MILTON, Ga. – Milton suffered its first loss of the season last Friday night, Oct. 4, losing 24-15 at home against Etowah, which took the lead in Region 5-AAAAAA.
Both teams came into the game 2-0 in the region and 5-0 overall, with Etowah playing without four key starters, three due to team rules violations and one because of injury.
Raishod Devezin, taking over for Etowah’s starting tailback, rushed for 351 yards, including a 71-yard scoring run and two runs of 65 yards to set up scores.
Milton was limited to 92 yards rushing and 260 total yards, with the Eagles’ most effective offensive weapons the punting of Matt Moskowitz and the returns of Chris Purpurra and Chad Toliver.
The Eagles drove 61 yards to the Etowah 24 on their first possession, but an interception by another of Etowah’s backups-turned-starters ended the threat and led to the game’s first touchdown.
A bad snap on an Etowah punt gave Milton the ball inside the Etowah 10, and Toliver scored on a 3-yard run to tie the game.
Devezin put Etowah back on top two plays later with his 71-yard scoring sprint, with Milton trailing 14-7 at the half after missing a field goal and having the clock run out with the Eagles inside the Etowah 30.
A 75-yard punt by Moskowitz pinned Etowah at its 1, with the Eagles scoring a safety on the next play. Milton returned the free kick to the Etowah 33 and took a 15-14 lead on a 29-yard pass from Austin McLeod to Jonathan Cistrunk. The try for two failed after a successful attempt was nullified by a penalty.
The next two punts by Moskowitz backed up Etowah inside its 5, but Devezin broke two more long runs, leading to a go-ahead field goal and a clinching touchdown.
“We did not play as good as we’ve been playing,” Milton coach Howie DiCristofaro said. The Milton coach said the large Etowah offensive line “was the best one we’ve seen this season,” with the Eagles struggling defensively against the first team they’ve faced with a strong ground game.
Much of Milton’s offense came on short completions, as McLeod completed 20 passes for 168 yards and was intercepted twice.