Milford pounds its way to win

MILFORD – For the first time Friday night, the Lebanon High School football team had some momentum.

Unable to move the ball against Milford’s defense, the Raiders got on the board on a 51-yard touchdown pass from Joseph Flanagan to Ryan Milliken to make it a one score game in the second quarter.

But in a matter of 14 seconds, Milford’s Jahir Romney grabbed momentum right back.

Romney returned the kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown and the Spartans were able to keep the Raiders in check for most of the second half on the way to a 35-14 win in Division II action.

Milford (4-1) gained all of 248 yards on the ground, with four different players scoring rushing touchdowns. Bryce Walker led the Spartans with 89 yards on 17 carries, while Romney added 84 yards on a dozen totes to go with a touchdown.

Mark Madigan also had 41 yards and a touchdown, along with two interceptions in the first quarter, and Dustin Post added a 1-yard scoring run that put the Spartans up 28-14 early in the fourth.

The Spartans were able to get the job done on defense as well, holding Lebanon to just 153 yards, with Milliken accounting for 142 combined and both touchdowns.

“We played tough up front,” Milford coach Keith Jones said. “We kept them in check. They’ve been pounding people, so we wanted to make sure they didn’t have a chance to pound us.”

The teams traded interceptions to open the game, and Milford took advantage of its pick, turning it into a 3-yard touchdown run by Walker. Romney added a 5-yard scoring run with 7:56 left in the second quarter to put Milford up 13-0 when Lebanon finally showed signs of life.

Milliken returned the kickoff 47 yards to midfield, and three plays later, the sophomore got behind the defense for the long touchdown reception to make it 13-7 with 6:11 left in the half.

But Romney’s kick return swung momentum and gave Milford a 20-7 lead that it took in to halftime.

Lebanon cut the lead to 20-14 on its first drive of the third, as Milliken ran 47 yards for a score, but the Spartans offense was able to put together two long touchdown drives that put the game out of reach.

“If we hadn’t given up that kickoff return before the half, for as bad as we played, we had a chance,” Lebanon coach Chris Childs said. “We came back and punched one in real quick in the second half. The momentum was going and we couldn’t seem to get going.”

Milford returns to the field on Oct. 11 when it travels to Manchester to face Trinity in a game that could decide a spot in the South Conference championship game.