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1A Sectional 47 Semifinal- Milan 34, Hagerstown 14

Milan- After recording four consecutive shutouts from Week 7 through the first round of the sectional, Milan’s defense provided another strong effort in Friday’s Sectional 47 semifinals to support a great offensive night.  The Indians defeated Hagerstown 34-14 in front of a chilly home crowd at Milan.  

This game was part of our Margaret Mary Health Fall Sports Webcast Schedule and can be seen again in 720p HD by clicking here.

Hagerstown entered the game as a significant statistical underdog and pulled out all the stops from the opening kickoff, surprising Milan with an onside kick recovered by the Tigers at the Milan 41-yard line.  Hagerstown gained a first down on a seven-yard reception by Camden Rhoades, but the Milan defense held after that and forced a Tiger punt.  

The game remained scoreless for almost the first nine minutes.  On Milan’s second possession, the Indians struck first. After stopping the Tigers on fourth down, the Indians opened the next series on their own 46.  Milan’s Cole Steele ripped off a 41-yard run to the Hagerstown 11.  On the next carry, Steele went around the left end and went untouched into the end zone for the game’s opening score. The point after kick was wide, so the hosts led 6-0.

The Tigers got a good return on the ensuing kickoff and started at their own 49.  On third-and-nine, Collin Romack rushed for 11 yards to give the Tigers a first down in Milan territory. But three plays later, Milan’s Logan Nudds recorded a sack to push Hagerstown back and force another fourth down attempt. The Indians pressure yielded an incomplete pass to give their offense the ball back again.

After the teams traded punts, the Milan offense took over at its own 20-yard line.  The Indians went on a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive which ran better than five minutes off of the clock.  The set up was a Peyton Wert to Matt Schmitt 52-yard pass to move the Indians deep into Hagerstown territory. On third-and-goal, Wert found Adam Norman in the end zone.  Norman made a spectacular shoestring, tumbling catch for the two-yard score. Milan went for two but was stifled by a Matt Brown sack for the Tigers.

The tide of the game turned on the Indians’ kickoff which followed.  Milan’s special teams forced a fumble on the return, recovered by Ethan Moore at the Tiger 42-yard line.  Wert hit Norman for 25 yards to put the Indians in the red zone.  A few plays later from the 16, Wert threw to Norman who made a juggling catch in the right corner of the end zone before stumbling out of bounds.  Ethan Kaulig added the point after to give the Indians a 19-0 advantage heading into halftime.

After enducing a Tiger punt on Hagerstown’s opening possession of the second half, the Indians got the ball for the first time at the opposition’s 39-yard line.  Facing a fourth-and-five, Treyton Robbins made a diving catch for 12 yards to move the sticks.  The drive later stalled and the Indians were staring at another fourth down at the Tiger 19.  But Wert threw to a wide open Schmitt in the end zone for the score. Milan lined up to kick the point after but, instead, holder Parker Lewis hit Schmitt for a two-point conversion to put the Indians up 27-0.  

Hagerstown got on the board during its next series.  The Tigers drove 61 yards in eight plays and it started as Camden Rhoades hit Logan Alexander for 29 yards on a halfback pass.  On fourth-and-one from the Milan five, quarterback Noah Snodgrass raced around the left side and dove into the end zone for the score.  Hagerstown tried for two but failed. Milan led 27-6 with under a minute left in the third quarter.

In the final stanza, Wert intercepted a Hagerstown pass and returned it deep into Tiger territory.  The Indians’ offense needed only two plays to convert the turnover into points when Riley Johnson rushed for a 15-yard touchdown.  Kaulig added the point after to make it 34-6 in favor of the hosts.

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