Not much could get in the way of the Milton Eagles on Friday night. Not the Roswell Hornets. Not even the loss of star running back Treyvon Paulk. In convincing fashion, the Eagles beat the Hornets, 33-3, in the Region 5-AAAAAA opener for both teams.
With Paulk – a University of Tennessee commit who’s on GHSF Daily’s Player of the Year Watch – going down with a knee injury the first offensive series of the game, Micco Brisker and Chad Toliver each rushed for more than 100 yards in Paulk’s absence, and Toliver and Chris Turner each rushed for two touchdowns.
Brisker finished with 118 yards on 17 carries and Toliver 101 yards on just nine carries as Milton outrushed Roswell 257-47.
“We’re not one man,” Eagles coach Howie DeCristofaro said. “We’ve got four backs that I think are pretty good. As long as our line stays intact, I think we’ve got a chance to be a decent football team.”
DeCristofaro said Paulk has a sprained MCL in his left knee and will be out 1-2 weeks. He injured his knee making a cut early in the first quarter and didn’t return. Paulk originally hurt the knee last week in the third quarter against Centennial. He’s averaging 153.7 yards per game and has eight rushing touchdowns on the season.
The Eagles defense shined once again, keeping the Hornets (2-2) out of the end zone, despite the Hornets having the ball first-and-goal inside the 1 yard line early in the second quarter. They also forced two turnovers.
The Hornets’ only points came on a Shavi Bush 18-yard field goal after the Eagles’ goal line stand, pulling Roswell to within 13-3 with 8:32 remaining in the half.
Milton is 4-0 for the first time since 1999. Under the direction of DeCristofaro, the Eagles are in the process of turning their program around. They are aiming for their second consecutive winning season – after losing seasons from 2009-11 – and first region title since 1952, the only in school history according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association.
“This was the plan when I took the job three years ago,” DeCristofaro said. “This group of kids is the first to be under me for three years, so they understand what the expectation is, they know what we do and they’re glad to do it.”
Next Friday, Milton will host Wheeler and Roswell travels to Etowah as both enter the thick of the region schedule.
Milton 13 10 10 0
Roswell 0 3 0 0
M – Chris Turner 2 run (Kick failed)
M – Turner 2 run (Jordan Genovese kick)
R – Shavi Bash 18 FG
M – Chad Toliver 26 run (Genovese kick)
M – Genovese 38 FG
M – Genovese 39 FG
M – Turner 1 run (Genovese kick)
Follow Adam Krohn @AdamKrohnAJC.