Saturday, April 20, 2024

Rivalry Rematch

By Brett Barnes

-Waynesville 21, Milton-Union 17

Two short weeks ago, the Spartans of Waynesville High School defeated the Milton-Union Bulldogs 49-21 for the SWBL title. Fifteen days later, the two same teams came face to face one more time. In sports, that is called REMATCH.

Throw in a genuine dislike for the other school. In sports, that is called RIVALRY.

It is rare when Rivalry meets Rematch, but when it happens, it can be thrilling theater. The overflow crowd in Waynesville, Ohio was treated to thrilling theater Saturday night: Waynesville 21, Milton-Union 17.

It looked like more of the same as two weeks ago early in the ballgame, when Waynesville took the opening kickoff 56-yards in just four plays to take a 7-0 lead on a Matt Hussey 6-yard touchdown scamper and a Caleb Keeton PAT.

Milton-Union’s first possession surprised many. Sophomore London Cowan took the field, and the Bulldogs spread the field moving Tyler Brown to a slot position. “We actually made up our minds to make a switch a quarterback after our last Waynesville game,” Coach Bret Pearce said. “Our line is so big Cody (Quarterback Cody Hollon) was having trouble seeing, but we wanted to give him the start on senior night.”

Cowan completed two of his first three passes, but the Bulldogs had to punt, and when the snap rolled back to the punter, Waynesville tackled Nick Fields for a loss of fourteen and were poised to score again.

However, Waynesville fumbled on that possession and the next, and after the second fumble, M-U struck with a 4 play, 55-yard drive, all of the yards coming off the hand of Cowan. He hit Alex King with a 24-yard strike, and after a run, he finished the drive with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Brown. Fields boomed the extra point, and the score was tied at 7-7.

The rest of the half, M-U struggled to move the football, and Waynesville finished off a drive with 4:14 left in the half. Luke Creditt found rhythm and completed four consecutive passes, the last one an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ty Black. After the extra point, it was 14-7 Waynesville at the half. The Spartans held a 222 yard to 83 yard advantage over the Bulldogs at intermission.

M-U had the football to start the second half but punted after three plays. Waynesville now had the football and began a methodical, 15 play march that lasted almost seven minutes. On third and goal from the 9-yard line, Creditt found Hussey at the three. Hussey was hit while struggling for the goal line, and the ball popped out into the end zone, where the Bulldogs recovered. Following a Waynesville personal foul, the Bulldogs had the football first and ten at the 35-yard line.

Momentum had swung, and M-U began a game-tying march. Another Waynesville personal foul moved the football to midfield, and Senior Jake Finfrock took over the drive. He had runs of 8 and 9 yards, and on the final play of the drive, he scampered behind beautiful blocking 28-yards for the touchdown. Fields again hit the extra point, and it was all tied at 14 to start the 4th quarter.

Waynesville went three and out for the first time, and after another penalty, M-U had the football at the Waynesville 43-yard line. Finfrock ran for 17 yards, but the drive stalled at the Spartan’s 19-yard line. Fields was summoned to attempt a 36-yard field goal, and he nailed it giving the Bulldogs the lead 17-14 with 10 minutes to play.

That lead lasted 1:40.

On third and six, Creditt threw the 49th touchdown pass of his career hitting Black in stride for a 50-yard touchdown. Folllowing the PAT, Waynesville led 21-17.

M-U only had the ball one more time. After a first down, Cowan was picked off at the Waynesville 37-yard line. The Spartans ran six plays and were forced to punt, but M-U roughed the kicker. After the first down, Waynesville ran six more plays, the final one in victory formation as the clock hit 0:00.

Creditt passed for 209 yards and ran for 105 more. Jake Finfrock led the Bulldogs with 108 yards rushing on 20 carries.

M-U ends its fine season at 8-3.



Tipp News
Mike McDermott is publisher of several web news properties, including this one. Long time resident, and local business owner, Mike McDermott lives in the downtown and fiercely defends Tipp City's honor at home and abroad.

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