Canes tie state mark; Colonels close year with a road win
Cartersville tied the state record for consecutive regular season wins Friday night with a 45-35 victory at Troup, while Cass finished the season with a road win at Paulding County, 51-25. Woodland dropped a 51-7 decision at home to Kell and Adairsville -- although idle Friday night -- is in position to receive the Class AAA "at-large" berth in the state playoffs once any appeals are heard over the weekend regarding the GHSA's Power Ratings. Cartersville will start the Class AAAA state playoffs at home next Friday night while it appears Adairsville will travel to Savannah to take on Region 3-AAA champ, Jenkins. Final confirmation of the Power Ratings will not be released by GHSA until Monday afternoon.
CARTERSVILLE 45, TROUP 35
The Cartersville Hurricanes went back-and-forth Friday night with Troup at Callaway Stadium in LaGrange, but held on to defeat the Tigers 45-35 to complete a fifth-consecutive undefeated regular season. The win ties the state record for consecutive regular season wins at 58 straight. Meanwhile, Denmark defeated Flowery Branch in Region 7-AAAA action and that will send Flowery Branch to Weinman Stadium next Friday for the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.
Cartersville, the region champions and No. 1 seed from Region 5-AAAA will host the Falcons for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The back-and-forth battle Friday night at Troup saw the lead change hands four times with three ties, including a 21-21 score at the intermission.
Evan Slocum put Cartersville on the scoreboard less than three minutes into the game. His nine-yard run capped a methodical Canes’ drive. The PAT kick by Oscar Hernandez put the Hurricanes up 7-0. Troup tied the game on a Trey Williams one-yard plunge on the Tigers’ next possession. Then the hosts took their first lead following a blocked punt and another short scoring run by Williams. This time it was a nine-yard run with 0:11 remaining in the opening quarter to give the Tigers a 14-7 advantage. Cartersville responded with a 75-yard drive that was capped with a one-yard touchdown run by Harrison Allen, but Troup went back ahead with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Kobe Hudson to Marquavious Kelley. In the final minute of the first half, Tee Webb (top photo) connected with Devonte Ross (photo right) for a 10-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at halftime, 21-21.
The Canes recaptured the lead late in the third quarter and would not trail again. Hernandez booted a 24-yard field goal to give Cartersville a 24-21 lead with 4:56 remaining in the third quarter.
On the next Cartersville possession, Webb escaped on a 53-yard scoring run and the Hurricanes led 31-21 with 2:23 left in the period.
Kobe Hudson pulled the Tigers back to within three points at 31-28 with a six-yard touchdown run, but back-to-back touchdowns by the Canes would give Cartersville a three-score lead. Webb connected with Kyler Johnson for a 51-yard touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter and Allen scored on a 13-yard run with 3:24 remaining in the fourth quarter for a Canes’ 45-28 advantage. Troup scored on a 29-yard pass with 0:12 left in the game for a 45-35 final score.
The Tigers finished the regular season with a 6-4 mark and must travel to Blessed Trinity next Friday for the opening round of the state playoffs. Cartersville (10-0) will host Flowery Branch (7-3).
CASS 51, PAULDING COUNTY 25
Colonels’ running back David Gbadie (photo) scored three touchdowns on runs of 19, 20, and 21 yards as Cass closed out its 2019 season with a 51-25 win Friday night at Paulding County. The two teams traded the lead in the first half, but Cass built a 51-17 lead by the middle of the fourth quarter for the Colonels’ fourth win of the year. Paulding County took a 7-0 lead and a 14-7 lead on big plays in the first quarter. Brayden Maulding hit Keishon Jackson on the first play of the game for an 80-yard touchdown pass that had the Patriots up 7-0. Then after Gbadie tied the score with the first of his three scoring runs, Smael Mondon sprinted to an 89-yard Paulding touchdown run on the first play of the Patriots’ next possession. Cass kicker Kaleb Speights made a 38-yard field goal with 10:51 to go in the second quarter to narrow the Patriots’ lead to 14-10 and then Cass grabbed its first lead with the first of two pick-six interception returns on the night.
Tanayce Calhoun’s 26-yard interception and return for touchdown gave Cass a 17-14 lead with 9:13 left in the first half, but Paulding kicker Matthew Frey made a 23-yard field goal to knot the score at 17-all with 2:03 remaining in the second quarter. Gbadie’s second touchdown run — this time a 21-yarder — gave Cass a halftime lead of 24-17 at the intermission.
Cass went up 31-17 on a 20-yard scoring jaunt by Gbadie four minutes into the third quarter and then Zay Jackson struck twice as the Colonels took control. Jackson had a two-yard touchdown catch that was almost immediately followed by a 55-yard pick-six interception return for a touchdown that gave the Colonels a 45-17 lead with 4:31 left in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Triston Mize found Calhoun for a touchdown pass that made the score 51-17 and Paulding County scored on a 45-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion with just over three minutes remaining in the game for a 51-25 final score.
With the loss, Paulding County finished the season 3-7 overall and 2-6 in Region 7-AAAAA. Cass finished the year 4-6 overall and 3-5 in region action.
KELL 51, WOODLAND 7
Kell’s Tyler Barrett scored four touchdowns on runs of 5, 2, 4, and 65-yards as the Longhorns cruised to a 51-7 win Friday night at Woodland.
In addition to Barrett’s big night, Kell got touchdown runs by David Mbadinga and quarterback Corbin LaFrance. LaFrance also connected with Jaylon Brown for a 21-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter as the Longhorns built a 30-0 halftime lead with Colby Kearns’ 44-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter. Demarcus Williams (photo, #23) scored the lone Woodland touchdown. His one-yard run finished off a 79-yard drive that took 14 plays in the fourth quarter. Allan Pineda made the Wildcats’ PAT kick.
Kell (8-2), the third seed from Region 7-AAAAA in next week’s state playoffs, is ranked No. 10 in Class AAAAA and will play Friday night at the No. 2-seed from Region 5-AAAAA, Columbia. The loss was a ninth straight by Woodland (1-9) after starting the season with a home win over Southeast Whitfield.
Photo by Randy Parker, The Daily Tribune News