Milton-Union football has amazing season end in D-V, Region 20 title game

PIQUA — It wasn’t the ending the Milton-Union football team was looking for Friday night at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field against Valley View in the D-V, Region 20 title game.

But, the 21-7 loss to the Spartans did nothing to take away from the Bulldogs amazing season.

Milton-Union finished 13-1, posted a 10-0 regular season that included a 24-14 win over the same Valley View team and coach Bret Pearce became the winningest coach in school history.

And the Bulldogs advanced to the regional finals for just the third time — and the first since 2012.

While Milton-Union battled valiantly the entire game, Valley View was able to pull away in the fourth quarter for the win.

On the opening drive of the game, Valley View was able to drive inside the Bulldogs 10-yard line, before Cooper Brown stepped in front of a Caden Henson pass at the goal line and return it to the Milton-Union 11.

But, field position was a problem all game for the Bulldogs, while Valley View spent much of the game near or inside Bulldog territory.

Midway through the second quarter, the Spartans were able to get on the board.

Henson connected with Jedrick Lynch on a 28-yard pass to the Milton-Union eight-yard line.

On fourth-and-goal from the three-yard line, Austin Stidham ran around the right side and into the end zone, completing a 13-play, 73-yard drive. Caden Phillips kick made it 7-0 with 7:30 remaining in the half.

After three-and-outs on its first two drives, Milton-Union would answer with an 90-yard drive.

On third-and-nine from the 11-yard line, Blake Brumbaugh turned a short pass from Nate Morter into a 34-yard gain to get the Bulldogs moving.

Michael Elam had an 11-yard run to the Valley View 10-yard line and Jordan Foose would run into the end zone on the next play. Mason Grudich’s PAT kick tied it 7-7 with 2:26 remaining in the half.

Stidham would return the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to the Bulldog 31, but the the Spartans were backed up by penalties and the team went to the locker room tied 7-7.

The Spartans would put together a 46-yard drive on their first possession of the second half.

On a third-and-1o play, Henson scrambled for 20-yards and Milton penalty would move the ball to the 13-yard line, where Henson ran into the end zone on the next play and Phillips kick made it 14-7.

Elam would have runs of 21 and 13 yards on Milton’s next drive, as they 65 yards to the Spartan 15 before missing a field goal early in the fourth quarter.

Then, two big plays by Stidham put the game away.

First, he turned a short pass from Henson into a 60-yard touchdown to make it 21-7 with 8:19 remaining in the game.

Three plays later, he intercepted a Milton pass attempt at the Bulldogs 44-yard line and Milton would never score again.

Elam led the Bulldogs offense, with 115 yards on 20 carries.

Morter completed five of 19 passes for 63 yards, with Brumbaugh making three catches for 52 yards.

Cooper Brown had 12 tackles, including 10 solo tackles.

Colton Hultgren and Jake Brown added eight tackles and Zachary Lovin had seven tackles.

Henson would complete nine of 17 passes for 205 yards, with Valenti making four catches for 95 yards.

Jacob Clark had 21 carries for 105 yards and Henson had 13 carries for 64 yards.

You can reach Sports Editor Rob Kiser at [email protected]