Pictured: Jordan McDonald (Josh Major)
Pictured: Jordan McDonald

Josh Major

Milton vs. St. Joseph’s Prep: The Brotherly Love Battle

September 8, 2021

Milton Ga- The Eagles rebounded with a huge win by a score of 34-14 against Life Christian Academy last Thursday night in the opening game of the Freedom Bowl. Everything seemed to go Milton’s way throughout the game. It looked as if many of the problems that plagued the Eagles two weeks ago were all ironed out.

Now, Milton will have another opportunity to prove themselves against the nation’s elite with a matchup against #17 ranked St. Joseph’s Prep out of Philadelphia. Milton will have to take the long trek up to Philadelphia to play. St. Joseph’s Prep will provide a good challenge for the Eagles and will most likely be the best team they play all year.

St. Joseph’s Prep Impact Players

QB Dane Picariello (Sr.)

CB Keenan Nelson Jr (Sr.)

LB Josiah Trotter (Sr.)

St. Joseph’s Prep is coming off a blowout 40-0 victory against St. Mary’s Ryken and looks forward to carrying that momentum into the Milton game. The Hawks have a ton of division one talent and great coaching that helps them strive.

Leading the Hawks offense is Senior quarterback Dane Picariello. Picariello is a big body QB standing at 6’3 and weighing 225 pounds. He has a strong arm that can make the deep throws and is hard to bring down.

St Joseph’s number one receiver is Senior Reese Clark. Clark is rated as a three-star prospect committed to the hometown Temple Owls. Clark uses his tall stature to his advantage by going up high and pinpointing balls and bringing them in. Junior Winston Yates is a dual-sport athlete with great hands and an overall good athletic ability. Sophomore Elijah Jones has one offer from Temple. Jones is a strong receiver who does not go down easily after one hit.

Currently, after one game, St. Joseph’s Prep is allowing 0 points. Their defense will be put to the test after Milton’s 34-point game last week. Headlining the Hawks defense is Senior cornerback Keenan Nelson Jr. Nelson Jr. is listed as a four-star prospect committed to South Carolina. Nelson Jr. has good ball skills and excels against elite competition. Senior linebacker Josiah Trotter is a four-star prospect with offers from Clemson, Ohio State and South Carolina. Trotter is a hard-hitting player and always looks to make a play. Sophomore cornerback Omillo Agard is rated as a four-star prospect with offers from Florida State, LSU and Penn State. Agard has great ball-hawking ability and flies around to the ball.

Milton Impact Players

RB Jordan McDonald (Sr.)- 25 carries, 206 yards, 2 touchdowns, 8.2 yards per carry

CB Bryce Thornton (Jr.)- 18 tackles, 3 pass deflections, 2 interceptions

LB AJ Crawford (Sr.)- 25 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks

Much like the opponent, Milton is coming off a blowout win at the hands of Life Christian Academy. The Eagle’s offense exploded with over 200 passing yards, setting a record for the season. To win Saturday’s game, Milton will need to have another offensive performance like last week’s.

The man contributing to the high-power offense is Senior quarterback Devin Farrell. Last game Farrell completed 17 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns. In addition to passing, Farrell also rushed for 25 yards on seven attempts.

Last Weeks leading rusher was Senior Cam Canion who rushed for 30 yards on seven attempts. Senior Jordan McDonald had six rushes for 25 yards and one touchdown.

Sophomore receiver Debron Gatling had a record-setting performance with five catches for 105 yards and three touchdowns. Senior receiver Adam Freas caught four passes for 58 yards. Senior receiver Jonathan Murray had a 55-yard touchdown reception. Jordan McDonald had three receptions for 20 yards. Senior Tight End Jack Nickel had two receptions for nine yards.

Like the offense, the defense showed much improvement. Through forcing turnovers and making tackles for loss, the Eagle’s defense quickly shut down any chance Life Christian had at keeping the game close.

Leading the Eagles in total defense is Junior linebacker, Caleb Moran. Moran made 13 tackles. Junior cornerback Bryce Thornton recorded eight tackles and one interception. Junior safety Robert Billings had three tackles and one interception. Senior linebacker Dylan Miller made eight tackles. Senior linebacker Owen Pauley made seven tackles and two tackles for loss. Senior linebacker AJ Crawford made six tackles and a sack. Junior defensive lineman Owen Phillips made six tackles. Junior edge rusher Wyatt Smalley made three tackles and one sack. Senior defense lineman Giles Tchio made three tackles and one sack.

Keys to Victory: St. Joseph’s Prep

St. Joseph’s Prep must take care of Picariello to allow him to complete passes and remain calm. The Hawks also need to take care of the ball against an aggressive Milton secondary. Most importantly the Hawks need to control the game by controlling the time of possession and keep the ball with their offense.

Keys to Victory: Milton

The long-travel cutting into the work week certainly does not favor Milton. However, Milton needs to have a great practice week to come out with a win. The passing game was stellar last week, and it would help out a lot if the same passing game showed up this week to help take the load off McDonald. The defense will need to have another stout performance with tackles for loss and turnovers to shut down the Hawks’s offense.

Score Prediction

Milton/21

St. Joseph’s Prep/17

 

Players of the Game

Jordan McDonald

Bryce Thornton

 

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