Milton High’s football team bounced back in a big way Saturday.
After losing its opening game of the alternate fall season and then fall behind by a touchdown early in their second game, the Red Hawks rattled off seven straight touchdowns on the way to a 50-14 victory over Mount Horeb/Barneveld in a nonconference game played in McFarland.
An interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter put Milton behind, 8-0, but it was all Red Hawks after that.
“It was much-needed,” Milton coach Rodney Wedig said. “We started a little too complacent, but then we played with a lot more energy.
“It’s such a mental game. I challenged our kids to bring it, and they did. Once we got the momentum back, we were like, OK, we’ve got our confidence back.”
Ashton Goll caught a touchdown pass from Cayden Zajac, and Zack Bothun returned an interception for a touchdown to help Milton lead 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Zajac then ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the second quarter for a 35-8 halftime lead.
Zajac started with Week 1 starter Evan Jordahl a bit banged up.
“Jordahl obviously wants to be out there all the time, and you can’t blame him as a senior, but I just knew something wasn’t right and he wasn’t getting a lot of zip on his passes,” Wedig said. “I said, if you’re not 100%, I’ve got to see what Zajac can do. Evan is a great leader and wants to be out there, but I also have to look out for his health.
“Zajac is not as fast as Jordahl, but he is a gamer. He started a little shaky with the pick-six, but after that, once he settled in, I was very impressed.”
Kyle Dehnert (rushing) and Jack Campion (kick return) sandwiched touchdowns around a safety as Milton continued pulling away in the second half.
“Our defense and special teams was unbelievable,” Wedig said. “Until we emptied our bench, they had negative yards rushing.
“We had short fields all day, which was huge.”
Milton plays on the road against Janesville Parker on Friday.
MILTON 50, MOUNT HOREB/BARNEVELD 14
Milton 14 21 15 0—50
Mount Horeb/Barneveld 8 0 0 6—14
Scoring—MHB: Bazala 58 interception return (Steinhoff run). Mil: Goll 15 pass from Zajac (run failed). Mil: Bothun 15 interception return (Berberich pass from Hoard). Mil: Zajac 27 run (Hessenauer kick). Mil: Larson 39 pass from Zajac (Hessenauer kick). Mil: Zajac 12 run (Hessenauer kick). Mil: Dehnert 2 run (pass failed). Mil: Safety, Schaller tackled by Q. Williams in end zone. Mil: Campion 53 kick return (Hessenauer kick). MHB: Gassman 9 run (run failed).
Team stats: First downs—Mil 137, MHB 110. Rushing (Att.-Yds.)—Mil 37-18493, MHB 345-120. Passing yards—Mil 98100, MHB 51. Passing (Comp.-Att.-Int.)—Mil 5-11-1, MHB 10-18-1. Penalties-yards—Mil 65-3025, MHB 57-345. Fumbles-lost—Mil 52-1, MHB 1-1.
Leaders: Rushing (Att.-Yds)—Mil: Zajac 78-578; MHB: Buechner 6-358. Passing (Att.-Comp.-Int.-Yds)—Mil: Zajac 5-11-1-98100; MHB: Schaller 10-18-1-51. Receiving (Att.-Yds)—Mil: Larson 3-77; MHB: Henderson 6-32.