MILTON — North Forsyth yielded 289 yards on the ground, and a fourth straight loss means the Raiders won’t return to the state playoffs this year.
Running back Treyvon Paulk and tight end/fullback Kyle LeStrange scored two touchdowns apiece in Milton’s 30-14 victory, a game North (1-8, 1-4 Region 6-AAAAA) needed to keep faint postseason hopes afloat.
“They’re very disappointed,” Raiders coach Blair Armstrong said of his players. “I think they realize we’re better than we’re playing.”
The Raiders traded blows with the Eagles (3-6, 2-3) until late in the second quarter and squandered an early fourth-quarter chance to get within a touchdown.
After a scoreless first period, Paulk (155 yards on 21 carries) finished an 11-play, 53-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run through the heart of North’s defense. Milton failed on the extra point.
Running back Luke Slaton (87 yards on 15 carries) answered with a similar 6-yard score, set up by his own 35-yard run and a leaping third-down reception by tight end Madison Hoke. Cole Allison nailed the extra point, and North had a 7-6 advantage and a handful of momentum with 6:44 left in the first half.
It wouldn’t last.
LeStrange caught a screen pass from quarterback Colin McElroy (5-for-9, 99 yards passing) on the Eagles’ next possession and sprinted past three defenders for a 56-yard score. North went 3-and-out, and punter Cole Allison ran out the back of the end zone after the snap sailed over his head.
The safety gave Milton a 16-7 halftime lead.
LeStrange (52 yards on six rushes) added six more points midway through the third, pushing his way across the goal line from two yards out on fourth down.
Paulk followed up 29- and 22-yard runs with an 8-yard touchdown to put Milton ahead 30-7 with 6:34 left in the game.
North’s final score came on a 17-yard keeper by backup quarterback Cody Gottberg with 33 seconds to go.
Trailing 22-7 with three minutes left in the third quarter, North drove 70 yards to the Eagles’ 10. A fourth-down sack of quarterback Harris Roberts (5-for-10, 48 yards passing) ended the Raiders’ final threat.
“I thought we came out and started out OK and things went downhill,” Slaton said. “We drive the whole field and the last 10 yards, we seem to screw up.”
West Forsyth 35, Roswell 14
ROSWELL — West Forsyth has two weeks to prepare for the school’s first-ever home playoff game.
The Wolverines ran their overall record to a program best 9-1 Friday night with a blowout win on the road against Roswell.
The victory allowed the Wolverines to finish the regular season as the No. 2 seed in the region and earn home-field advantage in the first round of the postseason.
“It is just a great season for our program and our kids,” West coach Frank Hepler said. “To have this kind of year and have a chance to keep it going is special.”
The outcome also gave the Wolverines (5-1 Region 6-AAAAA) a measure of revenge against a Roswell squad that defeated them for the region title last season. This season the Hornets (0-9, 0-5) are in danger of finishing without a single victory.
“Last year they beat us up pretty bad,” Hepler said. “It kind of killed our momentum going into the playoffs. We knew this year that it was important to keep building that momentum to carry us forward, and we did that tonight.”
West had an outside chance at a Region 6-AAAAA title, but Alpharetta's 32-26, come-from-behind victory over Centennial means the Raiders are champions.
Rome 16, Lambert 0
Lambert’s offensive production was as ugly as the weather conditions Friday night at the Horn.
The Longhorns turned the ball over on three consecutive offensive plays, committed 10 penalties and barely cracked 100 yards of total offense in a loss to Rome played with steady-falling rain and temperatures in the 40s.
The defeat costs the Longhorns (7-2, 7-2 Region 7-AAAA) a shot at the region title and means they’ll need help to finish higher than fourth in the region standings.
“We had too many penalties,” Lambert head coach Sid Maxwell said. “No offense can execute when you keep backing up, especially in a rain storm. We can’t move the chains when we back ourselves up.”
Had Rome taken advantage of its earlier scoring opportunities, the score could have been much more lopsided. A combination of good defense and shanked Lambert punts had the Wolves inside the red zone four times in the first three quarters, but they only had a single field goal to show for it.
Sequoyah 26, Forsyth Central 22
After surging ahead with 4:05 to play on senior night at Central, the Bulldogs watched as Sequoyah running back Obie Myers spun and sprinted 58 yards for the game-winning touchdown on the first play of the ensuing possession, securing a 26-22 victory for the Chiefs.
“I think we let one get away, if we could’ve made a few more plays,” Central coach Chris Bennett said. “Hats off to Sequoyah. They made the plays and we didn’t.”
On a rainy, cold night when the two teams combined for five turnovers, Central (2-7, 2-7 Region 7-AAAA) moved ahead late in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs drew Sequoyah offsides on fourth-and-2 from the Chiefs 29. On the next play, quarterback Spencer Transue wove his way through Sequoyah's defense for a 24-yard touchdown run, giving the Bulldogs a 20-19 advantage.
For complete coverage of all the games, pick up a copy of Sunday's Forsyth County News. Follow sports reporter Phil Ervin on Twitter @PhilErvin_FCN for all the latest in Forsyth County athletics.