By Brian Holtzapple
For The Daily Item
Now that the question has been answered of where the second game of the “doubleheader” between Shikellamy and Milton will be played, it’s just a matter of which team will show up for the Braves.
Game two will be at Milton’s Alumni Field next week as the Black Panthers roughed up the Braves for a 27-7 victory on senior night at Shikellamy Stadium.
“We’re going to see what kind of heart we have,” said Shikellamy coach Todd Tilford. “Milton physically took it to us and they man-handled us.
“It’s going to be tough (to win next week), but we have to look at the tape and hopefully we have some senior leadership that isn’t ready for their season to be over,” added Tilford.
The win not only gives Milton (6-4) the No. 2 seed and a home game for the first round of the District 4 Class AAA playoffs, but its also the first winning season the Black Panthers have enjoyed in quite some time.
“We guaranteed us a winning season for the first time in, I don’t know how long,” said Milton coach George Goodwin. “Obviously, Shikellamy is a well-coached team and you can’t take anything away from their guys. They came out to play and so did our guys.”
Two quick touchdowns to start the second quarter put the game in Milton’s hands, and Shikellamy (5-5) on its heels.
Josh Brown first ran for a six-yard touchdown five seconds into the quarter. And then just over two minutes later Jayson English scampered for a 54-yard run to put the Black Panthers up 14-0.
“We wanted to come in and maintain and control the line of scrimmage,” said Goodwin. “In the games that we won this year we thought our line was capable of doing that, and they did it again tonight.”
While English and Brown were totaling 83 and 61 yards on the ground, respectively, the third member of Milton’s running back trio — Jared Fogelman — also showed he can get the job done.
An 11-yard touchdown run by Fogelman with 2:54 left in the third quarter would give the Black Panthers a commanding 21-0 lead. Fogelman finished with 129 yards on 18 carries.
Fogelman’s touchdown was set up by Milton lineman Christopher Reuss with his fumble recovery of a mishandled Shikellamy snap.
“Anytime you win the turnover battle it’s huge with the momentum shifts,” said Goodwin. “The defense rose to the occasion. They played hard, they flew around and they played to the ball.”
As the game was coming to a close, Shikellamy finally got on the board when backup quarterback Matt Splitt scored from eight yards out with just 47 seconds left in the game.
“We felt like we were still in the game (after Milton’s first two TDs). We wanted to stay with our game plan and Milton just plain and simple shut us down. They were the more physical team tonight,” said Tilford.
“It was very frustrating. Milton out-coached us and out-played us tonight. We have to do a better job next week or we’ll be turning in the equipment.”
“I think coach Tilford kept it pretty vanilla tonight, and we didn’t show a whole lot knowing we’re going to see them again in the second round of the doubleheader,” said Goodwin.