All four local high school football teams are in action this week
All four Cartersville and Bartow County high school football teams are in action this week. Woodland and Cass, who faced one another last week, continue play in Region 7-AAAAA. Adairsville hosts Ringgold seeking their first win before beginning sub-region play week after next, and Cartersville entertains Hapeville Charter in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Woodland (0-3, 0-1 in 7-AAAAA) at Villa Rica (2-1, 1-0 in 7-AAAAA)
Series: Villa Rica leads this series 3-1 including the last three. Villa Rica won 27-3 at home in 2013 and at Woodland 50-35 in 2012. They also won at Woodland in 2001, 20-19. Woodland won the first-ever meeting at Villa Rica in 2000, 27-15.
Maxwell Projection: Villa Rica by 31.
Woodland stayed close with Cass for most of three quarters, but failures to finish in the red zone, special teams mistakes, and turnovers ultimately cost the Wildcats. Their opponents this week are also Wildcats. Villa Rica is 2-1 after defeating East Paulding last week, 17-7. Villa Rica also has a 20-13 win over Central Carrollton and lost to LaGrange, 28-7. The top offensive threat for Villa Rica has been running back Elijah Fluker who had a 200+ yard game against Central Carrollton and has racked up big yardage in all three games. Vanquez Wheeler and Jovan Allen have also been rushing threats for run-dominant Villa Rica. Woodland coach, Tony Plott, plans to continue a rotation of quarterbacks with Brody Williams and titus Jones. The local Wildcats will also look to the continued progress of running backs Justice Carter and Ant Lester.
Hiram (2-1, 0-1 in 7-AAAAA) at Cass (2-1, 1-0 in 7-AAAAA)
Series: The Colonels and Hornets split a home-and-home series in 2008 and 2009 with each team winning at home. Cass won 22-15 in ’08. Hiram won 49-14 in ’09. Maxwell Projection: Hiram by 6.
It is homecoming week for Cass who has averaged 30 points per game in wins over Adairsville and Woodland with a three-point home loss to Sonoraville. First-year, senior quarterback Brett Gaddy has relied on playmakers Laizon West and Terry Berdin from their slot positions, along with the power running of fullback Derrick Maxwell. Devin Pritchett has been the Colonels’ top outside receiving threat.
Hiram’s defense features 240-pound nose guard Emmanuel Carter and a bevy of quality linebackers. Nate Presnell is a 6’6” sophomore safety who also quarterbacks the Hornets’ offense. Cass coach Bobby Hughes expects Hiram to use a variety of offensive formations to find matchup problems for his Colonels’ defense. Cass will need big games again from middle linebackers Tripp Breeden and Chance Scrutchins, along with defensive linemen Austin Mays and Jaylon Stubbs.
Ringgold (2-1) at Adairsville (0-3)
Live play-by-play available from Bartow Sports Zone beginning with pre-game coverage at 7pm. Use the link at the top of the page on this web site each week for the Johnny's NY Style Pizza County Game of the Week Series: Adairsville leads 4-2 and has won three of the last four. Adairsville won home games in 2012 and 2014 by scores of 39-37 and 35-0. Adairsville also won last season at Ringgold, 41-17. Ringgold’s last win in the series was 38-20 at Adairsville in 2013. The two teams split a pair of games in ’08 and ’09. Maxwell Projection: Ringgold by 2.
This battle of Tigers is a region matchup, but not a sub-region game in the state’s only divided region in Class AA and up. Adairsville is in the South sub-region of 6-AAA with Calhoun, Sonoraville, Bremen, and Haralson County. Ringgold is part of the North sub-region with LFO, Murray County, North Murray, and Coahulla Creek. With five teams in each sub-region, the top three from each division will battle in cross-over, region play-in games November 4 to determine the state playoffs qualifiers and a region champion.
Defensively, Adairsville has struggled in three opening losses yielding over 44 points per game. They will need to find a way to slow down Ringgold’s offensive attack which has scored over 37 points per game in their first three games. Ringgold will lean heavily on its running attack behind a massive offensive line that averages almost 270 pounds per man.
Ringgold sophomore quarterback, Cole Kibler, distributes to running backs Dee King and Ty Jones, along with receivers Andre Tarver and Mac Brower.
Roger Redd guides an Adairsville offense that has struggled at times. Running back Travon Branch will need a quality night and the Adairsville offense will need to score points and keep the opposing Tigers offense off the field.
Hapeville Charter (1-2) at Cartersville (3-0)
Live play-by-play available on 100.3FM, AM1450, WBHF. Pregame coverage begins at 6pm. Series: First-ever meeting
Maxwell Projection: Cartersville by 41. The visiting Hornets from Union City and Region 6-AA, arrive at Weinman Stadium Friday coming off back to back losses to Pace Academy (21-7) and Wesleyan (31-14). Hapeville Charter won its season opener in Bryson City, NC, 35-7 over Swain County, NC.
Hapeville Charter had its only winning season in 2015. The Hornets were 6-4. The school began playing football in 2011and head coach Winston Gordon has been the Hornets’ only head coach.
Hajj-Malik Williams is the signal caller for the Hornets and averaged over 160 yards passing with four touchdowns in the first two games. Junior Johntavious Hill and freshman Marcus Carroll have been the leading rushers for Hapeville, while their top receivers have been juniors Andunte Devereux and Kivante’ Johnson.
On defense, the Hornets’ leading playmakers have been senior middle linebacker Ellwood Smith, junior linebacker Richard Hayes Jr., junior linebacker Truth Daniels, and junior defensive end Caleb Kelly.
The Hurricanes have been spectacular in their 3-0 start and have now won 18 straight including last season’s 15-0 state title run.
Five-star quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, is 53-of-87 for 894 yards and nine touchdowns with three interceptions in three games this season. He has a host of receivers and playmakers including running back Trey Creamer, WR/DB Avery Showell, RB/SL Antoine Jefferson, receiver JaKobe Orr, and more. Lawrence has distributed well during the early season, getting the ball to as many as eight different receivers.
The Canes defense has been successful in creating turnovers, including two red zone stops last week against Westlake. Linebackers Sean Holton and Trevor Lowe have made big plays and created pressure and Xavior Coaxum has continued his stellar play from last season.