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Milford football beats up Alvirne in victory

posted Sep 30, 2012, 6:51 AM by Milford Spartans   [ updated Sep 30, 2012, 6:53 AM ]

The Milford High School football team has won four games in a row, including Saturday’s 35-7 win over Alvirne, thanks largely to its defense 

That might be hard to believe for anyone who saw the Spartans on opening weekend.

Since giving up 460 yards to Bedford in a 48-7 loss, Milford has allowed an average of a little more than 141 yards a game, and its first-team defense has surrendered just one touchdown. They’re some impressive numbers, but nothing for the Spartans to get too excited about, yet.

“We’re not the Chicago Bears just yet,” Milford coach Keith Jones said. “There are things to fix as always.”

There didn’t seem to be much after the win over Alvirne.

Milford put up almost 300 yards on offense, 207 of which came on the ground, and limited the Broncos to just 56 yards in the first half. The Spartans (4-0 in Division III, 4-1 overall) led 28-0 at the break, thanks to two Alvirne (1-2, 1-4) turnovers and some good field position.

“They just punched us in the mouth and we really couldn’t respond,” Alvirne coach Bobby Nimblett said. “It starts right off the bat, when we can’t sustain a drive and we shank a punt. They go right down and score. Our kids don’t respond well to that. Then we turn the football over, and any time you turn the football over, you’re in trouble. That’s something we’ve had trouble with this year.”

The Spartans led 7-0 on Mitchell Banuskevich’s 1-yard run, when Alvirne’s Ryan Martineau fumbled late in the first quarter. Milford took over at the Broncos’ 27, and scored six plays later, as Tyler Cooney rumbled into the end zone from 3 yards out.

The teams traded punts for most of the second quarter, and it looked like Milford would do the same again, but on third-and-12, Harrison Urda connected with Ethan Owen on a 25-yard touchdown pass that made it 21-0 Spartans with 1:14 left until halftime.

Alvirne tried to quickly respond, but Milford’s Joe Albina intercepted a screen pass from Josh Cohen and returned it 55 yards for another touchdown, making it 28-0 with 50 seconds to go.

“At 21-0, it’s still a football game,” Jones said. “It’s not like we’re killing them. They were doing a good job and that was a huge play. Give (Albina) credit. He worked on that all week, watching that screen. I was happy for him.”

Milford got the ball to open the third quarter, and put together a 10-play, 65-yard drive that ended in Albina’s 2-yard touchdown run. On the drive, Connor Borne picked up 11 yards on third-and-23, and Urda converted a fourth-and-12 when he hit Banuskevich over the middle for a 22-yard pickup.

Borne finished the game with 115 yards on 14 carries and Urda completed 6 of 8 passed for 85 yards.

“The kids collectively played fantastic on defense and offense,” Jones said. “We spread the ball out a ton. I was pretty happy with the overall performance. I thought we executed well.”

Cohen threw for 89 yards, but was just 8 of 17 with two interceptions. Lucas Notini scored the Broncos’ lone touchdown with 54 seconds left in the game, and Andrew Stevens caught seven passes for 79 yards. But no other Alvirne player had more than 36 yards on offense.

“We knew Milford is a good football team,” Nimblett said. “I was surprised that we couldn’t block an A gap and a B gap and give our guys protection. We tried to double team kids and we couldn’t. We couldn’t down block them. We pulled out our whole play book and they defeated everything. They punched us in the mouth.”

Post Published: 30 September 2012
Author: Joe M