The Red Hawks will not go through their season unblemished.
Milton dropped its first game of the season versus Monroe, falling 34-28, in a Badger South Conference game Friday, Oct. 4, at Milton High School.
Trailing 34-6 in the third quarter, Milton (6-1, 4-1) roared back in the second half with 22-unanswered points. Down 34-28, the Red Hawk offense got the ball with 1:11 left in the game on their own 11-yard line, but an interception sealed the contest.
“We just ran out of time by the time we made our adjustments,” Milton head coach Rodney Wedig said.
Going into the second quarter up 7-6, the Cheesemakers (4-3, 3-2) ballooned their lead to 27-6 with a 20-point quarter. Nick Bansley gashed the Milton defense in the first half, scoring three times to lead Monroe’s early charge.
Milton’s only score in the first half came from a touchdown pass. Junior quarterback Evan Jordahl found senior wide receiver Dane Nelson on a fourth-and-goal from the Monroe 15-yard line in the right-corner of the end zone to get Milton on the board with 6:22 left in the first quarter.
Things didn’t get much better for the Red Hawks out of halftime.
A Jordahl interception quickly set up a 6-yard passing touchdown for the Cheesemakers, making it 34-6 Monroe with 9:20 left in the third quarter.
“We came out and turned the ball over right away, we just can’t do that,” Wedig said.
Third-quarter touchdowns from junior running back Kyle Dehnert and senior tight end Hunter Pernot put the Red Hawks in striking distance going into the fourth quarter, as Milton trailed 34-20.
A fumble recover by sophomore linebacker Zach Bothun gave Milton the ball at its own 43-yard line with 9:09 left in the game, and Milton quickly capitalized with a 27-yard rushing touchdown from senior running back Nick Huber.
After a successful two-point conversion, Milton only trailed by six points at 34-28.
“I thought the O-line did a lot better, they were able to push them up front,” Huber said regarding the Red Hawks’ second-half turnaround on offense. “We just got things rolling.”
Huber ended just shy of 100 yards on the ground, collecting 97 on the night.
Junior linebacker Logan Knudsen nabbed his second turnover of the day with an interception with 4:33 left in the game, giving Milton the ball at its 42-yard line.
Unlike the Bothun turnover, the Red Hawks were unable to convert Knudsen’s pick into points, turning the ball over on downs.
Milton was able to force a punt to get the ball back with just over a minute left, but a deep throw from Jordahl intended for Nelson was picked off to end the game, and the Red Hawks’ perfect season.
“We just got to look over our mistakes from this game and we got to come in prepared for the next one,” Huber said.
With the loss, Milton sits tied atop of the Badger South standings with Watertown at 4-1.
“We just have to regroup, the conference championship is still in the sights,” Wedig said.
Milton will take on Edgewood (1-6, 1-4) in a conference game Friday, Oct. 11, at Breese Stevens Field in Madison at 7 p.m.