Milton vs. Roswell: The Backyard Brawl

Pictured%3A+Jordan+McDonald

Josh Major

Pictured: Jordan McDonald

Jackson Thacker, Sports Writer

In last year’s rendition of the Milton vs Roswell Rivalry, Milton was able to escape with a win off of an interception pass courtesy of former Milton Safety Jack Rhodes. Last year’s game was a low scoring defense battle with Milton winning by a score of 16-12.

This year’s matchup looks to be more of an even amount of offense and defense.

Both teams are coming into Saturday’s contest off of bye weeks. This game was moved to Saturday due to an unfortunate Covid-19 scare at Milton marking the first time in series history the game will be played on a Saturday.

Milton comes into the game with a record of 5-1 (2-0 in the region). Roswell boasts an undefeated record of 6-0 (2-0 in the region). Two weeks ago, Milton was easily able to beat Etowah by a score of 38-0. In Roswell’s game two weeks back, the Hornets to sneak out with a win against Cherokee by a score of 35-28. Saturday’s game plans to be quite exciting not only for its rivalry aspect but whichever team wins controls their own destiny for a region championship and a #1 seed in the playoffs.

Scouting Report: Roswell

Roswell is in their first year with former defensive coordinator Chris Prewett as their new head coach. In his first year, Prewett is undefeated with a key region win against Cherokee two weeks back.

Roswell’s offense is headed by Junior Quarterback Robbie Roper. In Roswell’s last game Roper threw 10 passes for 191 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Roper is not much of a dual-threat but he can escape the pocket and run periodically. One concerning note is that Roper is throwing for two interceptions per game.

Roswell likes to run a two-back set meaning Roswell utilizes Junior Running backs Ryan Hill Jr and Ryan Stephens. Last game Hill had fifteen carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. Stephens was limited to only six carries for 21 yards.

Roswell’s most athletic player is Senior Receiver Marquis Willis. Willis can put a 100-yard receiving game every time he plays. Last week Willis racked up three catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Roswell’s second receiver is Senior Michael Fitzgerald. In Roswell’s game against Walton, Fitzgerald exploded and caught three passes for 98 yards and one touchdown.

Roswell’s Defense is only allowing 15 points per game to their competition. The Hornets’ defense is led by Junior Linebacker Case Barrett. Barrett leads the team in total tackles with 66, ten total tackles and one forced fumble.

Roswell’s best defender is Sophomore Cornerback Ethan Nation. Nation currently has a record-setting seven interceptions on the season. Last week Nation had five tackles.

Scouting Report: Milton

Two weeks ago, Milton easily took care of the Etowah winning 38-0 and pitching their second shut out on the season. Milton had another offensive explosion behind the likes of Devin Farrell and Jordan McDonald. With the Etowah win, Milton strengthens their playoff record and stay perfect in region play. This week’s test against Roswell will give a good indication of where Milton thus far.

Junior Quarterback Devin Farrell will make his first start against the Hornets. Last week Farrell played his best game statistically in which he completed sixteen passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns. Farrell rushed on six attempts for 18 yards.

Last week, Junior Running back Jordan McDonald had thirteen carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

In conjunction with running the ball, Milton showed that they could air out the ball. Milton’s leading receiver was Senior Matt Evert who caught five passes for 102 yards and one touchdown. Junior Adam Freas caught two passes for 67 yards including one 55 yard touchdown. Senior Max St. Vrain caught his first touchdown on a fourteen-yard pass from Farrell.

Once again Milton’s defense pitched another shutout making it their second shutout of the year. Currently, the Eagles are only giving up eight points per game. This matchup against Roswell’s high scoring offense will truly test Milton’s defense.

Milton’s defensive line, which includes Lebbeus Overton, Connor Gay, Zack Tumminia, and Brendan Doyle, all combined for twelve tackles and five tackles for loss.

Junior Linebackers AJ Crawford, Dylan Miller, and Owen Pauley all had thirteen tackles in the last game against Etowah.

Juniors Zyere Horton, Cam Canion, Cam Stanely and Senior Garrett Smalley all combined for four tackles.

Keys to Victory: Roswell

For Roswell to win they are going to have to get their offense rolling and keep it on the field to own the time of possession. Roswell will need to establish the Roper to Willis connection for deep balls and play action. Roswell’s defense needs to keep Milton off the field for as long as they can so they can in turn keep the offense out and own time of possession.

Keys to Victory: Milton

One easy way Milton can take this game is to keep Roswell’s defense on their toes by setting up the run with McDonald and then hitting the play-action game for a substantial number of yards. Just like Roswell, Milton must own time of possession to take control and win this game. On defense, Milton needs to apply pressure and sack Roper to get him rattled and out of his rhythm.

Game Predictions

Early in the game, both teams start off slow as they try to figure each other out. Roswell can hit a deep ball with Willis and score a touchdown in the second quarter. However, Milton comes right back and scores a touchdown of their own. Roswell can put up ten more points and Milton scores another touchdown and Roswell goes into the half with a 17-14 lead. Each team scores another touchdown in the third quarter. However, Milton is able to block a Roswell punt and capitalize on it with a touchdown to take the lead. Milton’s defense makes one last stand and wins the game for the Eagles.

Score Prediction:

Milton-28

Roswell-24

Offensive Player of the Game- Devin Farrell

Defensive Player of the Game- Bryce Thornton