Milton 42, Cherokee 14

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No. 4 Eagles clinch 4th consecutive region title

Led by a big night from senior quarterback Devin Farrell, the Milton Eagles beat the Cherokee Warriors 42-14 at home on Friday in the regular season finale, clinching Region 5-7A in the process.

The No. 4-ranked Eagles (9-1, 5-0), will host Duluth, the No. 4 seed from Region 7.

Farrell, a Virginia Tech commit, rushed for 202 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries, and was 12-for-17 passing with a 38-yard touchdown pass. With the Eagles leading just 13-7 at halftime, Farrell’s 84-yard touchdown run opened the second-half scoring, and his 63-yard rushing score with 7:19 remaining brought the score to its final margin.

Farrell said he was happy the Eagles clinched their fourth consecutive region championship, but the team wants to repeat its 2018 state title success.

“We all have the same goal and the same expectations,” Farrell said. “We all want to win a state championship. So, let’s go.”

The Warriors (5-5, 3-2) had a shot at forcing a three-way tie for first place with Roswell. Instead, the Warriors are a No. 3 seed and will hit the road to play Norcross — Region 7′s No. 2 seed.

The Warriors took a 7-0 lead on the game’s opening drive when, on 4th-and-2 from their own 48, senior quarterback and Maryland commit AJ Swann hit Adarrius Harshaw on a short screen pass up the middle. Harshaw then raced 52 yards to the end zone with 6:13 remaining in the first.

The Eagles responded their next drive when sophomore 4-star receiver Debron Gatling caught Farrell’s 38-yard touchdown pass with 3:48 left in the first. Gatling finished with a game-high 75 yards on four catches.

After a Cherokee three-and-out, Milton took the lead for good on Jordan McDonald’s 5-yard run as the first quarter expired.

After Farrell’s long touchdown run to open the second half made it 21-7, the Eagles pulled away with two more touchdowns — another McDonald 8-yard run and a Farrell 4-yard run — as part of a 23-0 third quarter that put the game out of reach.

“We just wanted to come out in the second half and prove to the other team that we were better than them and that’s what we did,” Farrell said.

McDonald finished with 84 yards and two scores on 13 carries.

Though Swann made big throws downfield and extended plays in the pocket, a persistent Eagles pass rushing attack — led by lineman A.J. Crawford, 5-star end Lebbeus Overton and others — proved too be too much.

Swann finished 18-of-32 passing for 187 yards and two touchdowns to one interception. His leading receiver, Harshaw, who earlier this week decommitted from Utah, had five catches for 74 yards.

Cherokee 7 0 0 7 — 14

Milton 13 0 23 6 — 42

C — Addarius Harshaw 52 pass from AJ Swann (Joel Stahl kick)

M — Debron Gatling 38 pass from Devin Farrell (Felipe Mota kick)

M — Jordan McDonald 5 run (kick failed)

M — Farrell 85 run (Farrell run)

M — McDonald 5 run (Mota kick)

M — Farrell 4 run (Farrell run)

C — Pops Jameson 14 pass from Swann (Stahl kick)

M — Farrell 63 run (kick failed)

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