By Sean Marraffini
In the 42nd annual Battle of the Bell, the Lake Forest Spartans visited Briggs Stadium on a rainy and windy fall night.
The Buccaneers received on the opening drive and were subsequently three and out on that drive. However on the ensuing Spartans possession, the Lake Forest running back fumbled the ball on a running play. Milford made it count with a rushing touchdown on the opposing drive. The PAT gave Milford a 7-0 lead.
The returning Lake Forest offensive drive turned into a punt and with an odd turn of events ended in a touchdown. While the ball was traveling in the air during the punt it bounced off the helmet of one of the Buccaneer players and was grabbed by the Spartan’s special team. After a short drive, a Spartans touchdown run and ensuing kick, tied the game at 7-7 with two minutes left in the first quarter.
“We felt we had several chances but turnovers just killed our momentum,” Head coach Mike Tkack said. “This is from interceptions, fumbles, getting hit in the head on a punt. They just hurt.”
The second quarter saw much of the Bucs and Spartans with three and out drives. With 26 seconds left in the second quarter Lake Forest called a time out right before a Milford field goal attempt. The Icing the kicker attempt worked as the kick went wide left and the teams went into half time tied at 7-7.
A few minutes into the third quarter Bucs running back Chas Holden had a 65 yard touchdown run to put the Bucs up 14-7. It wouldn’t be long, however, until Lake Forest would strike back. Another Spartan touchdown run brought them within one. The PAT would be blocked by Buccaneer Vance Daniels who sped towards the kick, threw his feet out in front of him, sliding on the ground, to get his hand up for the block. This gave Bucs a one point lead.
Milford would maintain that slim lead until 8:20 in the fourth quarter when a turnover by Bucs’ quarterback Nicholas Jefferson lead to yet another Spartan rushing touchdown.Lake Forest scored the touchdown but would be unable to convert the 2 points.
Despite the effort of the Bucs offense and tenacious play of Jefferson, Milford was unable to regain the lead and lost the Battle of the Bell, 19-14.
“He (Jefferson) is a scrappy player and I’m very happy with how he progressed throughout the year.” Tkack said.