Milton vs. Lowndes: The Rematch
December 10, 2020
On a chilly Friday night in Milton, Georgia, the Milton Eagles were able to put together a second-half comeback, against Archer, with the help of junior running back Jordan McDonald and junior quarterback Adam Freas (you read that right, quarterback Adam Freas). McDonald scored the go-ahead touchdown to give the Eagles a 10-9 lead early in the 4th. Then, Freas helped put the game away with a five-yard touchdown rush well into the fourth quarter. Milton’s defense was able to force key stops in the 4th quarter to hold off an Archer comeback.
Milton (11-0) will host the Vikings of Lowndes (9-1). Last week Lowndes traveled to North Cobb in an exciting defensive battle that favored the Vikings late into the game. Lowndes walked off with a 21-13 victory over the Warriors.
Looking into this week, Lowndes will have to take the 4-hour bus ride up to North Georgia for the second time in two weeks, something that will benefit Milton this game. The last time these two teams faced each other was in Milton’s 2018 dream season in the semifinals, where Jordan Yates and company held off Lowndes in an upset win by means of a 28-17 score which sent Milton to play for a state championship. Lowndes would want nothing more than to get their revenge against the Eagles in this playoff setting. The winner of this matchup will face the winner of Collins Hill and Parkview in the semifinals.
QB Jacurri Brown (Jr)- 75 completions, 1296 passing yards, 28 total TDs, 3 ints, 102.5 QBR, 151 rushes, 926 rushing yards, 6.1 yards per carry
RB Justin Lee (Sr)- 109 rushes, 538 yards, 4.9 yards per carry, 5 TDs
LB Thomas Davis (Sr)- 45 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble
Lowndes is coming off a season where they lost a bitter defeat in the State Championship against Marietta. The Vikings are a true powerhouse when it comes to 7A football. This season marks Lowndes’s sixth consecutive visit to the playoffs. Lowndes opened their season with six straight wins before a loss against the mighty Packers of Colquitt; they finished the regular season with a win against Camden County, ending at 7-1. In the first round, the Vikings defeated Newton by an impressive score of 42-0. In the second round, Lowndes beat North Cobb by a score of 21-13 (as previously mentioned).
Lowndes’s offense is led by superstar Junior Quarterback Jacurri Brown. Brown is rated as a four-star dual-threat QB with offers from many schools such as Florida, Georgia, and Auburn. Last week Brown completed seven passes for 42 yards; these numbers might look surprising for a QB, but Brown does his damage running the ball. Against North Cobb, he had 24 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
Lowndes runs a two-back system, utilizing senior Justin Lee and senior Israel Mitchell. Last week, Lee was only able to put up 20 yards on seven carries. Mitchell compiled eight carries for 90 yards and one touchdown in an explosive performance.
Lowndes’s leading receiver last game was Junior Chase Belcher, Belcher caught two passes for 40 yards. Dominique Marshall had three receptions for ten yards each.
Defensively, Lowndes is forcing their opponents to just 17 points per game. We will see how that holds up to Milton’s offense that puts up around 32 points per game on average. Lowndes has a very talented linebacker core that will need to slow down Farrell and company to win this matchup.
Leading the Vikings defensively is Senior Linebacker Thomas Davis. Last week, Davis compiled 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, and one sack.
Senior Matthew Tremble had one interception last week. Junior Safety Josh Pickett recorded ten tackles and one pass deflection. Senior Safety TJ Quinn had nine tackles.
Lowndes’s entire defensive line combined for eight tackles and one tackle for loss against North Cobb.
QB Devin Farrell (Jr)- 120/180, 1711 passing yards, 18 total TDs, 2 ints, 98 rushes, 556 yards, 5.7 yards per carry
RB Jordan McDonald (Jr)- 187 rushes, 1241 yards, 6.6 yards per carry, 23 TDs
DE Lebbeus Overton (So)- 68 tackles, 36 tackles for loss, 21 sacks*, 6 forced fumbles
*(Sack leader in the state of Georgia)
Last Friday night Eagle Nation saw a surprise come in at Quarterback, that surprise was receiver Adam Freas. Freas did a good job managing the game and putting Milton in a winning position, despite his two turnovers. Running backs Jordan McDonald and Bryce Thornton also helped Milton’s offense thrive all game long.
Adam Freas will take the starting role this week again. Last game Freas completed seven passes for 71 yards and two interceptions and rushed for a touchdown.
Junior Running back Jordan McDonald had another impactful game with 26 carries for 126 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore Bryce Thornton rushed ten times for 43 yards. Even Sophomore Lebbeus Overton saw his number called at running back, he finished with three carries for 17 yards.
Senior Matt Evert led the Eagles in receiving with two catches for 41 yards. McDonald saw action catching the ball with two receptions for 13 yards. Junior Jack Nickel and Debron Gatling combined for three receptions for 17 yards.
Once again, to no one’s surprise, Milton’s defense played lights out. As I said last week, the defense seems to play better at home, which held true for last game and will hopefully again this week against a potent Lowndes’s offense. Milton pitched another second-half shutout to help seal the win against Archer.
Sophomore Lebbeus Overton led the defense with ten tackles, six tackles for loss, and four sacks. Senior Dayne Edwards had four tackles, three tackles for loss, and one sack. Seniors Connor Gay and Zack Tumminia combined for four tackles and one sack.
Junior Dylan Miller recorded six tackles, one tackle for loss, and one pass deflection. Juniors AJ Crawford and Owen Pauley combined for eight tackles and one pass deflection.
Senior Safety Garrett Smalley had four tackles, leading the secondary. Junior Safety Zyere Hornton had three tackles. Cornerbacks Cam Canion and Bryce Thornton combined for four tackles.
Keys to Victory: Lowndes
If you are Lowndes you want to do what has been working all year, get the run game going, and keep it going. Defensively, you need turnovers. The Vikings have got to force the Milton offense off the field as much as possible to create scoring opportunities and wear down Milton’s defense.
Keys to Victory: Milton
Much like Lowndes, Milton needs to get the run game going with McDonald. After the run gets established, then the offense can open up through play-action passes. On defense, Milton will have to get after Brown and limit his impact in the game and force turnovers to put the offense back out on the field.
In this matchup, there is no clear favorite to win, both teams have an equal chance to win. Similar to last week’s game, both teams will try to establish a run game. Lowndes is the first one to score taking an early first-quarter lead. However, Milton comes back with a touchdown and a field goal right before half time. Jordan McDonald and Milton’s O-line starts to take its toll on Lowndes’s defense, finding the endzone once more. Lowndes answers with a field goal. Milton scores one last time, in the fourth quarter to stretch their lead further. Lowndes scores a touchdown, but Milton’s defense holds off Brown and sends the Eagles onward to the semi-final round of the playoffs in a thrilling game.
Offensive MVP: Devin Farrell
Defensive MVP: AJ Crawford