Leading 21-13 in the third quarter, the Raiders saw that advantage disappear as two touchdown runs by Chad Toliver clinched the win for the Eagles.
“We can’t make stupid mistakes, and we have to go out and execute,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “That’s been the story the entire season, and that’s the story now. We got a lot of opportunities to go out and put this one away, to win this football game, and we didn’t take advantage of them.”
With the loss, Walton (4-4, 3-2) fell into a tie for third in the region with Milton (6-2, 3-2) and Cherokee. It also ended the Raiders’ 13-game winning streak against the Eagles, which began in 1995.
Playing a key role in the win for Milton was Toliver, who rushed for 180 yards on 23 carries and two second-half touchdowns, as well as scoring on a 99-yard kickoff return in the first half.
K.K Brooks rushed for 117 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown to lead the Raiders.
Walton led 14-13 at halftime and increased its lead to 21-13 on Price Wilson’s 11-yard pass to Davis Pidgeon with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter.
Milton came right back on the next offensive series as Toliver’s 21-yard touchdown run and a 2-point conversion pass from Austin McLeod to Zack Spiezio tied the game at 21 with 1:43 left in the third quarter.
After Walton went three-and-out on its next series, Milton began the ensuing series on the Raiders’ 49 and proceeded to take five plays to score, with Toliver’s 6-yard touchdown run and Jordan Genovese’s kick giving Milton what proved to be the winning margin with 10:34 remaining in the game.
Walton scored on the first series of the game, as Wilson’s 49-yard pass to Chad Clay moved the ball to the Milton 27 with 10:56 remaining in the first quarter. Wilson then scored on a 14-yard keeper five plays later.
Milton struck back immediately, however, with Toliver’s 99-yard kickoff return evening the score at 7-all with 8:08 left.
The Eagles then added a pair of field goals by Genovese to build a 13-7 advantage.
Walton erased Milton’s lead — temporarily as it turned out — when Brooks scored on a 10-yard run with 50 seconds left in the first half, for a 14-13 lead following Christian Lucas’ kick.