NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Milford Academy broke open a 21-20 game by scoring the final 18 points for a 39-20 win over Yale's junior varsity football team Sunday afternoon at Frank Field.
Playing their first game of the season, the Bulldogs were hurt by interceptions, including one on second-and-goal from the Falcon 14 three minutes into the game. The next Yale interception was even more costly, as it was returned for a touchdown that gave Milford Academy a 7-0 lead.
The Bulldog defense produced its first turnover of the day when junior linebacker Ben Ashcraft grabbed a tipped pass and set the Yale offense up at the Falcon 29. Freshman quarterback Henry Furman finished that three-play drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to freshman tight end Trevor Peterson.
Milford Academy returned another interception for a touchdown midway through the second quarter to go back ahead, 14-7. Once again, the Bulldogs responded thanks to a turnover. Freshman defensive end Kolu Buck forced a fumble and Ashcraft recovered at the Milford 12. On the first play from there, freshman quarterback Kerr Taubler connected with junior wide receiver McConnell Smith for the score. Sophomore place kicker Philippe Panico's extra point tied the game, and a pair of sacks by sophomore outside linebacker Dylan Drake stymied a Milford Academy drive right before halftime.
After Milford Academy went ahead again on a 21-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter, momentum looked to be back in Yale's favor when a perfectly thrown ball by freshman quarterback John Whitelaw led freshman wide receiver Cameron Sandquist into the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown. But the extra point attempt was blocked, and the ensuing attempt at a pass was picked off and returned the other way for two points to make the score 23-20 Falcons. Milford Academy then returned the attempted on side kick for six more points, with freshman defensive back Max Napolitano getting a piece of the extra point attempt to keep Yale within nine.
Yale's next drive ended with a fumble, and after a Bulldog punt early in the fourth quarter Milford Academy drove 46 yards for a field goal to make it 32-20. The Bulldogs failed to convert a fourth down attempt in Falcon territory with 4:25 to play, and Milford Academy then put the game away with another touchdown. Yale did piece together one last impressive drive, with freshman tailback Elijah Thomas carrying the ball seven times and breaking off a 26-yarder, but time ran out with the ball inside the Milford 20.
Milford Academy improves to 5-1 with the win. The Yale JV team returns to action on Oct. 31 against Bridgton Academy.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity