Milford Football eyes another deep playoff run Scarlet Hawks boast more depth than past tourney teams
Milford football huddled during a recent game, the Scarlet Hawks are again among the state’s best. Contributed by Athletic Director Peter Boucher
By Chris Villani
Milford football has been no stranger to the MIAA state tournament in recent seasons, including a pair of trips to the sectional final in each of the past two years. MHS head coach Dale Olson said his team is looking to at least get back to that round this season, and potentially punch a ticket to a state title game at Gillette Stadium.
Olson said the depth and versatility he has this fall could be what puts the Scarlet Hawks over the top.
“I think we are a little more skilled with athletes,” he said. “We have had some good teams that made some deep runs, but it’s been on the back of a couple running backs or one wide receiver. This year, we have a multitude of kids who can score touchdowns.”
Speaking ahead of the pre-playoff finale against Franklin, Olson touted the balance of his offense, saying it’s probably more balanced than any team he has coached at Milford.
“Defensively, we have fast, physical kids,” he added. “The defense has played really well.”
Milford scored 30 or more points in four of its six victories to start the season. The Scarlet Hawks also pitched back-to-back shutouts against Wellesley and Natick in September.
Nick Araujo continues to be a standout in all three phases of the game as a running back, linebacker, and kicker.
“He has had great success running the football, playing defense, and he provides great leadership,” Olson said of the co-captain.
Keith Lee, another captain, is a tough, physical two-way lineman, his coach said.
Oliver McKee is in a similar mold, standing out on both sides of the ball. Milford has also been buoyed by junior quarterback Jack Buckley, who tossed 14 touchdown passes, amassed more than 1,000 yards through the air, and rushed for five more touchdowns through his first seven games.
Andrew Rivera, another senior, scored six touchdowns through that same span and led the team in sacks.
Milford is competing in a different division this year, having moved down to Division III, but Olson said the field is “loaded” and expects a challenge come tournament time.
“We need guys to keep playing hard and to continue to get better each week,” he said. “Our kids are doing well, they are grinding.”