MILTON — St. Sebastian’s three first-half drives resulted in three touchdowns and it looked as though the Arrows would run through Milton Academy Saturday.
But a few defensive adjustments at halftime and a rush of adrenaline from Drew Jacobs turned the tide for the Mustangs.
Milton forced two second-half turnovers and Jacobs turned into a workhorse at running back as the Mustangs came back to post a 31-27 victory.
“That second-half defense was great,” said Milton Academy coach Kevin MacDonald. “We switched a couple guys down from defensive end to tackle and that helped, and we went to a four-point stance and just got under them and got low. That made a huge difference.”
The Mustangs finally stopped the Arrows on their first drive of the second half and the momentum began to turn. On St. Sebastian’s next drive, Michael Silva recovered a fumble and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown to put Milton Academy ahead, 24-21.
Starting its next drive at its own 11-yard line, the Arrows began a long march down the field. Geoff Wade threaded the needle to Matt Daniel for a 5-yard touchdown on fourth and goal — the duo’s third touchdown of the day — to put St. Sebastian’s back on top, 27-24.
Milton Academy then turned to Jacobs. Four straight runs from the senior got the Mustangs to the 18-yard line.
From there, senior quarterback Anthony Scurto found Jeffrey Brown in the end zone for a touchdown and the lead.
“[Scurto] is a veteran,” MacDonald said. “He’s a good player and he made a couple plays when he had to.’’
With under four minutes left in the game, Wade threw a deep pass that was intercepted by Luke Macdonald. Milton Academy took over at its 30-yard line with 3:40 to play.
Fighting through his injury, the specifics of which his coach would not disclose, Jacobs converted his gutsiest runs of the day of 10 and 16 yards to get a first down after the Mustangs were faced with a first and 20. Needing one more first down to drain the clock, Jacobs turned in an 11-yard run that did the job.
“He’s arguably the best player in the league, so it’s not a shock,” MacDonald said. “What was shocking was he wasn’t able to practice all week and was banged up. We didn’t know if he was going to play.”
The Milton Academy defense allowed 246 first-half yards, but just 106 in the second half.
Jacobs finished with 27 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown.
“[St. Sebastian’s] is a tough defense, but the line did great,” Jacobs said. “The defense did great and got us the ball, and that was the difference.
“We’ve been talking about this game all summer. We lost to them the last two years in close games and this is the greatest win ever.”