Milton 38, Marietta 21

High school football
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High school football

Credit: For the AJC

No. 3 Milton rushed for 451 yards as a team, getting 266 and three touchdowns from Jordan McDonald, and beat No. 8 Marietta 38-21 Friday night at Eagle Stadium to advance to the Class 7A quarterfinals.

McDonald broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark this season with an explosive 82-yard run on Milton’s first possession, a sign of things to come and a big night for the tailback.

Milton quarterback Devin Farrell ran for 187 yards on 20 carries and threw for 104 yards and a touchdown on 9-of-18 passing. Farrell, who is committed to Virginia Tech, did have two turnovers (fumble, interception) early in the first quarter but rebounded quickly.

“I stuck to what I tell myself,” Farrell said. “Next play mentality. Always moving forward. As a quarterback, you have to stay level. You can’t get too high or too low.”

Said Milton coach Adam Clack, “Those two are special players, but they don’t do what they do with those five guys getting after it, and the two tight ends we have in there who are like six and seven offensive linemen on the field at the same time. We know in games where it matters the most we are going to go down with the strength of our team, and it’s going to be those guys up front.”

Milton (11-1) had the running game going, but its defense stepped up big too, forcing four turnovers. The offense struggled out the gates with turnovers, but the defense was opportunistic in getting the ball right back.

“That’s a team that is playing really well right now,” Clack said. “That’s a top-eight team in the state (Marietta). I love that we were going after the football because we knew turnovers were something we wanted to do, and playing aggressive. When we needed to, we stepped right back up in that fourth quarter and took it back over.”

Milton cruised early, scoring 21 points unanswered and led 24-7 going into the half. Milton already had 17 first downs and 374 total yards

In the second half, Marietta (7-5) converted a fourth-and-12 on an 11-play, 70-yard touchdown drive on the Blue Devils’ first possession. Tyler Hughes ran 15 yards to the 1, where Marietta punched it in.

Marietta would cut the lead again to 10 after a 29-yard touchdown pass from Hughes to Kamryn Perry but imploded on penalties in later drives that would prevent a comeback.

Marietta was within 31-21 in the fourth quarter when Milton’s Bruce Thornton intercepted a halfback pass early, ending perhaps Marietta’s last big chance to get back in the game. McDonald’s 2-yard run with 3:38 left at the end of an eight-play, 67-yard drive put the game away.

Marietta’s Hughes was 18-of-30 passing for 259 yards and two touchdowns, though he had two turnovers (fumble, interception). He also added 75 rushing yards on 13 carries. Perry had seven receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Perry gave the secondary fits throughout the second half.

Milton advanced to the quarterfinal to play Mill Creek (11-1), which defeated McEachern 52-30 in the second round Friday Night.

Milton 14-10-7-7 - 38

Marietta 0-7-14-0 - 21

Mil - Jordan McDonald 1 run (Felipe Mota kick)

Mil - Jack Nickel 2 pass from Devin Farrell (Mota kick)

Mil - McDonald 3 run (Mota kick)

Mar- Kamryn Perry 65 pass from Tyler Hughes (Ben Parrot kick)

Mil - Mota 25 FG

Mar - Melvin Alexander 1 run (Parrot kick)

Mil - Farrell 13 run (Mota kick)

Mar- Perry 29 pass from Hughes (Parrot kick)

Mil - McDonald 2 run (Mota kick)