Milton High defense stops Oregon
Consequently, the Panthers limped off the muddy Milton football field with a painful 31-20 loss to the Red Hawks.
Nathan Hammon threw two touchdown passes to Nick Meyers, while linebacker James Miller added a 17-yard interception return for a score to help Milton (6-2, 4-1) clinch a playoff berth and seize sole possession of second place in the Badger South Conference.
Milton can earn a share of the conference title with a win at Fort Atkinson, while unbeaten Monona Grove must lose at Stoughton on Wednesday.
“This is a big victory for us because it allows us to seal a spot in the playoffs,” Milton coach Jeff Bachinski said. “Every week our football team is improving with everything that they do. There are definitely big improvements.”
The Red Hawks showed much improvement in the second half against Oregon.
Clinging to a narrow 17-14 early in the fourth, Red Hawk defensive back Josh Meyers intercepted a Josh Graber pass at the Panther 38. Six plays later, Hammon hit Nick Meyers with a 9-yard touchdown pass to put Milton in control, 24-14.
After a quick Panther punt on the ensuing possession, Ian Johnson put the finishing touches on the victory with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Oregon’s offense remained stymied until the final play of the game when Josh Graber fired a 18-yard touchdown pass to Alex McCauley.
“They (Red Hawks) were in the backfield most of the game,” Prahl said. “They were blitzing more guys than we had guys blocking.”
Milton’s aggressive defense led to the Red Hawks’ first touchdown of the game.
With a Milton defender wrapped around his waist, Graber fired an ill-advised pass into the arms of Miller, who ran untouched for the touchdown.
The Panthers responded with a 9-play scoring drive on the ensuing possession, capped by Matt Marszalek’s
5-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
Hammon later answered with a 53-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Meyers that put Milton ahead, 14-7, midway through the second.
But the Panthers drew even again on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Weston Matthews with 13 seconds left in the half.
Milton took over from there, outscoring the Panthers, 17-6, in the second half.
“We are definitely playing good football now,” Bachinski said. “Every week our kids have raised the bar a little higher and had a little more success.”
MILTON 31, OREGON 20
Oregon 0 14 0 6—20
Milton 7 7 3 14—31
Scoring summary: M—James Miller, 17 interception return (Kyle Martinelli kick). O—Matt Marszalek, 5 run (Weston Mathews kick). M—Nick Meyers, 53 pass from Nate Hammon (Martinelli kick). O—Mathews, 5 pass from Josh Graber (Mathews kick). M—FG, Martinelli, 25. M—Meyers, 9 pass from Hammon (Martinelli kick). M—Ian Johnson, 2 run (Martinelli kick). O—Alex McCauley, 18 pass from Graber.
Statistics: First downs—O 14, M 15. Rushes—O 32-79, M 34-161. Yards passing—O 167, M 200. Passes—O 25-16-3, M 23-13-0. Fumbles—O 1-1, M 0-0. Penalties—O 10-55, M 10-75.