Vikings suffer devastating loss at homecoming

Brian Dengler
Staff Writer

Vikings football players line up face-to-face against Milford Academy at the 20 yard line. PHOTO BY THOMAS MARRA | The Hudsonian Student Newspaper

Vikings football players line up face-to-face against Milford Academy at the 20 yard line.

As the skies darkened with the dimming stadium lights, the air of defeat threatened to strangle those left contemplating the bleak game they just witnessed.

The Vikings walked away from homecoming with a devastating loss against Milford Academy, in a game that ended 46-7.

“Our mind-set for every game is that we go in prepared with a game plan that enables us to win the game. Although we realize that some games will be tougher than others, we feel like every game we go into is a game we can win.” said head coach Michael Muehling.

Hudson Valley received the ball first to kick off the game. Early on, they decided to lean on the running attack, running the ball with freshman sports management major Jaron Lee five times and only passing it once.

The next two drives were pretty short for Milford and Hudson Valley, as it seemed like it could potentially be a low-scoring defensive battle. Milford went for it on 4th down with a pass, which ended up incomplete, instead of opting to punt it away. Hudson Valley then had to punt it after going three-and-out.

With six minutes, 46 seconds left in the first quarter, Milford drove the ball down the field, draining the clock with a well-designed running game. With eight seconds to spare, Milford ran the ball into the endzone on a first and goal, hitting the PAT, and putting themselves on the board, 7-0. Hudson Valley received the ball on a kickoff with only eight seconds to go, ran the ball, and ended the first quarter.

After two short drives by both teams to kickoff the second quarter, quarterback and sophomore criminal justice major Tajmaleeak Beckett threw an interception four minutes, 30 seconds in.
Milford’s offense continued to impress with four straight first-downs. They then scored another touchdown with eight minutes, 51 seconds to go in the quarter. Despite that impressive drive, they couldn’t follow it up with the PAT for the second consecutive time that night.

On their first attempt, Hudson Valley blocked the PAT and returned it to the opposite end zone. Then, Hudson Valley was called for offsides, and the score was taken back. On their second attempt, the kick missed the goal posts and left Milford without the extra point. Despite that, Milford still had a commanding 13-0 lead.

Hudson Valley’s second possession went much differently than their other drives.
Freshman quarterback and physical education major Wesley Manning was sent in to replace Beckett, for now. Manning completed a deep pass to freshman wide receiver and business administration major Edwin Baez for an impressive score. With eight minutes, 26 seconds left in the second quarter, he connecting with the PAT and finally put Hudson Valley on the board with a score of 13-7.

“Honestly, every game is a big game. In a sport like football where you only place once a week, you have to treat every single game as the biggest game on the schedule,” said Muehling. “You don’t and you run the risk of a let down.”

Muehling continued, “It’s natural to try and put more emphasis on a game like homecoming, but if you are doing that, that means you could be doing more for every game. So every game you play should be approached as the biggest game of the season.”

Hudson Valley seemed to be getting things going on both sides of the ball until the next kickoff happened.

Milford took it to the house with eight minutes, six seconds to go. They then tried to follow it up with a two-point conversion attempt, but failed. Milford held on to the lead, with a score of 19-7.

Hudson Valley’s next drive didn’t go as well as their previous one, as they fumbled the ball and Milford recovered it with ease.Nine seconds later, Milford fumbled the ball on a rushing attempt and Hudson Valley recovered it almost immediately.

Their next drive ended rather quietly, concluding with the ball being punted away on fourth down.Every drive that followed ended scoreless, sending both teams into halftime with a score of 19-7.

“This season has been tough, but I think the kids have kept their effort and enthusiasm up, we just need to execute a little better and do the little things right to the best of our abilities.” said Muehling when asked about the team’s season.

To kick off the second half, Milford received the ball and continued their offensive domination.
Continuing to rely on the running game, they scored another touchdown doing precisely that.
Once again, they tried to go straight for the two-point conversion and failed, but kept their lead 25-7.

After an unsuccessful Hudson Valley drive, Milford struck paydirt yet again. However, this time around, they were successful on their two-point conversion, bringing the score up 33-7.
Hudson Valley and Milford each had two relatively quiet drives, until Milford picked off Manning to end the third quarter.

Milford’s first possession of the fourth quarter was fruitless, so they were forced to punt. Following that punt, Manning threw his second pick of the night, which looked like it was ultimately the reason he was benched in favor of Beckett.

Milford’s next possession was fairly quick, as it only lasted a little over two minutes and ended in them reaching the end zone. Missing the PAT again, they still held their impressive lead at 39-7.

Beckett’s first drive back in was short, as Hudson Valley ended up punting the ball away again.
Milford’s next drive was an eventful one. After faking a punt on fourth down and taking it to the house, Milford’s score was brought back after getting called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
After five straight rushing plays, they unsurprisingly scored again, converting on the PAT and moving up 46-7.

Hudson Valley’s last drive of the game concluded quietly, punting the ball away to Milford and ending the game with a final score of 46-7.

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