The Cartersville Middle School football team wrapped up a perfect, unbeaten season and won the Bartow-Gordon Middle School Athletic Association championship Thursday at Weinman Stadium with a come-from-behind 19-14 victory over Calhoun.
The CMS Canes finished their 2016 work in the BGMSAA with a 9-0 record. Calhoun finished 7-2 with their only losses coming to Cartersville. Cartersville won the regular season meeting, 25-14, in mid-September.
Cartersville, behind quarterback Evan Slocum and running back Quante Jennings sprinted to an early 13-0 lead, but Calhoun would rally with a second quarter touchdown and a lengthy third quarter drive to go up 14-13.
After falling behind, Cartersville’s Sam Phillips returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield to set up the Canes go-ahead drive.
Slocum and Jennings did the bulk of the work with Jennings scoring on a one-yard burst with 5:38 remaining. A two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Canes had regained a 19-14 lead.
Calhoun threatened once more with a drive into Cartersville territory, but Jennings came up with a sack of Calhoun’s quarterback on a fourth down play inside the Canes’ 30-yard line with 1:37 to thwart the Jackets comeback attempt.
Cartersville was able to run out the clock from there to claim the BGMSAA title.
Slocum had a 7 yard run early and added another short touchdown run in the second period as the Canes took an early 13-0 lead.
Calhoun scored on an interesting play to get on the board in the second quarter. After the Yellow Jackets running back picked up a first down, he lateraled to a teammate before hitting the turf. The lateral was then taken an additional 30 yards for a Calhoun score.
In the third quarter, Calhoun used up much of the period with a long drive to take a 14-13 edge.
It was the first deficit of any kind for Cartersville this season.
Cartersville, under first year head coach Brett Tolbert, completed back-to-back unbeaten seasons with BGMSAA titles.
The Canes had playoff wins over Adairsville (43-0) and Red Bud (49-7) to reach the championship game. Calhoun reached the championship game with playoff wins over Woodland 29-0 and Cass, 13-6.