Milton vs. Cedar Grove: 7A Powerhouse vs. 3A Powerhouse

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Pictured: Adam Freas Photo Credit: Josh Major

Jackson Thacker, Sports Writer

Last week, Milton defeated Hapeville Charter by an electrifying score of 43-18. Milton goes onto a 2-0 record while Hapeville Charter drops their second straight game now standing at 0-2.

This week, Milton will face a 3A powerhouse in the Saints of Cedar Grove. Last year, Cedar Grove won the 3A state championship in a tightly contested battle over Crisp County. Just like Hapeville Charter, Cedar Grove will have to take a long bus ride up to the Eagles Nest.

Milton will be Cedar Grove’s season opener and it could not be a more exciting contest.

Scouting Report: Cedar Grove

Last year, Cedar Grove won many of their games by large margins. Offensively the Saints are led by Senior Quarterback Austin Smith. Smith is a 3-Star recruit committed to Eastern Michigan (per 247 Sports). Smith is listed as a dual-threat quarterback meaning he utilizes his running abilities along with his arm to exploit defenses. This should be interesting to see how Milton handles a true dual-threat quarterback.

The Cedar Grove offense is aided by Junior Running back Rashod Dubinion. Dubinon has received offers from prestigious Division One schools such as Auburn, Florida and Baylor; he is uncommitted (per 247 Sports).

The best receiver for the Saints is by far Junior Janiran Bonner. Bonner is ranked as a 4-Star and has received offers from Georgia, Auburn and Oklahoma, he is currently uncommitted (per 247 Sports).

The Saints defense is headed by Senior Safety Jordan Grier. Grier is a 3-Star prospect committed to Indiana (per 247 Sports). Cedar Grove will have quite the test in trying to stop the high powered Milton offense. This will be their first look at a 7A team in a year, and it should be interesting to see how Cedar Grove prepares for such a daunting task.

Scouting Report: Milton

Milton showed again just how potent their team is in all assets in the game. At times, Milton did look like a state championship winning team. With that being said, Milton came up short in scoring opportunities such as the two fumbles in the red zone and an intercepted pass that prevented points right before the half. However, those setbacks can easily be cleaned up going into Friday’s game.

Milton is now 2-0 and needs to pick up a victory against a talented Cedar Grove team to solidify their confidence going into another big matchup against McEachern next week.

Last week the Milton offense exploded putting up 43 points en route to another victory. Milton’s Quarterback, Devin Farrell, went 17 for 22 and threw for 187 yards, threw for one touchdown and rushed for another. Farrell finished with a quality QB rating of 98.1.

Junior Running back Jordan McDonald rushed for 85 yards and scored an impressive three touchdowns as he powered across the Hornets all game long.

Senior Matt Evert led the receiving game with two receptions for twenty four yards and one touchdown. Junior Adam Freas racked in three catches for thirty three yards. Junior Tight End Jack Nickel pulled in two catches for 18 yards.

Defensively the Eagles played quite intensely. Sophomore Lebbeus Overton led the defense with two strip sacks, five tackles, and three tackles for loss. Junior safety Zyere Horton had one pass deflection and a fumble recovery which he ran back for a touchdown.

Junior linebackers Owen Pauley and Dylan Miller played another terrific game both combining for eleven tackles, two tackles for loss and one fumble recovery.

Milton will need to force some turnovers to take the potent Cedar Grove offense off the field and gain momentum for the rest of the team.

Game Predictions

Last week, we saw Milton set an aggressive tone with many two-point attempts and attempted fourth down conversions. If Milton wants to win this tough game, they are going to have to keep that same aggressive mentality to keep Cedar Grove on their toes and make them expect the unexpected. With that being said, it is always a gamble being so aggressive, so Milton needs to be selective when they try something out of the ordinary.

The Saints need to keep the Eagles off the field and own time of possession to create scoring opportunities and keep their defense well rested.

Going into the game both teams will start out strong, but Milton will have the upper hand going into halftime and lead by a score of 17-14. We will see spectacular defensive play by both teams in the second half, however Milton gets a strong offensive push towards the end of the game, scoring two more touchdowns, and sending Cedar Grove back to Ellenwood with a season-opener loss.

Score: Milton/27 Cedar Grove/20

Offensive Player of the Game: Devin Farrell

Defensive Player of the Game: Zack Tumminia

 

Side Note: This game will be televised on Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB)