Week Five of the local schedule for high school football arrives featuring a full slate of games with three of the four Bartow County schools hosting region games. Cartersville, Woodland, and Cass each host this Friday night with 7:30 p.m. kickoffs while Adairsville goes on the road to face a new Region 6-AAA favorite.
CEDARTOWN BULLDOGS (1-3) at CARTERSVILLE HURRICANES (4-0)
The Purple Hurricanes are ranked No. 1 in Georgia and have now been in the Top Ten of the state polls for 71 consecutive weeks. Only Grayson has a longer streak at 73 weeks. With their 28-7 win last week over then-unbeaten Cherokee, the Canes have now outscored opponents 140-20 in the first four games.
The Bulldogs cracked into the winning side of the ledger last week with a 57-14 win at Southeast Whitfield. Prior to last week’s victory, Coach O. Doyle Kelly’s Cedartown team had losses at Bremen, at Alexander, and at home against rival Rockmart.
This is Kelly’s third season at the Bulldogs’ helm. He has a 16-11 record as head coach and guided Cedartown to the state playoffs in each of his first two seasons.
Friday will mark the 50th meeting between the Bulldogs and Hurricanes in a series that dates back to 1912. Cartersville has won five of the last six including last year’s surprisingly close 21-20 victory at Cedartown. The Bulldogs’ last win in the series was an 18-10 score in Polk County in 2011.
Cedartown leads the all-time series 25-21-3. Cartersville won five of the first six games between 1912 and 1918, but Cedartown was 14-2-2 between 1925 and 1971 as the two schools met sporadically. The series of occasional meetings continued in 1992 with Cartersville holding a 10-7 edge. The two teams meet again this week as Region 5-AAAA rivals. Projections:
CalPreps — Cartersville by 35
Massey — Cartersville by 28
Maxwell — Cartersville by 38
Broadcast: WBHF-Cartersville (100.3FM / AM1450) Pregame coverage begins at 6:00 p.m.
HIRAM HORNETS (1-2, 1-0) at WOODLAND WILDCATS (1-3, 0-2)
The Wildcats have dropped three straight following an opening night win at home over Southeast Whitfield. Woodland romped past the Raiders 35-7, but then lost on the road at East Hall, fell to Cass at home, and lost at Paulding County last week. Hiram has started slowly as well and comes into this game off a bye week. The Hornets opened with a 35-7 loss to Harrison and followed with a 28-22 loss at South Paulding before beating Paulding County two weeks ago, 28-15.
Hornets head coach Pete Fominaya is in his second season as the top man at Hiram where he is 5-8. This is is first head coaching position.
Woodland head coach Tony Plott, now in his fifth season at the helm, is 9-35 in his first head coaching job. Hiram leads the all-time series 5-4, but it may be the Wildcats’ turn to win. The series dates back to 2002, but due to some breaks and region assignments over the years this will be only the tenth meeting. In the first nine matchups, the home team has won each time. Hiram won last year 35-15. Woodland won in 2017, 21-10.
CalPreps — Hiram by 28
Massey — Hiram by 14
Maxwell — Hiram by 24
Broadcast: This is the Johnny's NY Style Pizza Bartow County Game of the Week via BartowSportsZone.com. Pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m. with a shared feed with WBHF-Cartersville. Click on the green, 'Listen Live' button on the header of this website. Charles Wilson and Brad Stephens will have the call. Listeners may also use this link --> https://www.meridix.com/channel/?liveid=bartowsportszone#/schedule/156135
ADAIRSVILLE TIGERS (2-2, 1-1) at NORTH MURRAY MOUNTAINEERS (3-1, 2-0)
The Mountaineers snapped a long, 139-game region winning streak by Calhoun last Friday by winning at Hal Lamb Field and Phil Reeve Stadium. On the scoreboard, North Murray hammered the Yellow Jackets, 31-7, but the lead was only 17-7 heading into the final three minutes. The Mountaineers scored a pair of touchdowns in that late game stretch. It was Calhoun’s first region game loss since 2001. North Murray started the season with a 38-17 loss at Rabun County, but has now reeled off three consecutive wins over Model (24-7) and Ringgold (45-17) at home prior to last week’s victory at Calhoun.
Mountaineers’ head coach Preston Poag was a former quarterback at Dalton High School and N.C. State. He is now 48-34 overall in eight GHSA seasons. After serving as a Dalton assistant, he spent four years as head coach at Christian Heritage in Dalton where his teams made the state playoffs his final three seasons. The Lions were 24-20 between 2012 and 2015. Poag enters his fourth season guiding the Mountaineers and is 24-14 and has made the state playoffs each season. They appear to be well on their way to a fourth consecutive appearance.
Adairsville dropped its opener at Chattooga 20-0, but bounce back with consecutive wins over Cass (14-7) and Coahulla Creek (35-0). Last week the Tigers were edged by Haralson County at home, 13-12. Adairsville head coach Eric Bishop is in the midst of his seventh season as the leader of the Tigers. His teams are 43-28 in that stretch and made the state playoffs in 2013-2015 and again in 2017.
Friday will mark the seventh meeting between the Tigers and Mountaineers since 2012. Adairsville leads the all-time series 4-2, but North Murray has won each of the last two matchups. Adairsville’s last win in the series was a 47-14 win in Chatsworth in 2015 when the Tigers advanced all the way to the Class AAA quarterfinals and finished 11-2.
CalPreps — North Murray by 18
Massey — North Murray by 21 Maxwell — North Murray by 21
ROME WOLVES (2-2, 1-1) at CASS COLONELS (3-1, 2-0)
The Wolves started the year ranked either first or second in Class AAAAA depending on your poll of reference, but have now slipped down the rankings following losses to Marietta and Carrollton. The opening loss to the Blue Devils in the Corky Kell Classic was only surprising by the scoring put up by Marietta. Last week’s 24-20 loss at Carrollton likely means the Region 7-AAAAA race will look a little different this November. Between those two losses, Rome won twice at Barron Stadium. The Wolves overwhelmed North Clayton 63-6 and edged perrenial region contender Kell, 21-10.
Meanwhile, Cass struggled to an opening night loss at Adairsville before reeling off three straight wins. The Colonels held off Class 7A Forsyth Central 15-7, beat Woodland 36-7, and topped Villa Rica last week 17-14. The Cass defense has been nothing short of solid through the first four games, but that unit will be severely challenged over the next two weeks as the Colonels host Rome and travel to Carrollton. The offense has improved in the past two outings posting 36 points at Woodland and found a productive rushing attack against Villa Rica.
Rome head coach John Reid is in his fifth season with the Wolves after stints at East Paulding, Alcoa, Tennessee and William Blount, Tennessee. He is 51-9 at Rome with three region championships and two state titles. Overall, Reid is 125-41 in 14 seasons.
Bobby Hughes is 65-78 in his 14th season as a head coach. This is his sixth season at the helm of the Colonels where he is 18-36 since 2014. He was previously a head coach at Howard in Bibb County and Macon County where his teams won a pair of region titles and made the state playoffs five straight seasons.
Friday will be the tenth meeting in the all-time series led by Rome 9-1. The lone Cass win in the series that goes back to the 2008 season was a 24-21 home win in 2014 — Hughes’ first season as head coach at Cass. Last year, the Wolves — who reached the state semifinals — won 49-14 at Barron Stadium.
CalPreps — Rome by 17 Massey — Rome by 33
Maxwell — Rome by 31
-- series data from GHSFH