Milton 35, Alpharetta 28

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Milton ran over last season’s surprise and made a case to be one of this year’s upstarts with an impressive 35-28 win over No. 8 Alpharetta on Friday.

The visiting Eagles racked up 430 yards on the ground against a talented Raider front and took home the inaugural Mayor’s Trophy.

Peyton Barber led Milton’s ground game with 225 yards. Treyvon Paulk added 109 yards, highlighted by a 41-yard touchdown run that put the Eagles in command, 21-7 late in the third quarter.

The Raiders answered with a scoring drive, featuring a 41-yard completion from Josh Dobbs to Carlos Burse and capped by DeAndre Wise’s recovery of a Dobbs’ fumble in the end zone that cut the deficit to seven.

But Milton would answer with two more clinching scores. Paulk’s second touchdown, a two-yard plunge, and a 9-yard bootleg scamper by quarterback A.J. Bush put the Eagles up 35-14 with nine minutes to play.

Alpharetta wouldn’t go quietly, though. Dobbs hooked up with Daniel Clements for a 9-yard touchdown pass. The Raiders recovered the ensuing onside kick, and Dobbs raced 46 yards on the next play for a touchdown that made it 35-28 with 1:35 to play.

Dobbs, who has committed to Arizona State, finished 20 of 38 for 234 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 138 yards and a score.

“That’s a very good team we played tonight,” said Alpharetta coach Jason Dukes. “We probably won’t face an offensive line that big the rest of the season.”

The Raiders were one of the state’s biggest surprises last season, going 9-2 and winning the program’s first region title. With a talented returning core, they are considered the favorites in Region 6-AAAAAA.

Milton, on the other hand, entered unranked and with tempered expectations in Region 5-AAAAAA. Those expectations have been raised after Friday’s performance.

“I came in here a year ago and needed to change some things, change how we did things, change the culture,” said Milton coach Howie DeCristofaro.  “Now, my expectations are to compete for a region title and win a playoff game. Milton hasn’t won a playoff game since you or I were born, 1953.”

The Raiders marched 80 yards in 15 plays on their opening possession, with Rodney Morris winning a jump-ball in the corner of the end zone to give Alpharetta an early 7-0 lead.  But that would be the end of the Raiders’ scoring in the first half.

They threatened twice more inside Milton territory, but were plagued by untimely penalties and dropped passes.

After forcing a turnover on downs, Milton took over at its own 14 with three minutes to play. DeCristofaro seemed content to run out the clock, before Bush busted free on a 36-yard scamper down to the Alpharetta 7-yard line. Three plays later, Bush would sneak over left tackle for the go-ahead touchdown with 30 seconds left before half.

Milton Super 11 defensive end Carl Lawson, who is committed to Auburn, was a terror off the edge and put constant pressure on Dobbs.

Alpharetta travels to Harrison next week, while Milton returns home to host Johns Creek.

11 comments Add your comment

Hubert Green

August 31st, 2012
11:42 pm

With a strong showing tonight, watch out for Milton football! They dominated the line of scrimmage. Dobbs’ individual ability is all that kept Alpharetta in the game.

BillyA

September 1st, 2012
1:28 am

Repeat: Watch out for Milton. They are not to be denied and neither Lassiter or Walton are safe. But lets keep it a secret. Its more fun that way.

Wheeler Parent!

September 1st, 2012
3:00 am

Wheeler is another sleeper team in that region. they have a high powered spread offense thats led by 6′7 lefty QB Elijah Staley..they will be very exciting to watch.

Billy

September 1st, 2012
9:32 am

Hubert, you are right. Makes you wonder where Dukes will recruit his next QB from.

slim065

September 1st, 2012
11:34 am

I think teams in Milton’s region knew going into the year they had some very, very good players on that team. Great oline and 2 very good RBs will allow a team to be very competitive. Not sure that Alphretta will be like last years team though.

Definitely a good win for Milton to open the year though and have other teams take notice in the region.

MHS alum

September 1st, 2012
1:42 pm

Yeah Howie! It’s all about the change in culture and has nothing to do w the team being stacked w D1 prospects. It’s all coaching and the new regime. Nothing to do w the 3 and 4 star talent.

Culture Warrior

September 1st, 2012
3:57 pm

I would like to recognize our players and assistant coaches for an outstanding game last night. As Milton sports fans, we know this group has worked extremely hard for the past several years to get to this point. Regardless of what happens in the future, we will support these young men on and off the field, win or lose.

Honey Boo Boo

September 1st, 2012
7:14 pm

Milton barely beats Alpharetta who lost to Roswell and you people are ready for a parade. laughable. Howie will have you crying by week five.

Alpharetta fan

September 2nd, 2012
12:13 pm

@honey boo boo. It was 35-14 going into the final two minutes. “trash time”. Id say Milton won pretty handedly. And as for your week 5 prediction. They have johns creek, centennial, Roswell, then wheeler. The only crying Will be tears of sweet victory when they’re 5-0. Get your facts straight

Steve

September 2nd, 2012
3:40 pm

It was a great game for Milton, but I must say that as bad as we have been in the past, we still manage to beat Alpharetta almost every season. Even with Dobbs at QB the Raiders look severely overrated and will need some luck to beat region opponents like Lambert, Chattahoochee, and West Forsyth. As for Milton, the Eagles look impressive so far, and the rushing game looks awesome. I just worry that if someone shuts it down, can they rely on the arm of AJ Bush? Only time will tell.

battleaxekid

September 4th, 2012
9:15 pm

Is Decula that bad or is Millcreek that good?? Don’t know enough about either. Ithought Millcreek did pretty well last year and decula played in the postseason?