Milton’s dynamic running back duo of Peyton Barber and Treyvon Paulk combined for 379 yards and five touchdowns on the night. The Eagle offense produced 497 total yards, and their defense limited Woodstock to just eight first downs.
“You just have to take your hats off to the other team sometimes,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said. “They are a very strong team with a lot of talent, and they know how to utilize it well.
“But I am proud of how our kids played. They got down in a hole early, kept fighting in the second half and never gave up.”
Barber, who finished the night with 222 yards on 18 carries, put Milton (7-3, 5-2) up 14-0 in the first quarter with touchdown runs of 9 and 27 yards. Quarterback A.J. Bush pushed the lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter when he found Eric Abbott from 14 yards out and Paulk sent Milton into the half up 28-0 with a 13-yard run.
Woodstock running back Donavan Brand shot a rare jolt of life into the Wolverines’ sideline on the second play of the third quarter, turning a simple dive play into an 83-yard scamper that cut the Milton advantage to 28-7.
But Barber and Paulk matched Brand’s long run with a pair of their own.
Paulk, who finished with 159 yards, scored from 45 yards out on Milton’s next possession and Barber raced 60 yards to the end zone late in the third quarter to push the lead to 42-7 and bring a running clock in the final 12 minutes.
Brand finished the game with 124 yards on 14 carries to lead Woodstock (3-7, 3-4), while Jacob Schoeb added a 60-yard touchdown run on a fourth-quarter fake punt for the Wolverines’ final points.
The loss dropped Woodstock into a tie for fourth place with Etowah and Wheeler — a trio of teams that went 1-1 against each other in head-to-head play.
Budde said the region’s athletic directors met early Friday morning to vote against a newly instated Georgia High School Association tiebreaker policy that would have sent the three teams into a series of mini-games Monday to determine the No. 4 seed in the state playoffs.
“They voted 6-2 to not have it,” Budde said. “We were disappointed in that outcome, but we also know we had our chances the last two weeks to seal a playoff spot in our own right and just couldn’t get it done.”
Wheeler took the fourth seed by virtue of its winning percentage — .500 (4-4) — against other Class AAAAAA teams. Woodstock was .333 (3-6) and Etowah .444 (4-5).