Milford set to take on Hanover Friday

MILFORD – When Caden Zalenski went down with a foot injury against Lebanon in the third game of the season, Milford High School football coach Keith Jones reminded his team that everyone would have to step up their performances until the talented Spartans co-captain.

As a unit the Spartans seemed to have gotten the message. Milford stands at 4-1 as it prepares to take on 5-0 Hanover on the road Friday night.

“The kids really stepped up with Caden still out,” Jones said. “They understand what’s at stake.”

As well as the Spartans have competed the past three weeks as a unit, it’s tough to not to notice that co-captain Logan Barnhill has stood tallest.

In last Friday’s 42-13 win over Bow, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound running back rushed for 203 yards on 17 carries, including five touchdown runs. Three of those TD runs were gut punches for the Bow defense: 24-, 26-, and 59-yard jaunts.

“Barnhill was awesome,” Jones said. “He doesn’t look like he’s going to blow people away but he hits the open field and he’s gone.”

His effort Friday night came against a Bow defense that is known for its physical style of play of play.

“I was definitely getting hit,” Barnhill said. “They’re a tough team.”

Once Barnhill’s first touchdown run tied it at 7, his 26-yard jaunt set up Chris Cotsifas for runs of 5 and 4 yards for the second TD. Colin Gregg drilled his second of six PATs. Barnhill’s 8-yard TD run provided the 14-point halftime lead.

There remained just one instance at which Milford fans may have winced. Bow’s Myles Rheinhardt stepped up and snared a Chuck Urda pass, lugging it down to the Spartans 7. Three plays later Ryan Lover broke in from a yard out. A missed PAT left Milford with a 21-13 lead with 8:58 left in the third quarter.

Not to worry. Milford took off on a 67-yard scoring drive leading to Barnhill’s 7-yard TD run. The Spartans stayed in charge for the rest of the night.

“It was a big step for us,” Barnhill said. “And once we get Zalenski back, it will get even better.”