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Wildcats get by Milton on the legs of Ryan Pentz for “Heritage Homecoming” game @GoCatsFB @MiltonSports

Written by: on Saturday, September 25th, 2021

 

Former Coast Guard Flotilla Commander Terry Banfill presented the American Flag.

When a game starts out with two touchdowns in just 2 minutes and thirty seconds on six plays, as a reporter you know you’re in for either a long night, or, you think “hey, maybe they just threw out all their offense and the game will slow down. Milton scored on the third play of the game with Xzavier Minium finding a wide open Dylan Reiff  for a 76 yard td, but on Central Mountains third play Ryan Pentz broke loose for a 30 yard score of his own. Pentz never slowed down and ran for 175 yards on 17 carries, scoring three times to lead the Wildcats to a 29-20 win on Heritage Homecoming night in Mill Hall.

“Oh definitely, you just have to thank them all the time” said Pentz about the Wildcats offensive line that opened gaping holes throughout the night for the speedy back. “We knew that we had to put in the work after the tough loss last week. We just knew that after the first win we have a special team, we just have to play out our schedule and finish strong.”

With the score tied at 6, Central started to grind out some offense. First the went on a 10 play, 56 yard drive capped by a 23 yard field goal from Tyler Weaver to put the Wildcats up 9-6 with 3:12 remaining in the first quarter. The Wildcat defense held Milton to three plays, and after the Panthers punted, Central, starting at their own 30, used 5 plays and took advantage of a Milton penalty to get to the three where Micah Walizer punched it in to give the Wildcats a 15-6 lead at the 9:42 mark of the second quarter.

 

“We find ways to do this every week. We can get in them but we have a hard time finishing off opponents but my hat goes off to Milton. I thought they played really well, their coaches had a really good game plan but for the fifth week in a row we had to find a way to grind it out and get things done” said Central Mountain’s head coach Shannon Manning. Grind they did as Central put another score on the board with 5:14 to play. Pentz got his second td of the night on a 4 yard run led by his offensive line. The kick was true and the Wilcats seemed to be in control with a 22-6 lead.

But the Panthers never gave up. After being held in check for most of the first half after the long td pass, Milton drove the length of the field and Chris Doyle went in from 7 yards out to pull the Panthers within 10 going into the break.

 

“Coming into the game we felt like we could have a nice game on the ground. Fortunately these kids found a way and they’re willing to keep gutting through” said Manning of the 352 yards of offense his team grinded out. On the third series of the second half, the Wildcat line opened another hole. Pentz did the rest, avoiding the Milton secondary and galloping 53 yards for the difference making touchdown, putting Central up 29-12 with 5:33 left in the third.  “Yeah, give them all the credit. They controlled the line of scrimmage and their quarterback (Brett Gerlach) played really good” said Milton head coach Phil Davis. “I made some mistakes in the play calling but I thought our kids played hard.”

Milton again fought back and, with 3:32 left in the third Minium found Reiff again for a 10 yard score to pull within nine, but the fourth quarter was dominated by Central who ground out a long, time consuming drive to put the Panthers against the wall. They didn’t score, but Milton couldn’t find the endzone either. “This is certainly not the end of the year for us. We were in a true football game and if we can learn and build from that I think that’ll help us as we move forward throughout the year” said Davis.

For the winning Wildcats, Pentz led the way on the ground with his 175 yards and three scores. Gerlach carried 8 times for 44 yards and threw for 82 yards. Walizer carried the ball five times for 24 yards and a score.

Milton quarterback finished the game with 133 yards and 2 scores, going 7-15.  Dylan Reiff caut three of those passes for 93 yards and two scores.

Milton will look to bounce back against 3-2 Mifflinburg and the Wildcats will host Warrior Run.

 

 

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