The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes won a defensive struggle Friday night at Sandy Creek 7-0 as the two Class AAAA top ten teams went head to head in a slugfest in Tyrone. Meanwhile, East Paulding spoiled homecoming at Cass by racing out to a 20-0 lead in a 33-21 defeat of the Colonels and Adairsville dropped a 14-10 decision at Sonoraville.
CANES WIN DEFENSIVE BATTLE TO REMAIN UNBEATEN
Cartersville won a battle of Class AAAA top ten teams Friday night winning at Sandy Creek 7-0.
The two teams fought to a scoreless tie through three quarters before Cartersville punched in the game’s only score in the final three minutes.
The Hurricanes and Patriots had difficulty moving the football as the two defenses controlled most of the game.
Cartersville’s defense pinned Sandy Creek down and forced a punt from the Patriots’ own nine yard line with about six minutes left in the game. The punt and Marko Dudley return set up Cartersville at the Patriots’ 29-yard line.
Eight plays later, Marcus Gary (photo) scored on a one-yard run for the game’s only touchdown with 3:08 remaining. Gary finished the night with 125 yards on 26 carries -- 91 of those yards were in the first half. Sandy Creek drove to the Cartersville 22-yard line at the end, but Amarai Orr picked off a Patriots’ pass in the end zone to seal the Canes’ 7-0 victory.
Sandy Creek slips to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in Region 5-AAAA.
Cartersville (8-0, 4-0) won its 46th consecutive regular season game and travels to Chapel Hill next Friday.
SLUGGISH START DOOMS COLONELS
For the second week in a row, Cass fell behind 20-0 before making it a full-tilt battle the remainder of the game. The deficit again proved to be too much for the Colonels to overcome, however, as they fell Friday night in a 33-21 loss to visiting East Paulding.
Tyrell Robinson -- who rushed for 220 yards on 29 carries in the contest -- scored four touchdowns for the Raiders including three in the first quarter.
The senior running back returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a 6-0 lead and added touchdown runs of 35- and 37-yards as East Paulding took a 20-0 advantage on the first play of the second quarter.
Cass made it 20-7 at halftime with a 12-play, 93-yard drive. Rett Moore capped the scoring effort with a one-yard keeper and Kaleb Speights added the first of his three PAT kicks. Moore (photo) then found Malik Grimes for a 27-yard touchdown pass on the Colonels’ first possession of the second half to narrow the East Paulding lead to 20-14.
The Raiders answered, however, with a Parker O’Neil touchdown run to cap a 59-yard scoring drive.
With East Paulding leading 26-14, Cass needed only two plays to score on a 74-yard touchdown pass from Moore to Javen Bridges and the Colonels trailed 26-21 with 9:25 left. Both teams had possessions before the Raiders put the game away with an 8-play, 58-yard drive culminated by Robinson’s fourth touchdown from nine yards out with only 0:50 left. Moore passed for 120 yards, rushed for 102 yards and was part of all three Cass touchdowns. Javen Bridges had two receptions for 86 yards and one touchdown, while Grimes had one 27-yard touchdown reception.
East Paulding stayed alive in the state playoff race and improved to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in Region 7-AAAAA. The Raiders host rival Paulding County next Friday night. Cass (1-7, 0-6) travels to Kell next Friday.
TIGERS' PLAYOFF CHANCES TAKE MAJOR HIT IN LOSS AT SONORAVILLE
The Adairsville Tigers scored the game’s final 10 points, but it wasn’t enough to upend the Sonoraville Phoenix on the road Friday night in a 14-10 loss.
Sonoraville scored all of its points in the first quarter with Cole Godfrey’s two touchdown passes to Blade Bryant and Colton Richards.
Then Adairsville scored its 10 points in the second quarter.
Landon Ayers got the Tigers on the board with a 29-yard touchdown run with 11:20 remaining in the half. Then with only 0:06 remaining before halftime, the Tigers’ Emmanuel Lopez kicked a 20-yard field goal that narrowed the Phoenix lead to 14-10 at the intermission.
Both defenses stood tall in the second half, but Adairsville had a chance to take the lead after taking over a first-and-goal at the Sonoraville four-yard line in the fourth quarter.
Faced with fourth down at their own 20-yard line, Sonoraville was hit with three simultaneous penalties, including the ejection of their head coach.
Punting from their own two-yard line after the penalties were assessed, a shanked kick gave Adairsville the ball at the Phoenix four.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they could not punch it in and the Sonoraville goal line stand stopped Adairsville at the one-yard line. From there, the two teams exchanged possessions with the Tigers selecting to punt from the Sonoraville 38 yard line in the final minutes. Sonoraville's Case Collins then provided some nice runs to keep the clock moving and help seal the victory.
Mason Boswell had 55 rushing yards for Adairsville on 15 carries and finished 4-for-14 passing for 38 yards and one interception. Landon Ayers added 59 yards on 12 attempts with a 29-yard scoring run. Michael Cook had five carries for 25 yards.
The Phoenix improved to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in Region 6-AAA.
Adairsville (3-5, 1-4) will look to bounce back next week at home against winless Murray County.