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Milton 31, Walton 21: Live score updates, Georgia 7A football state championship

Refresh this post for constant updates as the Eagles take on the Raiders in the Georgia 7A state championship game
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ATLANTA – This Georgia Class 7A state championship showdown between Milton vs. Walton is part of the 2023 Georgia high school football championships at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Stay with SBLive Georgia for reports from this state championship game and others as we cover all eight title games in the Peach State this week.

Below is our Live Update Feed created and updated as the contest progresses. Read from the bottom up to follow the action chronologically from beginning to end.

Live Updates:



- Nickel takes the knee and Milton repeats as GHSA 7A state champions.

- TURNOVER ON DOWNS! Hecklinski's final pass is also incomplete. We are now a kneel down away.

- After another incomplete pass, it's fourth and 10 with 31 seconds left in the game.

- Hecklinski is pressured and throws it away.

- Hecklinski fires incomplete. Injury timeout with 41 seconds left. It's second down.

- A squib kick is covered at the Milton 48. There are 51 seconds left.

- Milton will be assessed 15-yards for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, on the kickoff, for their celebration following the touchdown.

- PICK SIX! Hecklinski drops deep in the end zone and Jacorey Stewart jumps the rout and returns it five-yards for the touchdown. The kick is good.

- INTERCEPTION! Walton runs a fake field goal and Dylan Warren's pass is intercepted by Oliver Skeean. Walton has the ball at its own one with 57 seconds left.

- Nickel goes to the air on third down and his pass to Gatling is broken up in the end zone. It's fourth down.

- Lester is dropped for a five-yard loss and Walton calls timeout. Third and goal from the 11 with 1:23 left.

- After initially declining and illegal motion penalty, Walton accepts it. It's second and goal from the six.

- Nickel is short. It's third and goal. Walton needs to force a field goal attempt.

- Anderson gets down to the two. Walton finally uses a timeout with 1:34 left. Milton is in control of its bid to win a second straight state title.

- Anderson picks up another first down and we're under two minutes.

- Anderson bangs the middle for seven yards. Second and three with 2:15 left.

- Lester converts and then some. He breaks it for 32-yards down to the 19.

- A big third and two. Walton still have all three time outs.

- Amauri Anderson is hit at the line by falls forward for a five yard gain. The clock is at 3:35.

- Lester runs for eight and then three more for the first down.

- Gatling makes his seventh catch and gets the first down as the clock goes under 5:30.

- Short gain on second down. It's third and 10.

- Nickel is dropped for two-yard loss on first down.

- TOUCHDOWN! Hecklinski throws to the end zone and Cameran Lloyd splits two receivers to get the TD. The Raiders are back within three with 7:28 to play.

- He then adds another first down comversion at the Walton 48.

- Bodiford gets a first down run to the 46.

- INTERCEPTION! Milton keeps the ball in the air the lead and Bride picks it off.

- Nickel starts the Milton drive a throw to Essley and another one to Wiley. It's first and 10 in Walton territory. 8:55 to go.

- Caleb Bell sacks Hecklinski on second down and the third down throw is incomplete. The Eagles punt.

- Touchback.

- TOUCHDOWN! Luke Nickel keeps and reaches the ball across the goal line to get the score. The kick is good and the Eagles lead by 10 with 11:11 left.

- Timeout Milton with 11:25 remaining in the game.

- Lester nearly breaks the plain, but he does get a first down at the one.



- Gatling makes the catch at the seven and spins down to the three. That ends the third quarter.

- INTERCEPTION! Ty Redmond undercuts the Walton receiver at the 28 and returns it all the way down to the Raider 12. First down.

- Bride makes a seven-yard reception. It's fourth and 11.

- Incomplete pass brings up third and 18.

- Bodiford breaks off a big 32-yard run around left end, but it's coming back for holding. It's second and 18 with under two minutes to play in the quarter.

- Austin Williams absorbs a couple of big hits, but runs for a first down at the Walton 40.

- Bodiford converts with a run out to the 37. First down.

- On third down and two, Hecklinski spins out of trouble and throws down field. Milton is called for pass interference, but Walton is whistled for an illegal man down field. The penalties and offset and we will replay third and two.

- The Raiders return the kick out to the 27.

- TOUCHDOWN! Essey gets wide open on the corner rout and Nickel hits him. Kick is good and Milton goes in front, 17-10, with 5:29 remaining in the quarter.

- Nickel screens it out to Gatling. First and goal at the eight.

- Wiley makes his fifth catch and gains nine. Second and one.

- Nickel finds Wiley for a first down at the 28.

- INTERCEPTION! Jack Lawson jumps a sideline rout, taps his toes and comes down with the Eagles second turnover of the quarter. Milton is at the Walton 46.

- A holding call will push the Raiders back 10-yards.

- Hecklinski's pass is tipped but Teal makes the catch and gains five. Bodiford adds six on the ground and its a first down at the 30.

- Nover gets his third straight touchback. Walton will start at the 20.

- FIELD GOAL! Alex Nover boots a 37-yard field goal to get Milton back on the board. 9:40 remains in the third quarter.

- Big pressure again and Hecklinski barely gets it away for an incompletion.

- A delay call pushes the ball back to the 20. Third and goal.

- Jake Thorner throws Hecklinski for a big loss on the sack.

- Two completions to Debron Gatling and its first and goal at the five.

- TURNOVER! On second down the ball is fumbled and Drew Cohen recovers for Milton.

- Milton kicks it away for touchback to start the second half. Walton has it at its 20.


(All photos by Cecil Copeland)


- The Raiders keep it on the ground and the first half ends.

- Jacorey Stewart sacks Hecklinski back at the 22.

- Teal collects a screen pass and gets a first down at the 38.

- A long throw is broken up on first down.

- The drive stalls and Milton punts. It's downed at the 26 and Walton will have 1:27 to attempt a late score.

- Nickel connects with Tristen Payne but he is dropped for a gain of just one. Timeout with 1:41  left in the half.

- Nickel to Essley for five gets the drive started.

- Essley with a nice return. The Eagles have good field position at their 36.

- TOUCHDOWN! Bodiford follows his blocking to the right and crashes into the end zone. The kick is good and the Raiders are back on top. 2:39 left in the second quarter.

- After short runs by Bodiford and Hecklinski, it's third and goal from the three.

- Bodiford gets a big hole and runs all the way down the seven-yard line. First and goal.

- Bride gets a quick six on a reception and Williams follows with a five-yard run for a first down. We have 4:45 left in the first half.

- On second and 10, Walton gets a big run from Williams He has a first down at the 46.

- Bodiford runs for five and a first down at the 33.

- Wyatt Sonderman makes a sliding catch at the 28 to bring up third and short.

- Hecklinski flips a sidearm throw out to Teal for a first down at the 26, but it is erased by an illegible man down field. Second and 14.

- The kickoff goes for a touchback. Walton will start at their own 20.

- TOUCHDOWN! Lester cuts back and picks up the touchdown yardage. The kick is good and we are tied.

- Nickel finds Essley once again. It's first and goal at the three. 

- Essley makes a juggling catch over the middle and turns on the jets for a 47-yard gain down to the 16.

- This time Nickel runs for four. It's third and six.

- Nickel first deep downfield and it is nearly intercepted.

- This time Nickel's throw is caught by Debron Gatling for a first down at the 33.

- After a loss on second down, Nickel throws incomplete. It's third and 14 for the Eagles.

- TJ Lester races around right end out to the 19 and a first down.



- The punt return team pins the Eagles at the eight as the first quarter comes to an end.

- The Raiders get just a few on a screen pass. Milton will punt.

- Walton's Hayden Tumminia comes up the middle and delivers a big hit on Hecklinski for a big loss. It's followed by a delay of game and now its third and 31.

- Hecklinski's first down throw is deflected into the air and falls incomplete.

- Walton calls timeout with 1:47 remaining in the opening quarter.

- On fourth down, Bodiford puts his head down and gets five for the first down at the 32.

- Hecklinski throws incomplete.

- Bodiford grinds down to the 38. It will be third and three.

- Austin Williams moves the chains again with a run down to the Milton 45.

- Cameran Loyd converts the first down, on a short pass.

- Austin carries for a short gain of two on first down.

- The Eagles punt and it is fair caught at the Walton 32.

- After trying to draw the Raiders off, Walton calls timeout with 5:38 remaining in the quarter.

- On third and five, with Nickel out of the game for a play because his helmet came off on the previous play, Dylan Warren's pass is complete but short of the first down.

- Another fumble as Nickel drops a high snap and falls on it. Second and 13.

- Nickel scrambles and runs for a first down at the 27.

- Nickel and the Milton offense will begin again at their 15. 8:22 to play in the first quarter.

- TOUCHDOWN! Hecklinski cashes in on the turnover finding Hunter Teal in the end zone. The kick is good and the Raiders draw first blood.

- Jeremy Hecklinski finds Joran Bride for a first and goal at the nine.

- Makari Bodiford goes for a big gain on first down, to the Milton 29.

- TURNOVER! Nickel completes a throw across midfield to CJ Wiley, but the ball is knocked loose after the catch and Walton recovers.

- Nickel follows with a five-yard run for a first down.

- Star QB Luke Nickel completes his first throw of the night for five yards.

- Marc Essley II gets a nice return out to the 33 and we are underway.

- Walton will kickoff to Milton to get things started.


- Milton is wearing red pants, white jerseys with red numerals and lettering, as well as white helmets with red eagle wings.

- Walton is wearing white pants with red and blue stripes, blue jerseys with white letters and numbers trimmed in red, and white helmets with red, while and blue stripes and decals.

- We are three minutes away from kickoff.

- Today's middle game has just entered the fourth quarter, so the start of this 7A title game will be delayed at least 45 minutes.

- Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

More coverage from the GHSA football state championships: