August football in Ohio can be hot. Late arriving crowd make for long waits at ticket booths, restrooms, and concession stands. Usually outside the stadium is where the waiting stops. However, last night at Memorial Stadium in West Milton, Ohio, even the fans in their seats had to wait for the game between Milton-Union and Miami East. The officiating crew assigned to the game, for whatever reason never showed, and replacement officials hurried to the site delaying kickoff by 45 minutes. The game started late but finished early as Milton-Union easily manhandled Miami East 42-14 on this sultry Friday night.
M-U moved the ball with relative ease throughout the evening, but on the opening possession of the game, the Bulldog drive stalled and a Nick Fields 34 yd field goal attempt sailed wide right.
East began its first possession and drove the ball close to midfield into MU territory when disaster struck. After a completed pass, East fumbled the ball (one of three fumble lost for the game), and out of the pile came MU’s Sam Niswonger flying up the sideline. Just as he neared the goal line, the ball was stripped and bounded into the East end zone where another pile up ensued. Jesse Simpson recovered the football for a Bulldog touchdown. Nick Fields added the extra point and the home team led 7-0. “Last year we had six turnovers at East, so we knew we had to win the turnover battle this year,” head coach Bret Pearce said. “That was a big key to the game.”
The Vikings answered right back when QB Conner Hellyer hit a streaking Dalton Allen on third and 17. The 72 yd touchdown strike, and Michael Fellers PAT tied the score 7-7.
The old adage “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” seemed very appropriate following that Viking score. After that Miami East touchdown, the Vikings were held to 4 yards the rest of the half, while M-U continued to have great success on the ground. “We knew we were bigger and stronger, and we wanted to use that to our advantage,” Pearce added.
A 10 play drive ended with a Chris Bogg’s 15 yd touchdown run. An 11 play drive ended with a Tyler Brown 3 yd touchdown run, and following a Viking fumbled kickoff, Boggs scored again from 5 yards out. Fields drilled all three extra points and at the half, the game essentially was over with MU leading 28-7.
The third quarter did belong to the Vikings, and Hellyer struck again with a beautifully thrown 22 yd pass closing the gap to 28-14, but M-U would let them get no closer. Another Viking fumble led to a third touchdown by Chris Boggs, and late in the fourth quarter, London Cowan sneaked up the middle for the final touchdown of the night and a 42-14 final.
East had 232 total yards on the evening while M-U had 393 including two 100 yard rushers: Tyler Brown ( 139 yards) and Joe Thoele (125 yards).
The Bulldogs (1-0) now turn their attention to the Oakwood Lumberjacks. Game time at Memorial Stadium next Friday set for 7:30.