Milton gives Monona Grove a scare
What was surprising is that the Red Hawks’ once-beleaguered defense came close to making that lone touchdown stand up in a key Badger South Conference showdown.
The Silver Eagles, the sixth-ranked large-school team in the state, faced a 7-6 deficit in the fourth period before striking for two late touchdowns to take a 19-7 win over the Red Hawks here Friday night.
The win gave the Silver Eagles the inside track toward capturing their second consecutive Badger South title. Monona Grove is 3-0 in the Badger South and 5-0 overall—including a shutout of defending WIAA Division 3 champion Reedsburg to open the season.
Milton fell to 1-1 in league play and 2-3 overall, but coach Jeff Bachinski learned some good things about his Red Hawks.
“We were just as good they were,” Bachinski said. “They’re the sixth-ranked team in the state, and we proved we can play with anyone. The kids really sold out and tried to win this game. I’m proud of them.”
After the Red Hawks yielded 134 points in their first three games, the Milton defense allowed just two touchdowns last week against Stoughton and bottled up the Silver Eagles for three quarters.
“We did some things to beef up our defense,” said Bachinski, who started the year with a full-fledged platoon system. “We’ve had Nate Hammon, Riley Kovars and Phil McCarthy go both ways.”
The changes made a difference.
The two teams traded long second-period touchdown passes. First, Monona Grove quarterback Dylann Rauch found Logan Twing behind the Milton defense for a 50-yard score.
On Milton’s next series, McCarthy wrestled a Hammon pass away from a Monona Grove defender and sprinted 59 yards for a score.
The difference in the game through three periods was Kyle Martinelli’s extra-point kick.
MONONA GROVE 19, MILTON 7
Milton 0 7 0 0—7
Monona Grove 0 6 0 13—19
Scoring summary: MG—Logan Twing, 50 pass from Dylann Rauch (kick failed). Mil—Phil McCarthy, 59 pass from Nate Hammon (Kyle Martinelli kick). MG—Zach Zweifel, 9 pass from Rauch (pass failed). MG—LeBraun Roach, 1 run (Twing kick).
Statistics: First downs—M 11, MG 13. Rushes—M 19-35, MG 31-50. Yards passing—M 245, MG 244. Passes—M 32-15-5, MG 31-17-0. Fumbles—M 0-0, MG 3-0. Penalties—M 9-135, MG 7-55.