Milford secures berth vs. Man. West

MILFORD – The Milford Spartans were in playoff form already.

On the final weekend of the regular season the Spar­tans used a 33-point first quarter to put Manchester West away early on Oct. 30. The 54-20 win capped a 7-1 regular season and has the Spartans flying high headed into postseason.

Milford draws a famil­iar foe in the Division II quarterfinals as the Spar­tans travel to Amherst for a 2:30 p.m. Saturday kickoff against the Souhegan Sa­bers (7-1).

Milford senior defensive back Kirk Palladino was the star of Friday night’s win. He intercepted Manchester West quarterback Jayson Talbert on the first posses­sion of the game, the first of Palladino’s three first-half interceptions.

That turnover would set up senior running back Mark Madigan’s 3-yard touchdown run to get the scoring started just 46 sec­onds into the game.

Palladino would not need any help from his offense to turn his next two intercep­tions into scores. With 4:34 remaining in the first quar­ter, Palladino took an inter­ception back 50 yards for a touchdown.

He followed up that im­pressive return with a 40- yard pick-six on the very next possession.

On the offensive side of the ball, Milford used a bal­anced attack, with 15 dif­ferent players recording a carry.

Senior Bryce Walker led the charge with 84 yards and a score. Fellow senior Mark Madigan rushed for two touchdowns and junior Chad Shattuck added one of his own.

Wide receiver and defen­sive back Jack Briggs was another Spartan to have a big game on his senior night. Briggs made it a 13-0 ball game on his 22-yard catch from classmate Max Urda early in the first quarter. He accounted for another touchdown when he had a pix-sick of his own near the beginning of the second half to give the Spartans a 46-14 lead.

Spartans coach Keith Jones is proud of how his team has played down the stretch.

"We’ve been playing very well right along," Jones said. "We’re just trying to build on whatever momen­tum we’ve been having the last five week."