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Hawks Fall to Nashoba in Play-offs
For the second time in two and a half weeks, Nashoba used a stifling defense to shut down Milford High. The Chieftains allowed only two first downs and 53 yards in a 35-0 win over the Scarlet Hawks in the Division 1 Central Mass play-offs. Nashoba moved on to the Super Bowl, falling to St. John's 31-21 in the title game.
Milford saw its season come to an end with a 7-5 record. The Hawks had lost to Nashoba in strikingly similar fashion just two games before. In the second-to-last game of the regular season, the Chieftains knocked off the Hawks 35-7 behind a defensive effort that held Milford to two first downs.
But the Hawks are able to look back on a season that saw them advance to the post-season and pick up a win on Thanksgiving, two things that have eluded the program over the past several years. Milford had not beaten Shrewsbury on Turkey Day since 2006, meaning the current crop of seniors had never experienced a win in the rivalry.
It was only fitting that the seniors played important roles in the Hawks 20-6 victory. Co-captain Brian Sanchioni took home offensive MVP honors for his play on the offensive line while classmate Zack Skerry was named the team's Most Valuable Lineman.
Milford trailed 6-0 in the third quarter when they were able to take advantage of some great field position to take a lead they would not relinquish. Tyler Asam ran for the go-ahead score after the Hawks got the ball deep in Shrewsbury territory. The Colonials had elected to punt from deep within their own territory, and a poor kick gave Milford the ball with a short field. Bill Belichick might have taken the safety, but he was busy leading the Patriots to a win in Detroit. Milford was happy to take advantage, and take the lead.
The Hawks capped off the win with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns, and were able to keep Shrewsbury's 1,000 yard back, Alex Paulina, relatively in check in the win.
With the Thanksgiving win, and the post-season trip, the Hawks have plenty to build upon heading into next season. The aforementioned captains Sanchioni, Skerry, and Asam, are graduating in the spring, but Milford brings plenty of talent back next year. Starting quarterback Steve Morganelli is only a junior. Also back are wide outs J.J. Branch, Jarrod Casey, and Chris Casey, who iced the Turkey Day win with a huge defensive play, a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown.
So while Milford's season may have ended one game shy of a trip to the Super Bowl, the Scarlet Hawks figure to be right back in the post-season mix when it's time to carve the turkey in 2011.




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