With a dominating offensive and defensive performance against Woodstock, Milton locked up the No. 3 seed from Region 5AAAAAA by topping the Wolverines 42-14 at Eagle Stadium.
Milton’s dynamic running back duo of Peyton Barber and Treyvon Paulk combined for 379 yards and five touchdowns on the night, the Eagle offense produced 497 total yards and the Milton defense limited Woodstock to just eight first downs.
The win sends Milton to the state playoffs for the second straight season under head coach Howie DeCristofaro — a feat the school hasn’t accomplished since going to the state playoffs three straight times from 1992-1994.
Milton will travel to South Gwinnett in the first round of the Class-AAAAAA state playoffs next Friday.
“We’re gradually improving as a program and that is a big positive to take away from the game,” said DeCristofaro after the win. “But we still have a long way to go too, we didn’t play a complete game for four quarters and we have to learn how to finish better than we did tonight.”
Barber, who finished the night with 222 yards on 18 carries, put Milton (7-3, 5-2) up 14-0 in the first quarter with touchdown runs of 9 and 27 yards. Quarterback A.J. Bush pushed the lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter when he found Eric Abbott from 14 yards out and Paulk sent Milton into the half up 28-0 with a 13-yard run.
“You just have to take your hats off to the other team sometimes,” said Woodstock (3-7, 3-4) head coach Brent Budde. “They are a very strong team with a lot of talent and they know how to utilize it well.
“But I am proud of how our kids played, they got down in a hole early, kept fighting in the second half and never gave up.”
Woodstock running back Donavan Brand shot a rare jolt of life into the Wolverine sideline on the second play of the third quarter, turning a simple dive play into a 83-yard scamper that cut the Milton advantage to 28-7.
But Barber and Paulk matched Brand’s long run with a pair of their own.
Paulk, who finished with 159 yards, scored from 45 yards out on Milton’s next possession and Barber raced 60 yards to the end zone late in the third quarter to push the lead to 42-7 and bring a running clock in the final 12 minutes.
Brand finished the game with 124 yards on 14 carries to lead Woodstock while Jacob Schoeb added a 60-yard touchdown run on a fourth quarter fake punt for the Wolverines’ final points.
Bush completed 11-of-16 passes for 137 yards for the Eagles.
Milton 42, Woodstock 14
WHS 0 0 7 7 — 14
MHS 14 14 14 0 — 42
MHS: Peyton Barber 9 run (Christopher Mills kick)
MHS: Barber 27 run (Mills kick)
MHS: Eric Abbott 14 pass from A.J. Bush (Mills kick)
MHS: Treyvon Paulk 13 run (Mills kick)
WHS: Donavon Brand 83 run (Miguel Gomez kick)
MHS: Paulk 45 run (Mills kick)
MHS: Barber 60 run (Mills kick)
WHS: Jacob Schoeb 60 run (Gomez kick)
8 First Downs 23
182 Rushing Yards 360
31 Passing Yards 137
213 Total Yards 497
3/21 Comp/Attempts 11/16
2 Interceptions 0
2/1 Fumbles/Lost 1/1
3/30 Penalties/Yards 6/60
6/29.5 Punts/Averages 2/25.0
RUSHING: Woodstock — Alex Motsinger 6-(-22), Brand 14-124, Sharrone Gates 6-38, Reagan Amos 3-2, Justin Agner 2-(-20), Schoeb 1-60. Milton — Barber 18-222, Bush 4-(-29), Paulk 19-157, Chris Purpura 1-9, A.J. Noegel 1-1, Michael Schweinbeck 2-0.
PASSING: Woodstock — Motsinger 1-9-1, 14. Agner 2-10-1, 17, Chris Mowery 0-1-0, 0, Gates 0-1-0, 0. Milton — Bush 11-16-0, 137
RECEIVING: Woodstock — Addison Bass 1-14, Gates 1-4, Mowery 1-13. Milton — Malik Mitchell 3-39, Abbott 2-27, Schweinbeck 2-23, Peter Bodunrin 2-12, Brett Barnett 1-3, Barber 1-33.