WEST MILTON — This is a different Milton-Union football game than a year ago.
As they showed everyone in the Thursday Night Lights game with Oakwood.
A year ago, coming off a big win over Valley View, the Bulldogs were upset by the Lumberjacks in a 9-1 regular season.
There was going to be no repeat this time.
With Blake Brumbaugh shining brightly on the TV camera and the Bulldogs offensive and defensive lines dominating the line of scrimmage, Milton-Union scored the final 31 points in a 45-13 victory to run its record to 3-0 on the season heading into TRC play.
“We have great senior leadership on this team,” Milton-Union coach Bret Pearce said. “They keep this team on an even keel. I think we learned from last year (the Oakwood upset).”
Brumbaugh was nothing short of amazing in the game.
He had a 65-yard punt return in the first quarter called back by penalty.
Brumbaugh carried the ball three times for 35 yards and two touchdowns and caught four passes for 144 yards and four touchdowns. He would appeared to be covered, only to make spectacular plays on the ball in the air and turn them into big plays.
“The great thing is somebody different on this team steps up every week,” Pearce said. “Tonight, it happened to be Blake (Brumbaugh).”
Offensively, the Bulldogs did what they wanted all night, scoring on seven of eight drives.
“We had one drive, where we fumbled,” Pearce said. “I just though the offensive line did a great job.”
The Bulldogs opening drive was capped by a 26-yard touchdown run by Brumbaugh.
The next drive, Michael Elam had runs of 14 and 10 yards on consecutive plays, before Brumbaugh ran it in from six yards out to cap an 11-play, 63-yard drive.
But, Oakwood was able to stay in the game when quarterback Stephen Lauterbach threw touchdown passes of 32 and 68 yards to Max Parker. The first came on a fourth-and-13 play after offsetting penalties had give Oakwood a second chance.
“We just had a couple plays where someone was in the wrong coverage,” Pearce said.
Connor Yates blocked one of the two PATs and Milton-Union’s lead was 14-13 early in the second quarter.
But, after that, it was all Bulldogs.
After a a Brumbaugh punt return to the 16-yard line, Elam would run it in from two yards out.
Then late in the half, 38-yard pass from Nate Morter to Brumbaugh moved the ball to the Oakwod six-yard line and two plays later the same combination resulted in a touchdown to make it 28-13 at the break.
In the second half, a 54-yard pass-and-run by Brumbaugh set up a 20-yard TD pass to Yates, who made a leaping catch in the end zone.
The final touchdown came on a 46-yard TD pass from Morter to Brumbaugh — who made a leaping catch at the 20 and split two Oakwood defenders on his way to the end zone.
Mason Grudich kicked all six PATs and added a 39-yard field goal for the final points.
For the game, Milton-Union had 207 yards unofficially and Elam ran for 103 yards on 16 carries.
At the same time, Oakwood was limited to just 44 yards rushing.
“I know they had 14 yards rushing at halftime on 15 carries,” Pearce said. “I just thought our offensive and defensive lines did a tremendous job tonight.”
Morter finished six of 11 passing for 170 yards, while Lauterbach was 12 of 25 passing for 182 yards.
Parker caught three passes for 97 yards for Oakwood.
Now, it is off to TRC play — after shining in the bright lights Thursday night.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]