One will be an aerial assault, featuring a barrage of passes from one of the state’s best quarterbacks to a slew of Division-I caliber receivers. The other is the old-school ground-and-pound approach at Milton, starring a pair of talented tailbacks running behind one of Georgia’s most talented offensive lines.
Which system will prevail is yet to be seen, but the winner will grab control of 5AAAAAA and walk away as the region’s lone undefeated with three games to play.
“This is one of those games where we have everything to gain and nothing to lose,” said Milton (5-1 overall, 3-0 in 5AAAAAA play) head coach Howie DeCristofaro. “They are ranked No. 2 in the state, everybody expects us to lose so it’s like I told out kids, ‘let’s have fun, play our best game and see where the chips fall’.”
Lassiter (6-0, 3-0) has jumped out to a perfect start behind a high-powered passing attack led by Missouri commit Eddie Printz — a third-year starter that is on pace to break the career record for passing yards in the state of Georgia. Printz has thrown for 1,442 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.
“He is just a great decision maker and he has four very good receivers to throw to,” said DeCristofaro, referring to Willie Police, Juwan Dickey, Blake Wilson and Clemson commit Ryan Jenkins.
DeCristofaro went on to say the biggest onus would be on his front-four on defense, including stand-out defensive end Carl Lawson, to wreak havoc in the backfield.
Lawson, an Auburn commit, has 13.5 sacks this season.
“We’ll need those four to have a great game, because I have no doubt [Printz] will pick us apart if he has time in the pocket,” said the Milton coach. “Other than that, it is key that we have to use our offense to shorten the game and limit their offensive possessions.”
The Eagle offense will attempt to do just that behind their stout rushing attack — one that is rolling up 315.2 yards per game and has a pair of 1,000 yard backs in Peyton Barber and Treyvon Paulk — while going against a physical Lassiter Defense.
The Trojans held the state’s leading rusher, Tyren Jones of Walton, out of the end zone for just the second time in his career two weeks ago.
“They play that 3-3 stack, have talented players and love to send blitzers from everywhere,” DeCristofaro said. “If we can pick up those blitzes though, I like our chances.”