Instead, Milton recovered an onside kick with 16 seconds to play, sealing a 35-28 victory Friday.
“Our kids never give up. They will fight until the very last horn,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said. “You saw that (Friday), and you saw that with this group all season.”
The Wolverines fell to a frustrating 3-7 overall and 2-5 in Region 5AAAAAA play. All five region losses came by a touchdown or less.
“(Frustrating) is kind of how our whole season went,” Budde said. “I can think of a single play in every region game we had this season that could have swung things into our favor but we just didn’t make it.
“We’ll have to come back next year and figure out how to make that play and win games.”
Woodstock opened the scoring with a quick seven points off a Milton fumble at midfield.
Quarterback Justin Agner hooked up with Garrett Atkinson for a 47-yard pass on the following play, and Deonte Robinson gave the Wolverines their only lead of the game, scampering in from 4 yards out with 9:53 to play in the first.
But Milton’s bruising rushing attack, led by 147 yards and three touchdowns from Chad Toliver, didn’t let the Wolverines hold a lead for long.
Toliver capped a 10-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession and bolted for a 57-yard score to give the Eagles (8-2, 5-2) a 14-7 lead by the end of one quarter.
Milton quarterback Austin McLeod gave the Eagles a 21-7 halftime lead when he connected with Chris Purpura for a 35-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
Woodstock cut the margin to 21-14 on a 1-yard Justin Agner sneak in the third quarter, but Milton used an 11-yard score from Toliver and 16-yard run by McLeod to take a 35-14 lead deep into the fourth quarter.
Woodstock’s last-ditch effort featured a 37-yard touchdown pass from Agner to Reagan Amos with 49 seconds to play, an outside-kick recovery and a 9-yard touchdown run by Agner with 16 seconds left.
But Milton fell on the final outside kick with seconds to play to seal the win.
Agner finished the game with 267 yards passing and led Woodstock with 95 yards on 13 carries. Amos led all receivers with 160 yards on eight receptions.
Milton locked up its third straight playoff appearance with the win and will host a first-round playoff game next week as the region’s No. 2 seed. The Eagles will host North Gwinnett, the No. 3 seed of Region 7AAAAAA.
“We were a 4 seed two years ago, then a 3 seed last year. Now, we have a chance to host and the 2 seed,” Milton coach Howie DeCristofaro said. “We’ve tried to get better every year, and we think we are doing that. For now, though, we are really looking forward to next Friday night.”