The Milford Bulldogs are once again making noise in the football postseason.
Under the guidance of longtime head coach Ronny Crumpton, the Bulldogs defeated Aquilla at Gladiator Stadium in Italy on Friday night, 56-18. The victory also improved Milford to 10-1 on the season, marking the sixth time over the past seven seasons that the Bulldogs have reached double-digit victories.
"I thought we came out and played strong but were a little flat in the second half," Crumpton said. "But I thought we took a lot of fight out of them in the first half. One thing about us is that we are pretty good, but we can get so much better."
Senior quarterback Ta'Ron Smith completed 5-of-his-6 passes for 67 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for a game-high 200 yards and three touchdowns.
Junior running back Ricky Pendleton added eight carries for 124 yards and one touchdown, while Jaiden Barr (2-12) added the other rushing score.
Corbin Schrotke (2-16), Jaden Johnson (1-5) and Pendleton (2-45) were all on the receiving end of the Smith touchdown passes.
Schrotke led the Bulldogs on defense with 15 total tackles, while Pendleton had 12 and Jaylon David recorded 11.
Barr recovered the lone Aquilla fumble and Damyan Woodward intercepted one pass.
"As the game went on, our defensive line played pretty good and we were decent in the back end, as well," Crumpton added. "The offense usually clicks pretty good, so when we figure it out on defense and get it going pretty good, then we are tough and our defensive line did that tonight. I am proud of that. In the second half, we got to roll in some fresh blood and get some kids some work. To get them some work in games like this is always good.
Milford (10-1) continues its march toward a third state championship (1979, 1980) Friday at 7:30 p.m. against (11-1) Union Hill in the Six-Man Division I Region III quarterfinals.
The winner will play either Gorman or Leakey in the regional finals with a bid to the 6A DI state championship on the line.
Fred Phipps/Daily Light contributed to this report.