West Milton, OH
Homecoming brings with it excitement and tradition. It also brings distraction. “There is always the threat of a letdown… But this year’s seniors are great leaders. They have done a good job of keeping everyone focused,” head coach Bret Pearce stated.
Were they ever focused! M-U jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back pounding the Preble Shawnee Arrows 48-22 Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Problems started for the Arrows even before the game as the team forgot to send its captains out for the pregame coin flip. Then, on the opening
kickoff, the return back slipped and fell down at the 3-yard line. Three plays later, the Arrows had to punt, and the punt snap was high giving M-U the ball first and ten at the 14-yard line.
On the first play from scrimmage, Jake Finfrock scored untouched, and after the PAT was blocked, M-U led 6-0.
Preble moved on its next possession to midfield, but they were stopped short on a 4th and 1, and the Bulldogs once again had great field position.
Tyler Brown hit for 23 yards; Finfrock hit for twelve, and Tyler Brown ended the drive with a powerful 14-yard touchdown run. Nick Fields added the PAT, and M-U led 13-0.
Preble once again was stopped and after a long punt return by Finfrock, the Bulldogs had first and ten at the P-S 35-yard line. Brown ran for 20 with a facemask tacked on. Following a sack, Finfrock took the ball and weaved up the middle for another touchdown. Fields added the extra point, and with 4:51 remaining, the score stood 20-0.
Preble then showed signs of life for the first and last time in the ball game. An eight play drive ended in a David Hughes to Andre Howell 23-yard touchdown pass, and following Hughes’s two point conversion, the Arrows had trimmed the deficit to 20-8.
Milton’s next drive ended in a Cody Hollon interception, and the Arrows capitalized with Hughes hitting Christian Littner for a 27-yard strike. The two point conversion failed, but this was suddenly a ballgame at 20-14. Bulldog fans squirmed even more when the Arrows executed a perfect onside kick and had the ball at midfield to start the second quarter with an improbable chance to take the lead.
That chance never materialized, and the vaunted Bulldog defense took over the football game.
A Chris Boggs’s sack forced an Arrow punt. The Bulldogs scored in just two plays, the touchdown run a bruising 60-yard run by Tyler Brown that included a vicious stiff arm. Fields’s PAT made the score 27-14, and the romp was back on.
The Arrows went three and out, and the next Bulldog drive lasted just three plays with Brown scoring again on a 35-yard run. Fields again was true, and the lead ballooned to 34-14 at the half.
With the football to start the second half, M-U nailed the coffin closed on this Halloween Homecoming game. Five plays and 51-yards was all it took for Finfrock to add his third touchdown run of the game from 19-yards out, and the PAT made the score 41-14.
Preble would score again late in the third quarter, but M-U answered with Finfrock’s 4th touchdown of the game from 11-yards away. The fourth quarter was played with no scoring as both teams emptied the benches, and the game ended with the final score 48-22 M-U.
Tyler Brown ran for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Jake Finfrock added 140 yards and four scores. With the win, M-U stands at 6-1 and undefeated in the SWBL. Not only does the Milton-Union Bulldog football team stand poised to win a SWBL Buckeye Division title, but they are also at the doorstep to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.