Milton and Roswell primed for Saturday’s Top 10 showdown

Long-time rivals Milton and Roswell have had me for their annual showdown every season since 1970 and the stakes will be extraordinarily high this go around. Roswell holds a 38-26-1 edge heading into what will be the 66th all-time meeting between the two Class 7A powerhouses, and like recent seasons, this year has all the signs pointing to what should be another hotly-contested battle. More importantly, this will be the first time since the 2015 season that the Hornets and Eagles are squaring off as region opponents.

Class 7A is stacked with elite programs and both Roswell and Milton are considered to be major contenders this year. Both teams are 2-0 in region play heading into a rare Saturday night kickoff. The game was originally scheduled to kickoff Friday night, but according to Milton head coach Adam Clack, they were forced to push it back to Saturday night due to a couple of COVID-19 cases in the Milton area earlier in the week.

Now, both teams will now have an extra day to prepare for this crucial Week 10 game. The Eagles come into the season with 5-1 record and are ranked No. 9 in various Class 7A polls.  The visiting Hornets will arrive with a perfect 6-0 record under first year Head Coach Chris Prewett and are currently ranked No. 5 in the AJC’s Class 7A rankings. Prewett took over the Roswell program for former head coach Matt Kemper in March and has gotten off to a tremendous start that includes a massive 35-28 region win over Cherokee. Based on the polls and Roswell’s undefeated start to the season, Milton could be seen as a slight underdog heading into kickoff, however, coach Clack choosing to focus on the importance of the game rather than his team’s current placement in the polls.

“We don’t really get into the underdog stuff you know, for us every game is important.” said Clack. “We see a region game like this in the same as any other game in our region–they’re all important, but they do have some importance as far as getting ready for the tournament and positioning ourselves for the playoffs.”

Roswell comes in the the higher placement in the rankings, but the Maxwell simulators has Milton as a slight one-point favorite and that could have something to do with their consistent running attack and stout defense. The Eagles’ starting junior quarterback Devin Farrell and junior running back Jordan McDonald have combined for 21 total touchdowns through the first six games and are supported by a defense that has racked up 10 interceptions and 14.5 sacks on the season. Coach Clack discussed how important it will be for his team to sustain this level of success on Saturday against a dynamic Roswell team.

“What we want to do is try to field the best defense we possibly can,” said Clack. “I’m a firm believer that defense wins championships and although you might have a good defense you still want to have that balance and establish some sort of a running attack.”

Roswell enters this game with a high-powered offense that has scored a total of 28 touchdowns this year—14 of which have come via the arm of junior quarterback Robbie Roper. Coach Clack stressed how the Eagles will need to stay on point to not give up explosive plays—like the 71-yard touchdown pass Roswell used to help them score a 23-17 win over Walton this past month.

“Against a team like Roswell, who has an explosive offense means we respect our opponent, but we want to continue and remain firm on the defensive side of the ball to slow those guys down.” Clack said.

The outcome of this game will not only impact the Class 7A rankings, but it will also have a huge impact on the Region 5 standings as the regular season nears is conclusion. The history between the two opponents will add to what is expected to be a playoff atmosphere and Coach Clack spoke about keeping his team focused as they look score the biggest win of their season so far.

“Yeah the polls and everything are nice, but they’re mostly for the fans,” said Clack. “We just try to remain focus on what we do best. Games like this one against Roswell, our biggest rival, is very important to us and our community as well as the other games in this region and we have to take them all seriously.”

This game looks to be very competitive and heavily-based on the effectiveness of Milton’s rushing game and defense. Whoever runs the ball the best, plays stout defense, and maybe gets a few turnovers should be able to win the game. The Hornets have the offensive firepower to challenge Milton’s defense and their defense have also been productive with six interceptions and 12 sacks. Both defenses should make it difficult on the opposing offenses to just score at will. This game could play out like a playoff game and will be a great measuring stick to see where the two programs stand

Milton is looking to win its second state title after taking home its first championship in 2018 and the Hornets will attempt to win their fifth overall. In the end, the winner and loser of Saturday’s game will both still have their eye on the ultimate prize.


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