Edgewood makes a statement against Milton
MILTON Ever since Milton High School joined the Badger South four years ago, the battle for the football titlehas been a two-team race between the Red Hawks and Monona Grove.
Madison Edgewood forced its way into that conversation, however, with a loud and convincing argument here Friday night that resulted in a 42-14 win over the Red Hawks in a conference opener.
In the three previous years the Red Hawks have competed in the Badger South, they won one title and were runners-up to Monona Grove the last two seasons. Edgewood made a case for itself this year by scoring on its first six possessions and then cruising in the second half against the Red Hawks.
It was the second statement game in consecutive weeks for coach Al Minnaert’s Crusaders, who beat Badger North power DeForest last week. That was the same Norski team that hung a 47-21 loss on the Red Hawks to open the season.
“We had a lot of kids coming back from last year when we squeaked into the playoffs,” Minnaert said. “We didn’t play well there, so we saw how we handled failure.
“This was a big step-up game for us,” added Minnaert, whose team went to 2-1 on the season, with the only loss coming on opening night against powerful Waunakee. “The second big one in a row.
“Everyone knows the Badger South runs through Milton and Monona, but we’re a veteran team, and tonight we were well-oiled.”
So “well-oiled” that the Red Hawks were confounded at every turn to stop the potent Edgewood offense. In fact, Edgewood quarterback Seth white highlighted the night by completing 17 of 26 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns.
“They’re a very athletic team,” Milton coach Jeff Bachinski said. “They’ve been working on putting this team together for three years, and they put it all together tonight. We’re a young team, and we’ll have some growing pains.”
Milton has a potent offense of its own and stood toe-to-toe with the Crusaders through the first period and well into the second.
After the Crusaders marched to a 1-yard touchdown by Ben Young on their opening possession, the Red Hawks answered with a 14-play, 66-yard drive. That was capped by a 5-yard pass from Evan Phillips to Luke Ganz.
The Crusaders came back quickly on a 57-yard scoring pass-and-run from White to Jackson Reiland. The Red Hawks then drove to the Crusader 29, where Phillips hit Riley Kovars on an outside curl pattern. Kovars, who sat out last week’s win over Sauk Prairie with a shoulder injury, shook one tackle and raced into the end zone to tie the game at 14-14.
But after that, it was all Edgewood. The taller Edgewood receivers repeatedly took advantage of the shorter Milton defensive backs, and the Crusaders scored on their final three possessions of the half to take a 35-14 lead.
Phillips finished the night by completing 21 of 33 passes for 205 yards. Kovars caught seven passes for 66 yards. Ganz snared seven for 45, and Sam McCann, who caught last week’s winning touchdown in the final minute, had four receptions for 85.
“We have a heck of a team here,” said Bachinski, whose Red Hawks are 1-2 on the season. “I keep telling the kids that football is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. We have the physical part down.
“We have a lot of athletes. We just have to work on the mental part. We’re learning every week, and we’re going to be a much better football team as we go.”
EDGEWOOD 42, MILTON 14
Madison Edgewood 14 21 7 0—42
Milton 7 7 0 0—14
Scoring summary: ME—Ben Young, 1 run (Jake Dragoo kick). Mil—Luke Ganz, 5 pass from Evan Phillips (Sam McCann kick). ME—Jackson Reiland, 57 pass from Seth White (Dragoo kick). Mil—Riley Kovars, 29 pass from Phillips (McCann kick). ME—Jack Zwettler, 16 pass from White (Dragoo kick). ME—White, 1 run (Dragoo kick). ME—Young, 15 pass from White (Steffen Lake kick). ME—Reiland, 1 run (Dragoo kick).
Statistics: First downs—ME 19, Mil 14. Rushing—ME 40-84, Mil 29-86. Yards passing—ME 343, Mil 205. Passes—ME 28-17-0, Mil 35-22-0. Fumbles—ME 0-0, Mil 3-3. Penalties—ME 9-60, Mil 7-57.