MILTON - It looked almost too easy for Milton's offense against Warrior Run on Friday at Alumni Field in the annual Tomato Bowl game.
No matter what the Black Panthers did, it pretty much resulted in something successful all night, be it on the ground or through the air.
The Black Panthers had seven possessions in the game and its first six all ended the same way: with a touchdown. Milton used its six-touchdown performance to pummel Warrior Run, 42-14, and claim the Tomato Bowl trophy for the first time in three years.
"The Wing T is no secret," Warrior Run coach Mark Burrows said. "We didn't stop it. They were better than us, they blocked better than us, they ran better than us and they're a better football team than we are. We just simply didn't stop them."
The Black Panthers shortest drive that resulted in a touchdown was a five play, 59 yard drive in the third quarter. It was Milton's ground game that worked perfectly for the Black Panthers offense in helping to set up quarterback Brady Chappell, who went 6 for 8 for 148 yards and four touchdown passes.
"My line gave me time to throw and they opened up the holes for the running backs and we just ran all day," Chappell said.
It was Josh Brown (12 carries, 82 yards, TD) and Jayson English (8, 80) breaking tackles and drawing the defense in that allowed Chappell to air it out.
"We're a running team. We run the ball first to set up our pass," Milton coach George Goodwin said. "When we get those corners and that safety cheating up to stop the run, we think we can hit some big things and Brady was able to do that basically at the end of the game with Taylor Porter."
The Black Panthers ground game wore down the Defenders defense, as Milton rushed for 265 yards on 42 carries. Conversely, Warrior Run struggled in all facets offensively against the Milton defense. Milton's offense converted 23 first downs, including 16 in the first half, while the Defenders had just nine.
Warrior Run went three-and-out on its first two possessions in the first quarter and netted just nine yards of offense before it finally converted a first down to start the second quarter when Garrett Moser hit Zach Burrows for a 12 yard completion. The Defenders had two huge drives in the second quarter, but neither resulted in a score.
Warrior Run drove 59 yards to open the second to get down to Milton's seven yard line, but failed to punch it in or convert the first down on 4th and three. Milton took over and drove 93 yards for the score. The Defenders then drove 74 yards on 13 plays to get the ball down to the Milton four, but had time run out before being able to score.
"We weren't ready to play when the whistle blew," Burrows said. "Milton took it to us early and we didn't get out of the hole. We can't continue to make mistakes. Our kids got to get hungry and want to play when the whistle blows. We're just not there yet."