The Milton Red Hawks are perfect no more.
Milton dropped its first football game of the season Friday, falling 34-28 to visiting Monroe in a Badger South Conference game at Milton High.
Trailing 34-6 in the third quarter, Milton (6-1, 4-1) roared back in the second half with 22 unanswered points. Down 34-28, the Red Hawks offense got the ball with 1:11 left on their own 11-yard line.
An interception sealed the contest.
“We just ran out of time by the time we made our adjustments,” Milton head coach Rodney Wedig said.
Monroe (4-3, 3-2) led only 7-6 going into the second quarter.
The Cheesemakers extended their lead to 27-6 by halftime. Nick Bansley gashed the Milton defense in the first half, scoring three times to lead Monroe’s early charge.
Milton’s only score in the first half came on a touchdown pass. Junior quarterback Evan Jordahl found senior wide receiver Dane Nelson on a fourth-and-goal from the Monroe 15-yard line.
Things didn’t get much better for the Red Hawks out of the break.
A Jordahl interception quickly set up a 6-yard passing touchdown for the Cheesemakers, making it 34-6 Monroe with 9:20 left in the third quarter.
“We came out and turned the ball over right away; we just can’t do that,” Wedig said.
Third-quarter touchdowns from junior running back Kyle Dehnert and senior tight end Hunter Pernot put the Red Hawks in striking distance going into the fourth quarter, as Milton trailed 34-20.
The Red Hawks had recovered from a two-touchdown, fourth-quarter deficit to win in overtime just one week earlier.
A fumble recovery by sophomore linebacker Zach Bothun gave Milton the ball at its own 43-yard line with 9:09 left in the game, and Milton quickly capitalized with a 27-yard rushing touchdown from senior running back Nick Huber.
After a successful two-point conversion, Milton only trailed by six points.
“I thought the O-line did a lot better; they were able to push them up front,” Huber said regarding the Red Hawks’ second-half turnaround on offense. “We just got things rolling.”
Huber finished with 97 rushing yards.
Junior linebacker Logan Knudsen nabbed his second turnover of the day with an interception with 4:33 left in the game, giving Milton the ball at its 42-yard line. But this time the Red Hawks turned the ball over on downs.
Milton was able to force a punt to get the ball back with just over a minute left, but a deep throw from Jordahl intended for Nelson was picked off to end the game and the Red Hawks’ perfect season.
“We’ve just got to look over our mistakes from this game and we got to come in prepared for the next one,” Huber said.
With the loss, Milton sits tied atop of the Badger South standings with Watertown at 4-1.
“We just have to regroup; the conference championship is still in the sights,” Wedig said.
Milton will take on Madison Edgewood (1-6, 1-4) in a conference game Friday at Breese Stevens Field in Madison at 7 p.m.
MONROE 34, MILTON 28
Monroe 7 20 7 0—34
Milton 6 0 14 8—28
Scoring: Mon—Nick Bansley 36 pass from Max Golembiewski (Trevor Rodebaugh kick). Mil—Dane Nelson 15 pass from Evan Jordahl (kick missed). Mon—Rodebaugh 31 run (Rodebaugh kick). Mon—Bansley 45 run (kick missed). Mon—Bansley 19 run (kick missed). Mon—Tyler Matley 7 pass from Golembiewski (Rodebaugh kick). Mil—Kyle Dehnert 7 run (Nelson pass from Jordahl). Mil—Hunter Pernot 6 pass from Jordahl (kick missed). Mil—Nick Huber 26 run (kick missed).
Statistics: First downs—Mon 13, Mil 15. Rushing—Mon 41-253, Mil 41-180. Passing yards—Mon 102, Mil 126. Passes—Mon 10-4-2, Mil 18-8-3. Fumbles—Mon 2-2, Mil 0-0.