FAIR HAVEN – Milton found a passing game and its defense in the second half when it beat Fair Haven 39-37 last Friday.
Cole Reilly fired a pair of touchdown passes to Chris McClellan — the first put the Yellowjackets into the lead and the second ensured the victory in a wild Division II football game.
With the Slaters leading 30-26, Reilly shook off a hard hit on the pass rush and found McClellan in the back of the end zone on third down for a 10-yard TD strike at 6:04 of the third period to push Milton into the lead for keeps.
Reilly then connected with McClellan again on fourth down with a 19-yard TD pass with 1:03 remaining in the game.
Even though Fair Haven put together a three-play, 65-yard drive with a 50-yard hook-and-lateral from Andrew Reid to Jacob Alexander to Dakota Euber as its centerpiece, it was only enough to draw close.
Milton shut down the Slater offense in the second half, limiting the team to only 97 yards and that desperation score. Fair Haven had only 17 offensive plays in the second half.
Meanwhile the Yellowjackets ground out two long drives and controlled the clock with their power running game.
There was more than a bit of excitement in the second half as McClellan and Euber traded long touchdown runs on consecutive kickoffs. McClellan ran the second half kickoff back 84 yards only to be matched by Euber’s 67-yard return for a touchdown on the ensuing kick.
McClellan ended up with three touchdowns, while Geoff Gadbois added a 14-yard TD run, Ethan Lawrence chipped in a 27-yard touchdown ramble and Jonah Blatt added a 65-yard touchdown run.
Euber took the first play to the house on a 38-yard TD pass from Reid, who added a 20-yard scoring run. Euber closed the first half with a 14-yard scoring run from the Wildcat. Cody Bradish hit a 25-yard field goal.
Milton piled up 373 yards, with 321 coming on the ground. Blatt led the way with 119 yards on 20 carries, while Gadbois contributed 87 yards on 16 carries.
Fair Haven racked up 323 yards, but 230 came in the first half and 195 came through the air. Reid was nine of 19 for the 195 yards, while Euber led the rushing attack with 99 yards on nine carries.
Milton improved to 4-2, and Fair Haven fell to 3-3.