A showdown will take place Friday between two Region 5AAAAAAA teams battling for playoff positioning.
As Milton (6-1, 3-0) travels to Woodstock (3-5, 1-2), both will have plenty of incentive as the regular season draws to a close.
A win for Milton would set it up to win the region championship next week with a win at Cherokee. Woodstock needs the win to keep its playoff destiny in its own hands. With a loss, the Wolverines would need help from Etowah to advance to the state playoffs.
Woodstock is coming off a 24-14 victory over archrival Etowah last week, with defense leading the Wolverines to victory. They will need a similar effort this week facing a Milton offense averaging 26 points per game. Preston Lawrence and Ryan Comeau each tallied defensive scores last week, but Woodstock will need to bolster and secure its run defense.
Etowah running back Klivert Many ran for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns against Woodstock last week, and Milton has a few standout runners of its own.
Jordan McDonald, the Eagles’ leading rusher, holds more than 20 college offers, including LSU, Tennessee and Michigan State. Fellow junior Devin Farrell is a dynamic runner as well, and Woodstock will need to attempt to keep both in check this week. Milton rushed for 254 yards in its win over archrival Roswell last Saturday.
“Our defense played exceptionally well last week, not only causing the turnovers, but turning those into points,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said. “Milton runs the ball exceptionally well, even with the quarterback, and when they get you sucked up playing the run, their play-action passing game is really explosive. Containing (Farrell) and getting him on the ground so he can’t make plays is going to be huge for us.”
Milton has a number of college prospects on its roster, but none are more sought after than sophomore defensive lineman Lebbeus Overton. The No. 1-ranked sophomore in the country according to 247Sports, Overton already holds offers from nearly every major college program in the country.
Woodstock quarterback Dan Comeau finished 14-for-21 last week, and the quick passing game could be one way to neutralize Overton this week. Wide receivers Wes Bruno and Sebastian Moss are two of the top three receivers in Cherokee County, and Georgia commit David Daniel will be asked to provide playmaking ability on both sides of the ball.
In addition to his defensive score last week, Lawrence added a team-high 43 rushing yards and a score on offense. Moss has also been used at running back in recent weeks, and keeping Milton’s defense honest in pass coverage will likely be another key to victory Friday.