Stoughton dominated the first half of its home game against Milton on Friday, Sept. 27, but the Red Hawks capped a thrilling comeback with a touchdown in double overtime to beat the Vikings 28-21 at Collins Field.
Milton improved to 6-0 overall and stayed atop the Badger South Conference with a 4-0 league record. Stoughton fell to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
The game did not start until 8:30 p.m. after an hour-and-a-half-long weather delay.
Milton’s Dane Nelson caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Evan Jordahl on fourth-and-3 in the second overtime, and the Red Hawks’ defense batted down three passes on the ensuing possession to end the game.
“I want to give credit to Coach (Rodney) Wedig. That’s a big, physical team that got down two scores and didn’t panic,” Stoughton coach Dan Prahl said. “I credit their kids for playing hard and sticking to what they do best. They made plays down the stretch and we didn’t. That’s what it came down to.”
The Vikings finished with nine penalties for 85 yards, with five infractions in the second half to Milton’s zero.
“We kept making it harder on ourselves as the game went on,” Prahl said. “Those little things kept adding up.”
Stoughton’s Adam Hobson scored a 25-yard rushing touchdown on the first play of the first overtime. The senior quarterback ran through a gaping hole in the middle of the field after faking a handoff to Quinn Arnott.
“That’s a play we’ve had a ton of success with in the last few weeks, but we hadn’t run it all game,” Hobson said. “With Quinn’s success and what the defense was showing, we knew we’d have the right read.”
Milton responded with a 13-yard touchdown reception by Jerry Jones.
The Vikings turned the ball over on downs at the Milton 3-yard line to start the second half, and the Red Hawks responded with a 16-play, 97-yard scoring drive. Milton converted four third downs on the drive, the final a 3-yard touchdown run by Nick Huber on third-and-goal with 10:04 remaining.
Jordahl scrambled 46 yards deep into Vikings territory and was late late out of bounds on the ensuing drive, and Huber scored from 5 yards out two plays later to tie the game at 14 with 3:07 left.
A 37-yard catch and run by Nathan Hutchinson set Stoughton up at the Milton 18 with 16 seconds left, but Jayce Rocha intercepted Hobson at the 1-yard line with five seconds left.
Arnott racked up 110 yards of offense in the first quarter, including a 56-yard touchdown burst through the right side on the first possession of the game.
“I had some encouraging words for the linemen, and it’s easy for me to run behind those big pads,” Arnott said. “It all starts with them up front.”
Hutcherson returned a punt 43 yards to set up the Vikings’ next score – a quarterback sneak from a yard out by Hobson with 1:09 left in the first half.
Stoughton will travel to Watertown on Friday. The Goslings (5-1, 3-1 Badger South) are coming off a 49-7 win over Fort Atkinson.