By Brett Barnes
-Oakwood tailback Sam Banke leads Jacks over M-U 31-27
On September 6, 2013, The Milton-Union Bulldogs led 26-21 late in the fourth quarter. On that night, Oakwood’s Max Banke led the game winning touchdown as the Jacks beat the Bulldogs 27-26. Fast forward 364 days later. 5:00 minutes left in the game, and Milton-Union leads 27-24. Oakwood’s coaching staff decided to give the ball to Banke, brother Sam Banke five consecutive plays. Banke’s final carry, a 37 yard touchdown run, and the visiting Oakwood Lumberjacks ran away with an improbable 31-27 victory.
Why Improbable? The Bulldogs were nearly flawless in the first half. After trading possessions with the Lumberjacks, the Bulldogs struck first when Joey Swafford went student body right for 74 yards and a Bulldog touchdown. Kaleb Rue added the first of his three extra points, and the Bulldogs jumped out 7-0.
Oakwood was stopped time and time again never mounting a threat inside the redzone the entire first half. After their fourth punt of the half, Brad Stine broke one, this time from 71 yards, and Rue was true making the score 14-0.
Then right before the half, Oakwood QB Adam Gallatin completed a pass. Unfortunately for him and the Jacks, it was to M-U’s Quentin Weiss who dodged and darted 61 yards for a Bulldog defensive touchdown, making the halftime score 21-0 Bulldogs. The Bulldogs had held Oakwood’s vaunted offense to just 84 total yards, and running back Sam Banke had just 28.
Everything changed on the first play of the second half. Banke took a handoff and sprinted virtually untouched 62 yards to cut the score to 21-6. Oakwood had seized control.
The Bulldogs then fumbled on three consecutive possessions (M-U fumbled 6 times on the night, losing four of them). After the second fumble, Banke scored again this time from a yard out. Gallatin added the two point conversion, and it was 21-14. Then following the third fumble, Hayden Peake nailed a 32 yard field goal, trimming the lead to four, 21-17.
It seemed the Bulldogs had righted the ship on the first play of the fourth quarter. Following another great run from Swafford, he punched it in himself on a QB keeper to make the score 27-17 with just 11:52 to play. However, Oakwood came right back. Michael Hocht powered his way to a Lumberjack touchdown after a short drive, setting the stage for Banke’s heroics.
Oakwood was led by Banke who ended with 194 yards of the Jack’s 312 total yards. Milton-Union was led by the two headed monster of Brad Stine (169 yards) and Joey Swafford (139 yards). M-U totaled 314 yards on the evening.
For the second consecutive season, the Bulldogs start 0-2 and face mighty Tipp (2-0) this year on the road. Game time set for 7:30.