Monona Grove overcomes miscues
Photos from Milton's 31-12 loss to Monona Grove.
MILTON It’s scary to think what the Monona Grove High School’s football team might do if it wasn’t committing self-inflicted mistakes.
In a Badger South battle against Milton here Friday night, the Silver Eagles turned the ball over five times and racked up eight penalties for 80 yards, including one that wiped out a touchdown.
But it just didn’t matter.
Displaying a punishing ground attack, Monona Grove still managed to defeat Milton handily, 31-12, while outgaining the Red Hawks by a wide margin of 412-172.
It all left Milton coach Jeff Bachinski acknowledging the unbeaten Silver Eagles’ talent after they went to 3-0 in the conferrence and 5-0 overall.
“I take my hat off to (Monona Grove head coach Mike) Stassi and his crew,” said Bachinski, whose defending champions fell to 1-1 in the conference and 3-2 overall. “He’s got a nice ballclub, but we’ve got a nice ballclub, too. We did a lot of good things today.”
But not nearly enough to beat Monona Grove, the preseason Badger South favorite.
Senior Ryan Roberts, the Silver Eagles’ whirling dervish of a running back, squirmed, juked, spun, cut and countered his way to 240 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries as Monona Grove ran for 327 yards.
Roberts scored on the first play from scrimmage, taking a pitch left and simply outracing everyone to the front corner of the end zone.
With Milton stacking the box to take away the run, Monona Grove opened things up by throwing for 85 yards in the first half and employing a never-ending series of counters and misdirections to keep the Red Hawks’ defense guessing.
“Milton likes to stack the box to help stop the run, but we opened up with our pass, and it allows us to run some more,” Roberts said. “The linebackers were keying us as running backs, so as soon as we started with our counters, it started to open up a lot more on them.”
Still, despite trailing 14-0 in the first quarter, Milton climbed to within 14-12 on Alec Vicenzi’s 46-yard run and Alex Friedman’s fumble recovery for a touchdown when he plucked a Beau Goff fumble out of midair and cruised 50 yards down the right sideline for the score.
The Red Hawks had another great opportunity trailing 21-12 early in the second half when Zach Zweifel muffed Nathan Hammon’s punt and Milton recovered at the Monona Grove 30-yard line.
Milton moved 15 yards closer after a roughing-the-passer penalty. But two plays later, Hammon was intercepted in the end zone on an acrobatic play by Logan Twing.
MONONA GROVE 31, MILTON 12
Monona Grove 14 7 7 3—31
Milton 6 6 0 0—12
Scoring summary: MG—Ryan Roberts, 50 run (Beau Goff kick). MG—LaBraun Roach, 4 run (Goff kick). M—Alec Vicenzi, 46 run (kick failed). M—Alex Friedman, 50 fumble return (run failed). MG—Roberts, 2 run (Logan Twing kick). MG—Goff, 14 run (Goff kick). MG—Goff FG 22.
Statistics: First downs—MG 21, M 12. Rushing—MG 54-327, M 33-97. Yards passing—MG 85, M 75. Passes—MG 7-13-2, M 7-22-3. Fumbles—MG 3-3, M 2-0. Penalties—MG 8-80, M 6-60.