Milford High School rolls to win No. 5
MILFORD – With the ball slowly rolling toward him on the grass, Mark Madigan could see where he might be able to run.
The Milford High School senior scooped up the football at his own 15- yard line, got a block and found hole to bounce toward the sideline.
With one man to beat, Madigan raced down the far side of the field untouched for the first of his three touchdowns, which helped Milford knocked off Trinity 46-12 on Friday night in a Division II West Conference game.
Madigan finished with 103 yards and two rushing touchdowns, one of which was set up by his own interception late in the first half, and added the 85-yard kickoff return to help the Spartans (5-1) win their third in a row and breathe a little easier going into their bye week.
"It’s huge, especially in our conference and that we know we have Windham coming up," Madigan said. "We needed to make a statement and that’s what we did."
The Spartans defense held Trinity in check for most of the night, allowing 154 yards, just 40 of which came after halftime. Saikou Bau had 48 yards on 11 carries, but also had four runs for negative yardage.
Bryce Walker had 56 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and Padrick Harvey also had a rushing touchdown, while Max Urda hit Kirk Palladino for a 30-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
That score made it 12-0 for the Spartans, and Trinity (3-2) answered with a 3-yard touchdown run by Nick Perdue to make it 12-6 midway through the second quarter.
But Madigan returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards to grab momentum back for the Spartans.
"That certainly was a huge answer to them putting something together and coming down the field," Milford coach Keith Jones said. "Credit to Mark and the kids on the return team to throw some great blocks."
As soon as he saw the opening, Madigan felt he could score.
"It rolled slow and bounced right by Walker," he said. "When I grabbed it, I saw an opening, and I saw one guy get blocked. Then I just had the kicker to beat. The return team did its job perfectly."
Trinity’s next drive went nowhere and Milford’s Teagan Vitali got a piece of the punt by Trinity’s Jack McCahill, giving the Spartans the ball at the Pioneers’ 42.
Six plays later, Madigan scored from 2 yards out to make it 25-6, and with Trinity facing third-and-14 on its next drive, Madigan intercepted a pass by Trinity’s Pat Mackey at the Pioneers’ 31.
Madigan scored on the next play to make 32-6.
"That was like, we always say, sometimes you’ve got to smell blood and put the nail in the coffin," Jones said.
"That was a huge play and a huge touchdown right after it."
Now Milford has two weeks to prepare for Windham (5-0) after taking a big step toward the postseason.
"Not that it takes any pressure off," Jones said.
"We want to win every week, especially conference games. It changes the playoff picture for us a little bit. It showed that we can beat a good football team when we execute and don’t make mental mistakes."