Woodley leads Milton by Needham
MILTON — Facing their toughest challenge to date, Milton showed it has the whole package.
Isaiah Woodley reeled in a pair of touchdowns and linebacker Stephen Joyce forced two turnovers as the Wildcats grabbed sole possession of first place in the Bay State Herget with a 22-14 win over Needham last night at Brooks Field.
“We knew it was going to be a four-quarter game,” said Woodley. “They have a heck of a lot of talent, but we have something here we are trying to start ourselves. We came together tonight.”
Trailing 16-7 to begin the fourth quarter, the Rockets pulled within a score as Charlie Ogletree hit wide receiver Matt Smith on a curl route and he broke a pair of tackles for a 74-yard touchdown to trim the deficit to 16-14. Smith finished with eight receptions for 204 yards and two touchdowns.
Milton (5-1, 3-0) immediately answered with Luke McMenamin hitting Woodley in stride for a 44-yard touchdown for a 2214 lead.
Needham (5-1, 2-1) had a chance to tie the score, taking over at their own 29-yard line with three minutes left. Six straight completions by Ogletree, including one to Smith for 11 yards, moved the Rockets inside the Milton 10. But a penalty and a running play for a loss backed up the Rockets. On fourth down, the Wildcats batted down a jump ball intended for Smith to seal the win.
“Our kids just kept competing,” said Milton coach Steve Dembowski. “Just a great game. Needham obviously has great weapons, but we were able to hold the fort in the end.”
Milton struck first on the opening drive. On third-and-6, McMenamin connected with a wide-open Woodley for a 54-yard score and a 6-0 lead.
Needham jumped in front later in the quarter as Ogletree hit Smith on a back-shoulder throw for a 4-yard touchdown to give the Rockets a 7-6 lead. They had a chance to extend the lead midway through the second quarter working inside the Milton 40. Ogletree’s third down pass, however, was intercepted by Joyce, sending Milton into halftime only down a point.
Milton grabbed the lead on its first drive of the third quarter courtesy of a Max Winkler 28yard field goal, and added to it when Tyrecee Weeks recovered a muffed punt in the end zone for a 16-7 advantage.
CRUNCH TIME: Milton quarterback Luke McMenamin (left) takes a big hit from Needham’s William Hood last night; above, Milton’s Isaiah Woodley holds up the ball as he celebrates his touchdown with teammates Kevin Swanton (53) and John Barros in their 2214 victory in the battle of Bay State Conference powers.