Saturday, October 8, 2022

Milan knocks off South Harrison 49-20

 by Jeremy Benson,

After facing the conference's two unbeaten teams the last 2 weeks, the Milan Wildcats traveled to Bethany to face the South Harrison Bulldogs.  Both teams came into the game with a 1-3 record in conference play.  Milan started out the game fast when Carlos Cotto scored from 46 yards out.  Christian Chaparro, who was perfect on PATs on the night, made it 7-0.  After South Harrison fumbled at their own 23-yard line, Ahmet Niasse connected with Jeremy Bennett on the first play of the ensuing drive to make it 14-0.

South Harrison was unable to move the ball at all in the first quarter just netting 32 yards, all on the ground. Milan did drive to midfield, but their next drive stalled.  They ended the quarter with a 14-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Milan would once again strike fast.  After getting the ball at the own 40-yard line, Darren Doporto broke free for a 60-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats up 21-0.  The Bulldogs finally got their offense going after that.  The ground game was not working at all, but they did start to find some offense through the air.  They drove down the field 80 yards with 49 of them through the air.  The drive ended with a 5-yard run by Grant Williams.  After a 2-point conversion failed, the Bulldogs trailed 21-6.  However, Milan struck fast again on a Cotto 47-yard run up the sideline evading defenders.  It was set up by a Eduardo Garcia 28-yard kick return into Bulldog territory.  South Harrison would put together another 80-yard drive to end the half.  This time with all of it through the air.  Jad Cornett connected with Luke Sweat from 20 yards out.  After a successful 2-point conversion, the Bulldogs went into the half trailing 28-14.

The second half was a different game than the first, especially for Milan.  While they scored 28 points in the half with all 4 touchdowns coming on 1 or 2-play drives.  The second half scores were set up by great defensive or special team plays.  The third quarter was marked by good defense and neither team scored.  The last play of the third quarter was an interception by Niasse that was returned to the Bulldogs 4-yard line.  Two plays later Doporto ran it in from 3 yards out to make it 35-14 Milan.  South Harrison was able to cut it to 35-20 after a 38-yard TD pass from Cornett to Williams.

But that was all the scoring that South Harrison was able to put on the board.  South Harrison tried an onside kick after that touchdown.  It was returned by Milan's Troy Aldridge to the Bulldogs 25-yard line.  Cotto scored his 3rd rushing TD of the game from 13 yards out to make it 42-20.  Milan would then recover a fumble on South Harrison's next offensive play and scoop it up and score.  This made it 49-20, which is where the game ended.

After the game, I talked with Milan coach Mark Cole:

Here is video of South Harrison player introductions:

Stats (Unofficial)
Ahmet Niasse, 3-5, 40 yards, 1 TD

Carlos Cotto, 135 yards, 3 TD
Darren Doporto, 100 yards, 2 TD
Ahmet Niasse, -2 yards

Jeremy Bennett, 41 yards, 1 TD
Carlos Cotto, -1 yards

Ahmet Niasse, 1 interception (returned 58 yards)

233 yards rushing, 40 yards receiving, 273 total yards

South Harrison
Jad Cornett, 18-33, 224 yards, 2 TD, 1 int

Grant Williams, 47 yards, 1 TD
Hunter Ackley, 1 yard
Luke Sweat, - 2 yards
Jad Cornett, -12 yards

Grant Williams, 106 yards, 1 TD
Braxton Booth, 66 yards
Crae Coffey, 26 yards
Luke Sweat, 22 yards, 1 TD
Trevor Lisle, 7 yards
Hunter Ackley, -1 yard

38 yards rushing, 224 yards receiving, 262 total yards

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