Milton vs. Woodstock

Pictured%3A+Brendan+Doyle%0ALebbeus+Overton

Josh Major

Pictured: Brendan Doyle Lebbeus Overton

Jackson Thacker, Sports Writer

Last Saturday night, in a sellout game, Milton took down their archrival Roswell by a score of 20-14. With their successful win, Milton now controls the region as well as a spot in the state playoffs, making it the Eagles fifth straight season in the playoffs. Roswell drops to 6-1 (2-1 in the region) and losing their first game of the season, next week Roswell will welcome Alpharetta. This week, Milton (6-1, 3-0 in the region) will face Woodstock (3-5, 1-2 in the region). In the last 16 years, Milton has led the series 5-1. With a win over the Wolverines, Milton will inch closer to a third straight region championship.

Scouting Report: Woodstock

Woodstock is coming off of a 24-14 win against Etowah. Woodstock has three wins coming against Sequoyah, Campbell and previously mentioned Etowah.

Leading the offense is sophomore quarterback Dan Comeau. Comeau is a pocket-style passer and is not comfortable outside of the pocket. Comeau does not have the strongest arm so he relies on his receivers to make a play.

Woodstock’s number one running back is senior V’ontae Hampton. Hampton is a shifty and speedy runner who specializes at getting past the defensive line with his skills and running into the defensive secondary.

Wes Bruno is the Wolverines’ best receiver. Once Bruno catches the ball, he is very hard to bring down due to his size. Woodstock’s second-leading receiver is senior Sebastian Moss. Moss is very quick of the line and gets open a lot.

Woodstock’s defense is currently letting up a shocking 45 points per game, which is not a good matchup against Milton’s offense. Woodstock’s best player by far is senior David Daniel. Daniel is a four-star safety committed to Georgia (per 247 Sports). He has a good frame with size and ability to carry all 205 pounds of him.

Woodstock’s Jarae Foster is an athletic cornerback and a good pass defender. Senior Brett Stefan does a great job of getting into the backfield and putting pressure on the quarterback. Senior Ryan Comeau plays at the linebacker spot and is a hard hitter who can force fumbles.

Scouting Report: Milton

Last week, Milton created early momentum by scoring a touchdown on every single drive except the last one before half time. The defense did their part with another first-half shutout. Early in the game, Milton went with a fake punt that was snapped to junior Adam Freas in which he picked up the first down plus eleven yards. Personally, I think the fake punt helped set the tone that Milton was going to control this game. After the first half, Milton did slow up, allowing Roswell to come back and make the game close. A big shoutout to senior Garrett Smalley who had two huge kick recoveries to deny Roswell any extra possessions. Then, sophomores Jared Stephens and Bryce Thornton had some big runs, allowing Milton to run out the clock and win the game.

As expected, Devin Farrell will make the start this week. Last week, Farrell passed for six completions and 120 yards. Farrell had ten rushes for 74 yards. Although he did not pass for any touchdowns, Farrell was able to hit the long ball to put the offense in great positions to score.

The star of the show last week was junior running back Jordan McDonald. McDonald had 23 rushes with 120 yards and a hat trick of touchdowns. Sophomores Jared Stephens and Bryce Thornton had 67 yards on seven carries combined.

Freshman Debron Gatling leads the receivers with two catches for 39 yards. Junior Brooks Bortle had one long catch for 30 yards. Senior Matt Evert had one catch for sixteen yards.

Milton’s defense pitched yet again another first-half shutout like we’ve seen so many times before. After a few slip-ups, the defense was able to make a last stand and prevent Roswell from completing the comeback.

Once again, Milton’s D line wreaked havoc in the backfield with numerous sacks and tackles for losses. Sophomore Lebbeus Overton led the charge with five tackles with four tackles being for a loss. Senior Connor Gay had four total tackles and senior Brendan Doyle had three tackles including a key sack towards the end of the game.

The junior trio of linebackers–including AJ Crawford, Dylan Miller and Owen Pauley–all combined for 19 tackles and three tackles for loss. Senior Mason Bicknell had one tackle.

Milton’s secondary also played a key part in the win. Senior Safety Garrett Smalley played the biggest part with seven tackles. Junior cornerback Cam Canion had four tackles and two pass deflections. Junior safety Zyere Hornton had three tackles. Sophomore cornerback Bryce Thornton had three tackles as well.

Interview with Brooks Bortle

Brooks Bortle is a first-year member of the Milton football team.  He is a transfer from Woodstock High School, this week’s opponent. Bortle is a junior and plays wide receiver as well as cornerback. Bortle is an “athlete and a great encourager for the team” and “he always brings the energy” as described by some of his teammates. Currently, Bortle has four catches and 73 total yards.

Thacker- What are your thoughts about this week’s game with your former team?

Bortle- I am extremely excited to play against my old team but also against some of my best friends, bragging rights are on the line. The team right now is very motivated after a big win against Roswell, I think we will dominate on all sides of the ball.

Thacker- How has your transition to Milton been?

Bortle- My transition to Milton has been a little bumpy, COVID played a big factor when I transferred last year. I transferred in January and only got to go to school for 2 1/2 months then COVID hit. I didn’t get a chance to meet a lot of people at school, but Coach Clack did a really good job of keeping the team together during that time through zoom meetings and I was able to build relationships through that, which made being new on the field a lot easier.

Thacker- Who has helped you ease the transition to Milton the most this year?

Bortle- The entire receiver squad, including Coach Vice, has helped me a lot this year. They made me feel part of the family since day one and we have been building a stronger bond ever since. Also, my boy Dev (Farrell), has been reaching out to me since I moved, always trying to throw and get me comfortable with the offense.

Thacker- Which player(s) will have the biggest impact in the game?

Bortle- On offense, our line is going to have a big game, they have had a great year so far and will continue to dominate this Friday by making holes for Jordan (McDonald) and giving Dev (Farrell) enough time to air it out and let us make the plays. On defense, our D-line led by LT (Overton) will have a field day this upcoming Friday.

Thacker- In your opinion, what are your thoughts on your performance this year?

Bortle- I have not exceeded my expectations for this year, not even close actually. I was battling a shoulder injury that kept me out for some weeks and even before that my performance was not up to my or anyone’s expectations. This has only motivated me more, and I look forward to grinding it out with the team and making a deep playoff run. My best is yet to come.

Special thanks to Brooks Bortle for the interview and we at The Eagles Edition wish you the best of luck the rest of the season.

Keys to Victory: Woodstock

If you are Woodstock, you need to keep Milton’s offense off the field for as long as possible. Woodstock also needs to score as much as they can, using slow and long drives to own that time of possession. On defense, Woodstock needs to shut down McDonald and Farrell in the running game which is much easier said than done. If they do all this, Woodstock has a good chance of pulling off the upset.

Keys to Victory: Milton

Milton just has to do one thing; take over the game early. Score early and score fast to take Woodstock out of the game. On defense, Milton needs to create havoc in the backfield and shut down plays before they even happen. Why not play aggressive too.

Game Preview and Prediction

Coming into this game, Milton is high off of a great win against region rival Roswell. There is just something about this team that can carry that momentum into this week’s matchup. With that being said, Milton comes out and scores multiple touchdowns in the first half. The defense comes out and completely shuts down the Wolverine offense. Milton goes into the half leading 28-0. After no second-half points scored last week, Milton gains even more energy and rolls in the second half, scoring three more touchdowns en route to another region victory. The defense does their thing and shuts out Woodstock for another shutout region victory.

Score Prediction

Milton/49

Woodstock/0

 

Offensive Player of the Game: Matt Evert

Defensive Player of the Game: AJ Crawford