Taking advantage of a recovered fumble, two interceptions and a blocked punt, Walton had little trouble dispatching Milton 27-7 at Raider Valley in a Region 5AAAAAA game broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
Milton (5-3, 3-2) took an early 7-0 lead, scoring on a 1-yard run by Treyvon Paulk on its first possession. The eight-play drive fueled by running back Peyton Barber produced the Eagles’ only score of the night.
Walton (6-2, 4-1), which picked up just one first down on its first two possessions combined, got on the board a minute into the second quarter.
The Raiders’ defense forced Milton to punt from its own 42. The punt attempt was blocked by Walton’s Dreyon Williams and recovered by Blake Montz, who returned the ball 35 yards for a touchdown.
On the Eagles’ next possession, the Walton defense came through again. Kyle Whittaker’s fumble recovery set up a five-play drive that ended with D.J. Smith catching a 27-yard pass from Price Wilson for a touchdown with 7:13 left in the first half. The point-after attempt was wide and Walton led 13-7 going into the third quarter.
Montz and the Raider defense weren’t done for the night.
In the final minute of the third quarter, Montz’s one-handed interception and return to the Eagles’ 3-yard line set up a touchdown by Tyren Jones on the first play of the fourth quarter. Price’s pass to tight end Brad Green was good for the 2-point conversion and a 21-7 lead.
Anthony Price connected for a 47-yard field goal on the Raiders’ next possession.
On the ensuing kickoff Milton fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Raiders’ Robert McCarthy on the 9-yard line. However, a series of penalties forced Walton to settle for a 42-yard field goal by Price.
The score could have been even more lopsided had Price not missed two long field-goal attempts — striking the right upright from 42 yards and the crossbar from 54 yards.
Walton’s offense amassed just nine first downs and 212 total yards. Jones led all rushers with 117 yards on 34 carries and one touchdown.
Wilson, continuing to start for the Raiders in place of injured quarterback Parker McLeod, was 5-for-8 passing for 84 yards and a touchdown.
The Raider defense held Milton to just 234 offensive yards, limiting star running back Barber to just 97 yards on 20 carries.
Quarterback A.J. Bush was 11-of-20 passing for 92 yards and two interceptions.