Milford @ Lakota West Recap


Nick Johnson

In an exciting tournament game, the Lakota West Firebirds took on Milford in round two of the OHSAA playoffs. Before the game, the West sideline seemed very confident in their ability to win. Players almost seemed a bit too confident, but we spoke with Coach Bolden before the game, and he had told us that looking over teams like Milford is a concern, but they made sure that this team wasn’t going to sleep on the Eagles. We also caught up with starting QB Mitch Bolden who told us that the win last week against West Clearmont was nice to have, but they take things week by week and the team had reset to focus on Milford.

In the first quarter things got off to a slow start for both teams, mainly Milford, but there was one clear problem that plagued Lakota West throughout the half, a severe lack of discipline. Penalty markers shot out of the referee’s pockets and lit up the field like fireworks on Independence Day. The score after the first 12 minutes was 14-0 West. Not bad, but the sideline wasn’t thrilled. In the second quarter the penalty issue continued, and West had allowed Milford to put up their first points. The score heading into the locker room was 14-7. Just before players marched off the field there were screams of, “this should not be a game right now” and, “Is this what you guys want” from the coaches and players.
If there is one thing that stands out to me about Head Coach Tom Bolden, it is his ability to completely turn a team around and make halftime adjustments. This team seemed like a whole new squad when they took the field in the third quarter. West had taken a 42-14 lead after seemingly everything went their way. Offense, defense, special teams, everything was clicking. In the fourth quarter, the Firebirds had officially taken a 30+ point lead, enough to keep the clock running and inevitably seal Milford’s fate after what seemed like a promising start for them. The final score for the second week in a row was 49-14.

Coming up this Friday in Princeton, the Firebirds and the Saint Xavier Bombers face off in a rematch of week one, Lakota West’s first and only loss this year. It should be a thrilling game for sure, and this team is not counting themselves out after what happened in week one. A win would bring the Firebirds to the regional finals against either Princeton or Moller.