SPRINGTOWN, Texas — Two of 6-man football’s more dynamic offenses clashed Friday night at Porcupine Stadium to punch their respective ticket to AT&T Stadium in two weeks.
Neither team disappointed, as a combined 98 points were scored in the first half alone. The Milford Bulldogs came out on top when the dust settled to take a 52-46 lead to the locker room, but an explosive second half by the Strawn Greyhounds pulled them away for a 102-71 win.
“Our kids know there are two halves to every game,” noted Dewaine Lee, Strawn’s head man. “First half didn’t affect the second, we knew we had another one coming. They did a great job, they played hard and kept their cool. I thought they did a tremendous job.”
Milford got on the board first at the 8:33 mark of the opening quarter, with the completed two-point kick moving the Bulldogs ahead of 10 out of Strawn’s 13 other opponents in points scored against the Greyhound defense. Strawn was able to answer back though with a rushing score by Tanner Hodgkins on fourth down with 2:10 left in the opening quarter.
The back and forth action continued from there, with the Bulldogs star quarterback Ta’ron Smith shining in the second quarter with a pair of highlight-reel touchdowns — beginning with a quarterback keep at the 9:50 mark, followed shortly after at the 8:46 mark with a flip pass to Corbin Schrotke while under pressure. The quarter would end with the two teams trading touchdowns, with40-yard pass from Smith to Markavion Thompson being the last entry.
“Took a while to get that defense down, PATs are crucial and that’s what got us,” Hodgkins said. “We went in the locker room, focused, talked about what we needed to get done and what we needed to fix.”
The Greyhounds began to climb back into the game off a 58-yard kickoff return, followed by a 23-yard scoop and score to put Strawn ahead 66-65 with eight and a half minutes to go in the third. It was all Strawn in the final quarter of play, extending a streak of 56 unanswered points into the fourth, eventually pulling away for the win.
“Our kids did a good job blocking,” Lee proclaimed. “They believed in everything, and I was really proud of that. We just got in there and kept blocking and running, did a good job.”
The Greyhound defense came up big in the contest, forcing a whopping five turnovers against a solid defense, while the offense turned each into a touchdown-scoring drive. Smith accounted for a fumble and a pair of interceptions on the night.
Strawn’s offense was spearheaded by a dominant run game, finishing the night with 589 total yards on the ground. Hodgkins turned in a strong individual performance, accounting for six total touchdowns in the win.
“He played tremendous on both sides of the ball; it’s the best game he’s ever played,” Lee beamed. “Extremely quick and strong, hard to bring down. Couldn’t ask for a better guy.”
Smith performed well in the loss, completing 17 passes for 314 yards and six scores to finish the night.
With the win, Strawn (14-0, 3-0) advances to the state title game for the first time since 2009 and will take on the Balmorhea Bears, who defeated Turkey Valley 96-66 Friday night. One of Milford’s best seasons in school history comes to a close tonight, finishing with a 14-1 record.
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