Milton vs Cherokee: Region Championship Rematch

November 5, 2021

Milton Ga- On a cold and rainy October night the Milton Eagles pounded the Woodstock Wolverines, winning 68-7. In addition to the victory, Milton’s offense happened to break many school records including most points scored in one quarter (35), one half (62) and the game (68). In the first half, nearly every offensive play resulted in a score. Milton will now move to 4-0 in the region whereas Woodstock goes down to 0-4.

This week Milton welcomes the Cherokee Warriors into the Eagles Nest. In last year’s game, the Eagles won in a shootout, 41-29. The game this Friday has major playoff repercussions, if Milton wins then Milton will win the region and secure a number one seed for the state playoff. If Cherokee wins, there will be a 3-way tie for the winner of the region meaning that the winner of the region would actually go to Roswell because the Hornets have the highest point differential against region opponents.

Cherokee Impact Players

QB AJ Swann (Sr.)- 142 completions, 1669 yards, 20 total touchdowns, 102 QBR,

WR Adarrius Hardshaw (Sr.)- 24 receptions, 255 yards, 3 touchdowns

LB Tyler Goddard (Sr.)- 120 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks

The Warriors are coming off a bye week, in their last game, Cherokee beat Alpharetta 31-25. Cherokee is currently sitting at a 5-4 record with wins coming against Mays, Sequoyah, Woodstock, and Etowah and losses to Rome, Creekview, Cartersville, and Roswell. Cherokee will have to play a near-perfect game to have a shot at Milton this week.

The most recognizable name on this Cherokee roster is Senior quarterback AJ Swann. Swann was recently featured on Elite 11, a TV show displaying some of the nation’s top high school quarterbacks. Swann is also rated as a 3-star prospect currently committed to Maryland. Against Alpharetta, Swann passed for 114 yards on 14 completions and two interceptions.

Cherokee’s leading rusher against Alpharetta was Senior receiver, Aidan Moore. Moore had 16 carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns. The Warriors main running back, Junior Zi Johnson only had five carries for 34 yards.

Swann’s biggest compliment in the passing game is Senior Adarrius Hardshaw. Hardshaw is rated as a 3-star prospect currently committed to Utah. Against Alpharetta, Hardshaw caught five balls for 50 yards. Senior tight end Toby Thompson caught three balls for 23 yards. Senior Aidan Moore caught one ball for 15 yards.

The Warriors’ defense has done a fair job all season, only letting up around 17 points per game. However, Cherokee has had trouble affecting the opposing quarterback, only getting nine sacks and forcing nine interceptions on the season.

Leading the defense against Alpharetta was Senior linebacker, Tyler Godard. Godard racked up 15 tackles and a solo tackle for a loss. Junior linebacker Morgan Cox had 15 tackles. Senior defensive tackle Toby Thompson had nine tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble. Senior safety Ryan O’Keefe had nine tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. Junior linebacker Kyan Simmons recorded five tackles, one forced fumble and recovery.

Milton Impact Players

QB Devin Farrell (Sr.)- 105 completions, 1386 yards, 23 total touchdowns, 129 QBR, 64 carries, 407 yards

RB Jordan McDonald (Sr.)- 87 carries, 794 yards, 13 total touchdowns

S Bryce Thornton (Jr.)- 56 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 1 forced fumble

With a 68 point showing by the Eagles offense, that moves them to the top of highest-performing offenses in 7A. Many new players also got to see the field after many of the starters were pulled even before halftime. The Eagles will have another opportunity to show their true firepower against a weaker Warrior defense than what we saw last year.

Senior Devin Farrell will make his last Region start this week. Last week Farrell completed six passes for 113 yards and one touchdown.

Senior running back Jordan McDonald had a huge game only rushing four times for 136 yards and three touchdowns. McDonald averaged 34 yards per carry. Junior running back Scott Moskowitz had four carries for 54 yards and one touchdown. Senior receiver Adam Freas had one long 52-yard touchdown rush where he weaved in and out of defenders. Sophomore running back Jacob Meador had three carries for 42 yards and one touchdown.

Sophomore Debron Gatling led the receivers with one catch for 48 yards. Senior Adam Freas had three catches for 30 yards and one touchdown. Senior Brooks Bortle caught one ball for 25 yards against his former team. Senior tight end Jack Nickel had one ten-yard touchdown reception.

Only letting up a singular touchdown was quite the refresher for the Eagles’ defense. Before the game began, it was important for the defense to step up and play one of their best games and that is exactly what they did. Multiple defensive scores helped lead the Eagles to victory and took Woodstock’s offense out of the game. The defense will have a huge test this week facing up against one of the state’s top quarterbacks.

Junior safety Bryce Thornton made six tackles, one tackle for loss and an interception touchdown. Junior safety Robert Billings made three tackles. Junior cornerback Brayden Holmes had three tackles

Senior linebacker Owen Pauley and Junior Caleb Moran each had five tackles and one tackle for loss. Senior linebacker Zyere Hornton recorded three tackles. Senior linebacker Dylan Miller had one tackle for loss.

Senior defensive lineman Giles Tchio had three tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and one interception returned for a touchdown. Junior LT Overton had two tackles.

Keys to Victory: Cherokee

Cherokee’s best player, AJ Swann, will need to completely take over by making elite throws and not letting the pressure get to him. Defensively, Cherokee has got to shut down Milton’s offense and keep them off the field by forcing turnovers.

Keys to Victory: Milton

The plan for this game is similar to what it has been all year. Give McDonald the ball and wear down Cherokee early: then open it up with the pass. Get to Swann early and often to make him make bad throws. Like last year’s game, Milton thrived from special teams plays, so a play or two would yield great results.

 

Score Prediction

Milton/45

Cherokee/24

Offensive Player of the Game: Devin Farrell

Defensive Player of the Game: Bryce Thornton

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