CAMBRIDGE – Milton Academy saved their unbeaten season with 35 unanswered second-half points and doubled up BB&N, 42-21, yesterday to improve to 7-0 on the season.
Kalel Mullings did in all in the final two quarters with three touchdowns to lead the Mustangs in the come-from-behind victory as Milton Academy trailed 21-7 at halftime. The Michigan-bound Mullings scored once on the ground, once through the air on a touchdown strike from quarterback Jake Willcox and finished off the scoring with an electric 54-yard punt return to finish off the Knights (4-3)
But Mullings didn’t point towards his ground game or anything he did throughout but referenced some divine intervention.
“We went into the locker room and our line coach, coach (Paul) Healey passed away last season in the spring and we knew he was watching us the whole game,” said Mullings. “We knew he wouldn’t have been proud of us with the way we were playing so we had to come back in the second half and play for him.”
Paul Healey passed away in May and this season has been dedicated to the former assistant coach who was on the staff for Milton Academy for 28 years.
BB&N were fighting for their playoff lives and had the Mustangs stunned at the half with a 21-7 lead.
Jared SIlverio tied things up at 7-7 with a five-yard run and followed it up with a five-yard TD pass to Tyler Martin as the Knights took the lead, 14-7 with 1:28 left in the first half. Sammy Malignaggi seemed to have the dagger as the cornerback picked off Willcox on the next series and ran it back for a 65-yard touchdown with 22 seconds left in the first half and a 21-7 lead at the break.
“We knew we weren’t playing great ball and we were almost conceding the game,” said Mustangs head coach Kevin Macdonald. “That was one of the best comebacks that I remember and we kind of controlled every aspect of the game (in the second half).”
Willcox, who scored the game’s first touchdown the game, seemed to have pulled a calf muscle during the opening touchdown celebration. Wilcox was not the same quarterback for most of the first half but he shook off the injury for a stellar second half of play.
Mullings scored on a one-yard plunge to end a 12-play opening drive in the second half for the Mustangs while Luke Thorbahn scored on the next series from eight yards out on the ground to tie things 21 at the end of the third.
“We came out with some energy and just out worked them in the second half,” added Mullings. “The undefeated season pushes us but each game is its own individual game. Every Saturday, or Friday anyone can win so it’s all about what you can do in the moment. You aren’t thinking about the other games.”
Willcox contributed three touchdowns of his own for Milton Academy and was pivotal in the first of Mullings three touchdowns going 4-for-4 for 36 yards in the 66-yard drive.
Kai Lannon got behind the secondary and scored from 40 yards out on a Willcox floater over the defense to give Milton Academy the lead for good with 9:15 showing in the fourth quarter.
But the Mustangs were only getting started.
Mullings scored on a wheel route pass down the right sideline from Willcox for the 20-yard score and then capped it all off with his 54-yard punt return with just under three minutes to play.
“Mullings played a great game he was superb in the second half on both sides of the ball and special teams,” said Macdonald, who is in this 38th season with Milton Academy. “He really was one of the leaders of the comeback as we really didn’t do anything in the first half. It was like night and day.”