Milford football holds off Hollis Brookline to win opener

MILFORD – Coach Keith Jones had to be sitting on top of the world on Friday night after his Milford High team knocked off Hollis Brookline, 35-21, in the season opener.

His Spartans built a comfortable 28-0 halftime lead and coasted home in the second half.

They also committed just enough mistakes so this weekend’s film session will be chock-full of Spartan teaching points.

But the icing on all of this was the game his quarterback Gavin Urda had, making nearly all of those opening night Spartans simply vanish into the night with his scintillating 16-carry, 257-yard, three-touchdown performance.

“He’s the real deal,” said Jones. “We had some sloppiness for sure, but he was excellent.”

The senior kick-started the Spartans, who sputtered early, with an interception in the end zone to thwart a Cavalier scoring threat.

Really, it should have, or at least could have been 14-0 HB. Instead Urda took his first keeper of the season 67 yards to paydirt, giving Milford the 7-0 lead with 4:49 left in the first quarter.

“Basically, it all starts with (fullback) J.R. (Ughu),” said Urda. “They’re all collapsing on him and it makes it easy for me to rip off the big run. I thought our guys up front played tough. We had some injuries but they really fought through it.”

Ughu’s three-yard score would make it 14-0 in the first, and Urda added TDs of 47 and 5 yards with four perfect PAT kicks from Colin Gregg to account for the 28-0 advantage at the break.

Meanwhile, Hollis Brookline’s 2019 start could only be considered nightmarish.

Austin Johnson started things brilliantly with a 70-yard kick return only to have it called back on the rarest of rare offensive facemask calls.

Talk about a harbinger of things to come. HB was hit with flags from all angles, including yet another offensive facemask, a 25-yard chop block, four holds, a pair of personal fouls and yes, the dreaded “illegal kick” (of the football, not another human).

In all, HB was hit with 12 flags for 140 yards.

“We didn’t stop them,” said Jones, whose club was flagged only once for offsides and once on a procedure. “We out scored them. They had a lot of penalties. We did not. That was big.”

Forced to play without senior playmaker Quinten Wimmer, who was injured in a scrimmage, the Cavaliers were still plenty exposive.

Senior QB Sander Wimmer was immense, despite two interceptions. He threw for 305 yards and pair of TD on 21 of 28 passing, while running 16 times for 136 yards and a TD.

“Penalties killed us,” said HB coach Chris Lones. I don’t know what was going on out there in the first half.”

The penalties were simply too much to overcome.

Without his favorite target Wimmer spread the wealth. Blake Bergerson had a monster second-half, catching TD bombs of 62 and 48 yards in a six-catch, 173-yard night. Austin Johnson added 8 grabs for 81 yards.