Canes rally to take region opener; Adairsville, Woodland, Cass fall
In recent years, Cartersville has not trailed very often — especially in the fourth quarter. But that was the case Friday night as the Hurricanes entered the game’s final 12 minutes trailing at Cedartown, 20-14.
To their credit, the Canes handled the adversity and rallied in the fourth quarter for a 21-20 road win in their 2018 Region 5-AAAA opener.
Quante Jennings — who had several key runs in the go-ahead drive — scored the game-tying touchdown with about eight minutes left in the game. The ensuing PAT by Oscar Hernandez gave Cartersville a one-point lead and the defense made it hold up down the stretch.
Harrison Allen gave Cartersville a 7-0 lead with a three-yard touchdown run in the first quater. The scoring run capped a drive of just under 80 yards.
Cedartown tied the game, however, as Taji Hudson scampered 21-yards on the Bulldogs’ initial drive.
Following a fumble recovery by the Canes on a punt, Tee Web scrambled for a 21-yard score that gave the Canes a 14-7 lead in the final minutes of the first quarter.
The Hurricanes’ defense picked off a red zone pass to halt the Bulldogs’ next drive. Allen made the interception after Cedartown had driven to the Cartersville 14 yard line.
On Cedartown’s next possession, Hudson broke loose for a 57-yard scoring jaunt. The missed PAT, however, kept the Hurricanes in the lead 14-13 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Cedartown took a 20-14 lead with a 92-yard pick six of a Tee Webb pass but the Canes survived with their fourth quarter scoring drive.
The loss dropped Cedartown to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in Region 5-AAAA. The Bulldogs travel to LaGrange next Friday.
2nd-ranked Cartersville (5-0, 1-0) hosts Central-Carroll next Friday at Weinman Stadium.
NORTH MURRAY 23, ADAIRSVILLE 20
The visiting Mountaineers scored on a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Preston Poag, Jr. to Landon Burrell as time expired Friday night to win 23-20 in shocking fashion at Adairsville.
On the play before, Poag connected with Ladd McConkey to the two-yard line. That left the Mountaineers with a fourth-and-goal and no time outs. Poag somehow got his team lined up, set, and got the snap away for the game-winning score with just over two seconds remaining at the time of the snap.
The play concluded a frantic final drive by the Mountaineers and a back-and-forth final quarter.
The two teams traded first half field goals for a 3-3 tie at halftime as both defenses dominated play.
Adairsville’s Emmanuel Lopez made a 43-yard field goal with 7:37 remaining in the second quarter for the game’s first points. Owen Hannah made a 41-yard field goal for North Murray with 1:49 left in the first half.
Mason Boswell gave Adairsville a 10-3 lead with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter on a 7-yard run, but North Murray answered with a Poag to Landon Burrell touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to knot the score at 10-10.
That set off a frantic fourth quarter that saw the lead exchanged four times.
Lopez made a 39-yard field goal with 7:47 remaining to put the Tigers ahead 13-10, but Dante Tidwell answered for North Murray with a 13-yard run to cap an eight play, 60-yard scoring drive for a 17-13 Mountaineers’ lead. The North Murray touchdown was made possible after Poag connected with Burrell for a first down on a 4th-and-13 play.
Adairsville answered again, however.
B.J. Roper returned the ensuing kickoff near midfield to set up a rapid five-play, 53-yard scoring drive. The return was the second dramatic return for Roper in the final quarter. His first return helped set up the earlier field goal.
Courtney Slocum then capped off the final Adairsville scoring drive with a 28-yard touchdown run. The PAT kick by Lopez had the Tigers leading 20-17 with 3:55 left in the game.
After a short Adairsville kickoff and a return by the Mountaineers to their own 42, Poag’s passing and several key runs by Noah Lunsford and Dante Tidwell set up the dramatic winning play by North Murray with no time remaining.
North Murray improved to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in Region 6-AAA. The Mountaineers host Murray County next Friday.
Adairsville (2-3, 1-2) will look to snap a two game skid next Friday at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.
HIRAM 35, WOODLAND 15
Woodland took an early lead Friday night, but Hiram answered with 29 unanswered points on their way to a 35-15 home win over the Wildcats.
Woodland scored first on a 21-yard pass from Jakob Foss to Justice Carter with 3:27 remaining in the opening quarter for a 7-0 lead.
Hiram running backs Marcuis Fulks and Brian Maina then combined for four touchdowns as the Hornets’ offense had a successful night.
A red zone strip sack in the second quarter and a red zone interception in the second half helped keep the Wildcats close.
Woodland’s other points came on a 70-yard kickoff return by Blake Cash with 10 minutes remaining. The Wildcats added a two-point conversion pass from Titus Jones to Dylan Forman.
Hiram improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 7-AAAAA. The Hornets travel to East Paulding next Friday.
Woodland (4-1, 2-1) hosts No. 1 Rome next Friday.
ROME 49, CASS 14
Cass fell to Rome Friday night in a one-sided final, 49-14, at Barron Stadium.
Rome, No. 1 in Georgia’s Class AAAAA and ranked in the top 20 nationally, took a 35-0 first half lead to win comfortably.
The win for Rome was the Wolves’ 32nd straight
Cass managed a pair of scores to match the Wolves in the second half, but it was a night controlled for the most part by the Rome defense.
The Rome defense held Cass to just 59 yards in the first half with two turnovers. Meanhwile Rome’s offense rolled up 289 yards with one fumble recovered by the Colonels’ Blake Carrington.
Knox Kadum, Jamious Griffin, and Trey Lawrence contributed to a pair of Wolves’ touchdowns each.
Kadum connected with Tyreke Griffin for a 25-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. That was followed by a touchdown run by Kadum, two scores by Griffin, and two TD runs by Trey Lawrence for a 42-0 Rome advantage.
Cass scored on a 50-yard pass from Logan Nelson to Malik Grimes with 4:19 remaining in the third quarter. Then the Colonels’ Nic Wallin completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Javen Bridges with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter to cap an 11-play, 85-yard scoring drive and make the score 42-14.
Maliek Ash added a final touchdown for Rome with 18 seconds remaining.
Rome improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in Region 7-AAAAA. The Wolves play at Woodland next Friday.
Cass (1-4, 0-3) hosts 5th-ranked Carrollton next Friday.