By Josh Brown
WEST MILTON – The officials decided to kick off opening night a little early.
Miami East was more than ready.
The visiting Vikings forced three-and-outs on Milton-Union’s first four possessions and turned each one of them into touchdowns on the other end, starting fast in a game that kicked off with almost two minutes remaining on the pre-game warmups clock and never letting up in a 42-7 victory Friday night at Milton-Union’s Memorial Stadium.
After the Bulldogs (0-1) fumbled the opening kickoff and recovered, their offense went nowhere – and a bad snap on a punt attempt set Miami East up with the ball on the Milton 11. A sack on third down by Kiefer Jones and Zach Greenwald made it appear like the Bulldogs would escape the situation, but Viking quarterback Conner Hellyer hit Colton McKinney on a screen pass, and McKinney took it 17 yards for a touchdown to make it 7-0.
After a three-and-out by Milton-Union, the Vikings went 63 yards in five plays, capped off by a 15-yard run by Kurt Brower. And after a series of penalties cost the Bulldog offense on the ensuing possession, East scored early in the second quarter on a 2-yard run by Brower that made it 21-0.
Mark Beaty sacked the Milton quarterback on third-and-3 on the next possession to force another punt, and Brower capped off a six-play, 63-yard drive with a 5-yard score that made it 28-0 East.
Milton-Union picked up its first first down of the game with 3:42 left in the half on a 13-yard run by Brad Stine – who finished the first half with 43 yards on eight carries – but the drive stalled out at the Viking 37, and the teams went into the locker room with the score 28-0.
McKinney scored on a 7-yard run to cap off a 9-play, 64-yard drive to open the second half – which, since there was a larger-than-30 points differential, set the clock running per the HSAA’s new mercy rule as the Vikings led 35-0. And on the first play of the fourth quarter, Levi Adducchio scored on a 1-yard run to make it 42-0 Vikings.
But the Bulldogs were able to punch one in before the game’s end, taking their first – and only – possession of the fourth quarter 71 yards on nine plays, eight of them carries by Brad Stine. And Stine was the one that punched it in, as well, scoring on a 2-yard run to prevent the shutout.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.