By David Purdum / For the AJC
In a game full of big plays, Milton made the last one, a 39-yard clinching touchdown run from Peyton Barber in the fourth quarter to lead the Eagles to a 45-31 victory over visiting Roswell on Friday.
Barber’s touchdown followed a costly illegal substitution penalty on the Hornets, who were caught with too many men on the field on a fourth-down punting situation. The mistake gave Milton a first down, and three plays later, Barber went straight through the middle of the Roswell defense for his second touchdown of the night.
Barber finished with 263 yards, highlighted by touchdown runs of 80 and 39 yards. Treyvon Paulk added a pair of touchdown runs, and quarterback A.J. Bush threw two touchdowns for the Eagles (3-1, 1-0 Region 5-AAAAAA).
Roswell running back Andrew Kwateng rushed for 295 yards and three touchdowns, but the Hornets (1-3, 0-1 Region 5-AAAAAA) dropped their seventh straight region game.
The game featured more than 1,000 yards of offense, with each team racking up more than 500 yards.
Kwateng’s 70-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave Roswell its first lead at 28-24. But it was short-lived.
The Eagles answered on their ensuing possession, retaking the lead on Bush’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Peter Bodunrin with four minutes left in the third quarter.
Bush completed only four passes, but two went for touchdowns, including a well-thrown ball to a streaking Malik Mitchell, who pulled away from the Roswell defense for a 75-yard touchdown on the Eagles’ first series.
It’s the first two-game winning streak for Milton in the series since 1978-1979.
In a back-and-forth first half filed with big plays, Roswell got a 6-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Monty to John Albert to tie the score, 21-21, with nine seconds before intermission.
The Hornets erased an early 14-0 lead, tying the score on Kwateng’s 57-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
“He’s a beast,” said Barber of his Roswell counterpart. “I like the competition. When he got going, I knew I needed to.”
One play after Kwateng tied it, Barber went 80 yards to put Milton back up 21-14.
Roswell 0 21 7 3 – 31
Milton 14 7 17 7 – 45
M – Malik Mitchell 75 pass from A.J. Bush (Chris Mills kick)
M – Treyvon Paulk 27 run (Mills kick)
R – Andrew Kwateng 48 run (Bennett Barton kick)
R – Kwateng 57 run (Barton kick)
M – Peyton Barber 80 run (Mills kick)
R – John Albert 6 pass from Ryan Monty (Barton kick)
M – Mills 35 field goal
R – Kwateng 70 run (Barton kick)
M – Peter Bodunrin 35 pass from Bush (Mills kick)
M – Paulk 7 run (Mills kick)
R – Barton 22 field goal
M – Barber 39 run (Mills kick)