In a matchup of two teams both desperately needing a victory to save their seasons under the lights and a constant drizzling rain, it would be Huron Valley Milford and its senior quarterback that would prevail.
The Mavericks stunned Brighton in the Dog Pound, 21-14, on Friday, Sept. 21 to snap a three-game losing streak and hand the host Bulldogs their fourth straight loss.
Leading the way for Milford was quarterback Alex Larson, who scored the game-winning touchdown with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard scramble to the right corner of the end zone.
Brighton then had two chances to answer the Mavs, but it turned the ball over on downs on its next drive and then advanced into Milford territory on the following drive. The Bulldogs appeared to get one final play off just before time expired, but officials ruled that Brighton snapped the ball before officials gave the signal that the play could start.
Milford had lost three straight games to Brighton, the defending Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) West Division co-champion, heading into last Friday’s game and fell behind late in the first quarter as Chase Browning threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Joey Keil to help put the Bulldogs up 7-0.
However, the Mavericks would respond on their next drive, as Larson threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Bell to cap an 11-play, 58-yard drive and tie the score at 7-7 just 40 seconds into the second quarter.
Bell was front and center again on Brighton’s next drive, as he recovered a Dan Buschman fumble for Milford at the Bulldogs’ 46-yard line, giving the Mavericks a chance to take the lead.
Thirteen plays later, Milford would convert on the turnover as Larson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal to put the Mavs up 14-7.
Milford’s defense preserved the lead just before halftime by forcing a Brighton turnover on downs at the Mavs’ 23-yard line.
However, Milford’s momentum was erased early in the third quarter as it went four-and-out and Larson’s initial punt went out of bounds at his own 42-yard line.
Five plays later, Browning threw his second touchdown on a 24-yard pass to Buschman, who redeemed himself for his earlier fumble.
The following seven drives were a defensive struggle, as Milford went four-and-out before forcing a Brighton turnover on downs at the Mavs’ 18-yard line.
Milford then marched down the field to the Brighton 15-yard line before turning the ball over on downs itself, before the next three drives resulted in punts.
Then starting at its own 39-yard line with just under 7 minutes left in the fourth, Milford went to work and advanced down the field before Larson threw a 34-yard strike down the sideline to Jonathon Schwartz, who made the catch at the Brighton 5-yard line.
Larson would then score his third touchdown of the night and the Mavericks would then touch off a jubilant celebration as time expired.
Milford only finished with 150 rushing yards on the night, with 88 of them coming from Daniel Wallace on 26 carries, while Larson completed 5-of-8 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown to go along with his two rushing touchdowns.
It wasn’t the prettiest of wins and certainly not the prettiest of nights, but the Mavs have emerged from the storm and now look to move back to the .500 mark when it hosting another 2-3 team, Howell, on Friday, Sept. 28.