The Trojans held Milton out of the end zone and went on to defeat the Eagles 31-3 in Region 5AAAAAA action Friday at Frank Fillmann Stadium.
Milton (5-2, 2-2) entered the game scoring at a 37.5-point average and holding opponents to 13.8. But in front of a boisterous homecoming crowd, Lassiter (4-3, 3-1) turned those numbers upside down and won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
The win also allowed the Trojans to take a share of the region lead with Etowah, which was upset by Cherokee on Friday. Lassiter, after facing Wheeler and Roswell, will close the regular season with Etowah on Nov. 8
“We knew they had a good offense and we prepared well all week for it,” said senior defensive end Corey John, who had two of the Trojans’ three sacks. “We just made the right adjustments to stop it, and it worked.
“I thought they’d be able to put up a few more points, but I’m excited we were able to keep them out of the end zone. It was a good win.”
C.J. Amann also had a sack, and Kory Gildea picked off Milton quarterback Austin McLeod in Lassiter territory late in the third quarter. John Branks also forced a fumble that was recovered by Austin Cheatum on the Eagles’ first possession of the second half.
As well as Lassiter’s defense was able to produce, its offense was just as explosive. Will Anderson completed 27 of 36 passes for 406 yards and four touchdowns, while Quincy Perdue caught three of Anderson’s touchdown passes and finished the
game with eight receptions for 197 yards.
Lassiter punted on its first drive, but on the third play of its second possession, Anderson connected with Perdue for a 68-yard score that led to a 7-0 lead.
Lassiter’s defense stopped Milton inside the red zone on the ensuing possession, resulting in a 29-yard field goal from Jordan Genovese, but on the fifth play of the Trojans’ next drive, Anderson found Perdue down the left sideline for a 53-yard touchdown reception and a 14-3 margin with 35 seconds left in the first quarter.
Luke Hardin converted a 27-yard field goal for Lassiter as time expired before halftime, and Perdue picked up his third touchdown catch — a 51-yard reception — on the Trojans’ first play from scrimmage 15 seconds into the fourth period.
“It’s like that for this offense every week,” Perdue said. “We don’t let up on plays, and that shows in practice. This was a big win for us on homecoming. There’s nothing better right now.”
Milton punted on three of its final four possessions, as Lassiter forced three three-and-outs. The Eagles attempted to extend one of their drives, but McLeod’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
“We didn’t turn the ball over, we didn’t give up any big plays, our special teams coverage was very good, our defense made some big hits and we controlled the momentum of the game,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “Will played a great game and took care of the ball, and Quincy had multiple touchdowns for the fourth straight game. The line pass-protected well, the receivers made plays and our running game did enough to maintain possession, control the clock and move the chains. These guys just keep getting better.”
Lassiter scored its final touchdown on Oris Lawhorn’s 57-yard reception, which capped a six-play, 87-yard drive with 7:54 left in the fourth quarter.
McLeod was 12-for-15 for 92 yards and an interception for Milton. Chad Toliver rushed 16 times for 79 yards and caught four passes for 52 yards.
“Milton can score a lot of points,” Irwin said, “so I’m really proud of our defense. We got some turnovers and played well in all four quarters. The defense played lights out. That’s the best we’ve played all year.”