Bulldogs talent/turnovers doom Devils

Milton-Union advances

By Bill Idle Contributing writer

XENIA — Brookville knew it had to play well Friday and knew it could not turn the ball over to have an opportunity to defeat the Milton-Union Bulldogs.

Unfortunately, Brookville did not play well and the Blue Devils turned the ball over four times. The Bulldogs turned those turnovers into 24 points and rolled to a 38-6 victory in the OHSAA Division V regional semifinal playoff game.

Milton-Union (13-0) advances to face Valley View (12-1) this Friday at Piqua Alexander Stadium.

Despite the events of the night, nothing can damper the feeling of what was a really good football team and season for Brookville. The Blue Devils finished at 11-2 overall. This squad became only the third team in Brookville football history to win two postseason games. It was the 7th team to win nine regular season games and the 5th team to finish with 11 wins.

The seven seniors on this team can look back and smile at the efforts they had in high school including 42 wins, three playoff appearances, two playoff wins, the first class to play all four seasons on field turf at home, and lots of memories and pride to talk about in future years.

Those seniors were Tim Davis, Vincent Brookshire, Jordan Long, Grady Lamb, Aiden Heimer, Talon Williamson, and Bronson Stacy.

Doug Adams Stadium was packed as the two teams took the field to start the game. Brookville kicked off and Cooper Brown returned the ball to the 40. It took the high-powered Bulldogs five plays to score.

Runs by Michael Elam and Blake Brumbaugh accounted for 26 yards, a pass from Nate Morter to Cooper Brown gained 34 yards, and from the 13, Jordan Foose bolted through the right side for a touchdown. Mason Grudich booted the PAT and it was 7-0 Milton Union with 9:58 on the clock.

On its first possession Brookville began at the 20 and on the third play a pass went awry and Conner Gibson made a diving interception for the Bulldogs at the Brookville 48. Again, it took the Bulldogs five plays to score.

Four runs by Elam moved the ball to the Brookville five where Blake Brumbaugh took a pitch and rambled into the end zone to make the score 14-0 with seven minutes left in the first frame.

The teams exchanged punts and on the second play a fumble by Brookville saw the Bulldogs recover the pigskin at the Blue Devils 22. Brookville stopped the Bulldogs on a third down play but Grudich blasted a 37-yard Field Goal that would have been good from 50 yards. It was 17-0 with 1:34 left in the first stanza.

The final play of the first quarter resulted in another turnover as Zachary Lovin intercepted the ball at the Brookville 49.

Elam gained 27 yards up the middle to start the drive. He then converted a third down with a five-yard gain and on third and goal at the two Elam ended the drive by blasting through the line and scoring a touchdown. It was 24-0 with 8:37 remaining in the second quarter.

Brookville would fumble again as the wheels were coming off for Brookville. Beginning at the Brookville 45 Milton got five free yards on an encroachment penalty. Morter tossed a perfect pass to Cooper Brown down the sideline and Brown scampered 40 yards into the end zone to make the score 31-0.

Late in the second quarter the Bulldogs got the ball again and scored in seven plays, with the drive culminating in a three-yard pass from Morter to Brown on a slant pass for the score with just 13 seconds left in the half. It was 38-0 Milton Union at the half and Brookville would become the 11th team to play against the Bulldogs with a running clock in the second half this season.

The second half was better for Brookville. The Blue Devils managed to hold onto the ball but could not score in the third frame. In the final quarter Tim Davis broke off a 66-yard scamper that got the ball to the Bulldogs six yard line. Two plays later Grady Lamb scored from the five and Brookville got their only points of the game with 7:02 remaining.

Milton-Union did not start substituting until very late in the game and the starting quarterback never left the field. Brookville did substitute the seniors out of the game so the Blue Devils fans could show their appreciation of their efforts for the season.

Make no mistake, Milton-Union is very good and is a better team than Brookville, but the final score does not show the true difference in the squads. The four turnovers that resulted in 24 points was the real difference in the game.

Brookville played well all season and despite the last game of the year, did prove they were one of the top 16 teams in Division V in Ohio, if not a top ten team.

Stats show Milton-Union dominating throughout. Total yards 283-168, Rushing yards 150-144; passing yards 113-24; plays 44-36, first downs 14-7, 7/11 on third downs to Brookville’s 1/7, and red zone 4/5 all touchdowns to Brookville’s 1/1 and a TD. Time of possession shows Brookville with 25:24 and Milton-Union with 22:36.

Individual Stats for Milton-Union show Morter was 6-11 passing for 113 yards and two TDs. Michael Elam had 112 yards rushing and a touchdown. Cooper Brown had two catches for 43 yards and both were touchdowns.

Brookville individual stats show Keegan Mehr was 2/12 passing for 24 yards and two interceptions. Receiving has Dane Moore with one snag for 15 yards and Kory Davis one catch for nine yards.

Rushing shows Tim Davis with 113 yards on 12 carries. Grady Lamb had a touchdown.

Tim Davis finished the season with 1,638 yards rushing. In his career Davis finished with 2,848 yards. The total of 1,638 yards this season is the third highest total in a season by a Brookville running back. Only Bailey Wallen with 1,789 in 2016 and 2,035 in 2017 surpass the number of yards rushing in a season.

Stats all season were from Aaron Crabtree and his staff.

Game Notes from Larry Myers, Brookville football historian, aside from the previous information in this article, show Brookville finished with 488 points, a school record, in one season. First time ever a final score was 38-6. It was the 9th time there was a difference of 32 points and 9th time the opposing team scored 38 points. It was the 12th time a game totaled 44 points and the 55th time for Brookville to score six points. This was the fifth time Brookville played seven road games.

By Bill Idle Contributing writer