Urda sparkles, Spartans roll
MILFORD – A week ago Milford High hung 47 points on rival Souhegan. Friday night, a dominant Spartans’ 34-6 victory over Kennett High of Conway was all about defense.
No better evidence could be found than in the final minute of the first half.
Kennett took over at the Spartans’ 31 with 39.3 seconds left with a chance to slice into the 14-0 Milford lead.
They couldn’t move it an inch. In fact, a fourth-down sack by captain Alex Taylor, drove the Cougars back 10 and gave Milford a shot to put it away with 16 seconds remaining.
Quarterback Gavin Urda did just that, finding Victor Garcia on the deep post route for a 59-yard TD strike.
“That’s just a huge play,” said Milford coach Keith Jones, lauding the tenacity of his senior lineman Taylor. “That gives us a chance, and Gavin made a play.”
“Just huge, it gave us the momentum right back,” said the QB. “They were bringing the safety up all night to stop the run, and I knew that Victor would get open. He ran a great route.”
Milford, just 2-6 a year ago with a senior-laden crew, inched closer to the Division II playoffs, sliding up to 4-2 with three weeks left in the regular season.
Milford held Kennett to just 27 yards of offense in the first half.
“Our defensive backs really stepped it up,” said Urda. “We knew they could throw the football. And we had been beaten a few times lately. But the defense came to play tonight.”
All the news was not good for Milford.
Junior Ughu, the bruising fullback/linebacker left the game early with an ankle injury.”
“They taped it up, but he just couldn’t go on it. He tried,” said Jones. “That really hurt.”
Milford also got another scare when Garcia, who had been out the last couple games with a sore knee, went down in the second half.
It was just an ankle.
“He was OK, and he could have come back, but we wanted to hold him out,” the coach said.
Jones has to be happy with the work down by senior Owen Zalenski, who stepped into the Ughu zone a bit and chewed up some tough yards.