Football state championship preview: Colquitt County vs. Milton
December 10, 2018
Milton Eagles (12-2) vs. Colquitt County Packers (14-0)
8:00 | Wednesday, Dec. 12 | Mercedes-Benz Stadium | Atlanta, GA
Jaycee Harden (Junior): 160/259, 2,396 passing yards, 22 touchdowns (TDs), 6 interceptions (INTs)
Daijun Edwards (Junior): 210 carries, 1,379 rushing yards, 26 TDs, 6.6 yards per carry
Lemeke Brockington (Sophomore): 29 catches, 589 receiving yards, 6 TDs, 20.3 yards per catch
Rashard Revels (Senior): 198 total tackles
Kendrick Neloms (Senior): 14 sacks
Jay Ward (Senior): 6 INTs
Previewing the Colquitt Offense
Colquitt County features a balanced offensive attack that averages 183 yards per game through the air and 189 yards on the ground, which has led to them scoring 40 or more points in ten different games this season.
The Packers are spearheaded by their star running back Daijun Edwards. The junior has over 1,300 rushing yards on the season and has offers from the likes of Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and Penn State.
Starting QB Jaycee Harden is a two-sport star with baseball and football, and his ability to be smart with the ball (22 TDs compared to only 6 INTs) has allowed this Colquitt offense to be both efficient and potent.
Harden spreads the ball around to his wideouts fairly well, as five wide receivers have over 20 caught this season. Sophomore Lemeke Brockington may measure in at 5”11, but he is a great vertical threat for this team. Brockington leads the team with averages 20 yards per catch and is a threat to take it the end zone whenever he touches the ball.
Previewing the Colquitt Defense
The Colquitt defense, much like their offense, has been fairly dominant all season. The Packers only allow an average of nine points per game, and they are led by three elite seniors.
Safety Rashard Revels (198 tackles) and linebacker Kendrick Neloms (171) are two of Georgia’s top five tacklers in the state, while linebacker Marcus Anderson backs them up with 99 tackles of his own. What is even more impressive is that the three stars have combined for a whopping 102 tackles for loss and 36 sacks this season, meaning that this trio really changes the game with the amount of negative plays that they force. Rashard Revels is a 3-star recruit who is committed to play college football at UAB as well.
Conerbacker Jay Ward leads this team with 6 INTs and holds offers from LSU and Kentucky, while 5”9 safety Camari Louis anchors the back end with 4 INTs of his own and is committed to play at Kennesaw State.
Milton has thrived in the underdog role during the playoffs, but this is by far the Eagles’ toughest test yet.
Milton has gone through the playoffs by pulling off multiple upsets. The Eagles have taken down South Gwinnett, Mill Creek, Hillgrove and Lowdnes County, all of which are high-quality football programs in Georgia and were difficult opponents.
Colquitt HC Rush Propst is in his 10th season with the Packers, and he has 104 wins compared to 34 losses in those years. The Packers have four regional championships, two state championships and one National Championship since 2014. Moral of the story, Colquitt is an elite high school football program that is used to winning.
They’ve been in these type of major games before, while Milton has not, which is only one more advantage that Colquitt has. However, Milton has overachieved up to this point, and is now playing with essentially nothing to lose. As heavy favorites, the pressure is on Colquitt to win this game because they are expected to, and anything less than a state title is a disappointment for that program. Therefore, the Eagles can play freely and take some risks to even the playing field.
Ultimately, this game will come down to whether or not Milton can run the ball effectively and sustain long drives. If the Eagles manage to dominate time of possession, they can keep the Colquitt offense off the field while also keeping their defense fresh. The Packers’ defense is physical, fast, and big, so getting good push up front to establish the running game will be difficult.
The Packers will hold a slim lead for most of the game and appear to be in control. However, a couple of pivotal plays from Jordan Yates on some late scoring drives will give Milton the lead, and the defense will bow up and make a stop that caps off a magical 2018 campaign for Milton.
Key To The Game: Can Jordan Yates and Josh Edwards find room to run against the stout Colquitt defensive line and linebackers?
Milton Eagles 24 | Colquitt County Packers 21
Jordan Yates | QB | Milton