Milton vs McEachern Preview

Pictured%3A+Debron+Gatling

Josh Major

Pictured: Debron Gatling

Jackson Thacker, Sports Writer

Last week, Milton suffered a defeat at the hands of Cedar Grove by a score of 14-7.

The low-scoring defensive battle came down to a controversial final play by Milton where quarterback Devin Farrell threw a fade to Lebbeus Overton which was swatted away by a Cedar Grove cornerback.

This week, Milton will welcome the McEachern Indians who are currently 2-3 this season. Milton will look to rebound after a shocking and heartbreaking defeat in their game against Cedar Grove.

Scouting Report: McEachern

Last week, McEachern secured a one-point win against the Newton Rams. This year’s McEachern team is not the powerhouse we are used to seeing; they are having trouble in many assets of the game.

Offensively, the Indians are led by Junior quarterback Bryce Archie. Archie has passed for 700 yards on 58 pass completions, four touchdowns and five interceptions. However, in McEachern’s game against Hillgrove, Archie went down with an injury and was unable to play the following week against Newton.

Enter sophomore Reece Kingeter who completed 10 passes for 55 yards, ran for a touchdown and threw three interceptions. If Archie is not healthy, Kingeter will make his second varsity start against Milton.

Senior Mekhi Crawley is the primary running back in the Indian’s dual-back set. Crawley has rushed for 248 yards on 46 carriers with four touchdowns. The second back is Freshman Makari Bodiford. Bodiford rushed for 168 yards on 58 carries and four touchdowns.

Senior Caleb Brown is the Indians leading receiver with 16 catches for 220 yards and a solo touchdown. Junior Sutton Smith is McEachern’s most athletic player. He currently has 178 receiving yards on 11 catches and a pair of touchdowns and is a threat on special teams.

McEachern’s defense is headed by 3-Star recruit Ese Dubre. Dubre is an athletic senior linebacker who can wreak havoc if he is not blocked. Senior Zion Outlaw is a ball-hawking safety who thrives on snagging interceptions. McEachern will need to force turnover as well as dialing up blitz packages to stop Milton and put their offense out on the field to create scoring opportunities.

 Scouting Report: Milton

Despite a late comeback attempt, Milton was unable to pull out a win, dropping to 2-1 on the season. The offense clearly had some troubles against a talented Cedar Grove defensive line. However, Milton’s defense played yet another great game, limiting a potent Cedar Grove offense to only 14 points. Milton saw junior running back Jordan McDonald go down with a shoulder injury late in the third quarter; it is unlikely he will see the field this week.

Last week, junior quarterback Devin Farrell threw 16 passes for 187 yards and one touchdown, Farrell rushed for 53 yards on 14 attempts. He finished with a QBR of 100.

Milton will rely on sophomore running back Jared Stephens to help carry the ball on the ground. Stephens currently has 38 yards on 16 attempts. It is also expected to see sophomore cornerback Bryce Thornton (younger brother of Bruce Thornton) take some handoffs at running back. Both players utilize their speed to cut through defenses.

The Eagles’ leading receiver last week was junior Adam Freas who caught five passes for 40 yards. Freshman Debron Gatling caught three passes for 28 yards.

Milton’s defense was the star of the show last week against Cedar Grove. The defense was led by sophomore defensive lineman Lebbeus Overton who had six tackles.

The linebacker group has been stellar, to say the least. Juniors Owen Pauley, Dylan Miller, and AJ Crawford combined for 25 total tackles and one sack all in one week.

Juniors Zyere Horton and Cam Canion, senior Garrett Smalley, and sophomore Bryce Thornton have been flying around in the secondary and shutting down passing lanes. The four combined for 13 tackles and three pass deflections last game.

Milton will need to rattle the young McEachern Quarterback with blitz packages to coerce him into turning the ball over and putting Milton’s offense on the field.

Game Predictions

This week, Milton will need to be smart with the ball. As we have seen in the past, Coach Clack tends to be quite aggressive. Milton cannot give McEachern any extra possessions where they can score.

Going into the game, McEachern’s offense will start out slow with Reece Kingeter at quarterback as he gets used to the system. Where McEachern struggles, Milton thrives; the defense is able to force a pair of turnovers and then the offense is able to capitalize by putting up touchdowns. Milton goes into the half with a strong 24-7 lead.

The key now for Milton is to own time of possession and slow the game down. McEachern’s production picks up and they go down to score two more times. However, it is too little too late as the Eagles walk off with a win and send McEachern back to Marietta with a loss.

Score Prediction:

Milton/38

McEachern/17

Offensive Player of the Game: Devin Farrell

Defensive Player of the Game: AJ Crawford

 

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