NORTH GWINNETT 34, MILTON 10

Eagles ousted from playoffs by state’s top-ranked team

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MILTON, Ga. – One of the best seasons in recent history for the Milton Eagles came to an end last Friday night, Nov. 15, as they lost 34-10 to North Gwinnett in the first round of the AAAAAA playoffs.

The Bulldogs (10-1) came into the game ranked first in the state, but were seeded third in Region 7 after finishing the season in a three-way for first place. Milton (8-3) was the unfortunate team to draw the No. 3 seed out of Region 7, with all three co-champions ranked among the state’s top 10.

The Eagles outplayed North Gwinnett in the opening period, driving to an early 31-yard field goal by Jordan Genovese and shutting down the Bulldogs’ high scoring offense.

But North Gwinnett put together scoring drives of 55 and 79 yards, with the second touchdown coming on a 54-yard run by C.J. Leggett, who played the last two seasons at Chattahoochee after starting his high school career at Buford. Leggett scored again in the quarter after the Bulldogs recovered a fumble at the Milton 25 to make it 20-3 at the half.

The Bulldogs scored in the third period on an 80-yard wide receiver screen and made it 34-3 before the Eagles scored on a late 28-yard pass from backup quarterback Cody Sant to Chase Polkow.

The Eagles, who played most of the season without standout tailback Treyvon Paulk, suffered another key injury at the position when Chad Toliver suffered a broken hand in practice earlier last week.

“They’re about as good a team as I’ve seen in a while,” Milton coach Howie DeCristofaro said. “I thought our kids played well.”

DeCristofaro is already looking forward to next season, as the Eagles return a sizeable majority of their front line players, including almost the entire starting defense, four of five starters in the offensive line and quarterback Austin McLeod.