MILTON, Mass. –- If St. Sebastian’s and Milton Academy had played five minutes longer on Saturday afternoon, we could very well have seen a different result. In a fast-paced offensive game that was back-and-forth the whole second half, Milton was able to pull out the victory over the visiting Arrows, 31-27.
Drew Jacobs anchored the Mustangs’ (1-0) offensive attack with 139 yards, making his presence felt during Milton’s furious second half comeback.
St. Sebastian’s (0-1) Boston College-bound two-way star Connor Strachan (13 carries, 110 yards, TD) made his presence felt right off the bat on the Arrows’ first two drives. St. Sebastian’s finished with two touchdowns on the opening drives to show for their effort. Strachan ran in a three-yard touchdown, while quarterback Geoff Wade (8-10, 118 yards, 3 TD, INT) threw a touchdown pass to Matt Daniel (4 rec, 53 yards, 3 TD) to put the Arrows up 14-3 early on.
Playing hurt and with his team in desperate need of a big play, Jacobs came up with just that, bringing a kick return back 74 yards, setting up the Mustangs in prime position at the Arrows' six yardline. On the next play, Jacobs ran in a touchdown to bring the score to 14-10.
“The guys blocked for me well, I was able to keep my feet. I’m too slow so I couldn’t get in the endzone,” he joked.
Minutes later, St. Sebastian’s extended the lead once again, on Matt Daniels’ second touchdown catch of the day. The play was made possible by tight end Tyson Mattox, who laid down a big block to open up a hole for Daniels. The Mustangs were able to answer before the end of the half though, on a beautifully thrown ball by Anthony Scurto to receiver Domenic Cozier. Cozier, a re-classified sophomore who came to Milton by way of Milford High School, made an awe-inspiring catch in the back of the endzone to bring the lead down to four right before halftime.
“He’s gonna be good, he’s a 4.5 40 guy; he’s got wheels," Milton coach Kevin MacDonald said. "He’s fast, he’s a good player. He’s a repeat sophomore from Milford High, but he was a running back there, and we’ve got him playing receiver and a little defense too. He’s a very good player."
The Mustangs made a couple slight defensive adjustments at halftime, and the changes paid dividends immediately, as freshman defensive back Michael Silva picked up a St. Sebastian’s fumble and brought it back 45 yards to the end zone, giving Milton their first lead of the ballgame.
“We did a horrible job in the first half, but we did a nice job in the second half," MacDonald said. "We switched a couple guys from defensive end to tackle, that helped, and we went to a four-point stance and we got under them. That second half defense was great."
Wade found Daniel once again minutes later. It was their third hookup of the day, giving the Arrows back the lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Milton’s offense answered one last time though, as Scurto threw an 18-yard touchdown pass with 9:16 left in the fourth quarter, giving Milton a 31-27 lead.
“The offense played well the whole game, we didn’t get stopped too many times," MacDonald said. "Our running game was good the offensive line did a great job, and our quarterback is a veteran -- he’s a good player and he made plays when he had to."
It was Milton’s defense though, that gave the Mustangs possession with just over three minutes to go, following an interception by Luke MacDonald. Thereafter, Milton fed Jacobs the ball in hope that a few more first downs would help them seal the win.
Once again, the senior answered the call, breaking off for three straight first downs.
“Drew Jacobs was terrific. He was not 100 percent we didn’t know if he was going to play, but he did a great job,” Maconald said. “He’s a great player, he’s been a great player for three years. He’s arguably the best player in the league, so it’s not a shock. What was shocking is that he wasn’t able to practice all week, he was banged up, but it didn’t seem to affect him much.”
Jacobs said the emotion of playing a St. Sebastian’s team which has beaten Milton two years in a row was all the motivation he needed to step on the field.
“It was all adrenaline. We’ve been talking about this game all summer, we lost to them the last two years in close games, so this is the greatest win ever, this is awesome,” Jacobs said, with a bottle of ibuprofen in hand. “We’ve got St. George’s next week, so we’ll enjoy it tonight and get back to work Monday.”