbeaten in conference play at 5-0, with Anderson undefeated overall at 8-0 and the Eagles just behind at 7-1. The winner of Friday night’s Week 9 battle will claim at least a share of this year’s ECC Championship and take a huge step towards wrapping up a postseason berth.

 

A LOOK BACK: Oct. 13 vs. Withrow: A returning Cameron Kells scored three touchdowns and Max Lewis was dominant on the defensive line, keying Milford to its fifth consecutive victory, a 39-14 Homecoming triumph over Withrow on Oct. 13. The victory improves the Eagles’ record to 7-1 on the year and 5-0 in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, setting up a conference showdown with Anderson next week.

 

Playing for the first time in several weeks, Kells racked up 83 yards on the ground, adding another 35 yards receiving and finding paydirt three times. Lewis was nearly unstoppable for the Withrow (1-7, 0-5 ECC) offensive line as he posted a game-high 11 tackles, while recording three sacks.

 

The Eagles’ night got off to a slow start as it took until the waning seconds of the first quarter for the home team to get on the scoreboard. Milford’s second drive looked promising but a 29-yard field goal by Dillon Coleman went wide. Lewis though, stopped the next Withrow drive with a sack of Tigers’ QB Timothy Blair handing the ball back to the Eagle O.

 

When the Eagles got the ball back, a Blake King to Dylan Hughes 41-yard bomb set the stage for Kells’ first TD, a one-yard plunge with 16 second remaining. The Eagles would go on to score on each of their next two possessions as well, first on a perfectly thrown King to Sam Pickett 27-yard strike and later on a 31-yard field goal by Coleman that made it 17-0 at the half.

 

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

 

A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT: A look at Anderson, Milford’s 2017 Week 9 opponent:

  • Friday, Oct. 20 at Anderson, 7:00 p.m.
    • 2017 Record: 8-0, 5-0 ECC (1st Division II area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Offensive Player: Senior QB Jay Volpenhein (2,782 yards passing, 792 yards rushing, 39 total TDs)
    • Top Defensive Player: Senior DL Trent Rogers (4 sacks)
    • Last Meeting: 2016; Anderson 49, Milford 35

 

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

  • Milford scoring offense (2nd-33.0) vs. Anderson scoring defense (1st-13.5)
  • Milford total offense (3rd-325.6) vs. Anderson total defense (6th-320.5)
  • Milford rushing offense (8th-102.5) vs. Anderson rushing defense (2nd-143.8)
  • Milford passing offense (2nd-223.1) vs. Anderson passing defense (8th-231.8)
  • Anderson scoring offense (1st-43.4) vs. Milford scoring defense (2nd-17.0)
  • Anderson total offense (1st-507.8) vs. Milford total defense (4th-276.0)
  • Anderson rushing offense (5th-149.6) vs. Milford rushing defense (3rd-154.9)
  • Anderson passing offense (1st-358.1) vs. Milford passing defense (3rd-121.1)

 

INSIDE THE ECC: The showdown for first place has arrived as Anderson and Milford enter this week both 5-0 in league action and set to square off this Friday. West Clermont still has a say in the championship hunt at 4-1 and can earn the title with a pair of wins and combination of Anderson/Milford losses.

 

The Week 9 ECC schedule includes: Milford at Anderson, Kings at Loveland, Turpin at West Clermont and Withrow at Walnut Hills.

 

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

Rushing Yards: Cameron Kells (367)

Passing Yards: Blake King (1,657)

Receiving Yards: Dylan Hughes (564)

Tackles: Bryce Dugan (86)

Sacks: Bryce Dugan (5.0)

Interceptions: Evan Baugh (2), Adam Bartrum/Luken Dalessandro/Dustin Laudermilk (1)

Kickoff Return Yards: Evan Baugh (240)

Punting Average: Robbie McQueary (40.8)

Punt Return Yards: Evan Baugh (204)

 

POLL WATCH: Despite another win, Milford actually slid down one spot to seventh in the weekly Cincinnati Enquirer Division I area coaches’ poll. The No. 1 team in Ohio also resides in Cincinnati as St. Xavier earned all seven first place votes. The rest of the top-five includes Colerain, Elder, Fairfield and Moeller. West Clermont from the ECC comes in 10th this week.

 

The ECC is also well represented in the Division II rankings with Anderson the new No. 1 this week by a slim margin thanks to a trio of first place votes. The last four spots in the top-10 belong to the ECC with Kings, Turpin, Loveland and Withrow holding the positions. The coaches’ poll is released every Monday at Noon at preps.cincinnati.com/coachespolls.

 

PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS?: The fifth 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 continues to find favor with the computers this week, but fell to spots to No. 6 slot in the region. The current top-eight in Region 4 by ranking are: St. Xavier, Colerain, Moeller, Fairfield, Elder, Milford, Sycamore and Mason. West Clermont is just outside a qualifying position in 10th.

 

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.

 

WHAT A SEASON: The first season under head coach Tom Grippa has included some major highlights including a win in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown, the reclaiming of the Miami Township Victory Bell and long awaited wins over league foes Turpin and Kings. The victory over the Knights was especially big as it improved the Eagles’ season record to 6-1, clinching the first winning season by a Milford football team since 2000.

 

“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: Evan Baugh continued his heroics returning kicks, totaling 107 yards between four combined kick and punt returns.
  • Walnut Hills: Evan Baugh returned punts for 31 and 22 yards, each setting up a touchdown. Meanwhile, Robbie McQueary averaged 43.5 yards per punt, including a season-long of 52 yards.
  • Kings: Robbie McQueary’s stellar punting continued as he averaged 42.7 yards on three kicks, while placing three inside the Knights’ 20.
  • Withrow: Robbie McQueary continued his stretch of 40.0+ average punting performances with a pair of boots averaging an even 40.0.

 

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!