Colonels corral Longhorns, 28-14; advance to second-round rematch with Mays
Charles Wilson / BartowSportsZone.com
The Cass Colonels opened the Class 5A state playoffs with a second straight win over a region champion by knocking off the 6th-ranked Kell Longhorns Friday night in Marietta, 28-14.
Cass won at 4th-ranked Jefferson last year in the opening round and repeated the feat by forcing multiple turnovers, a safety, and limiting the Longhorns to only one touchdown until just over one minute was remaining in the game. Kell was the highest-scoring team in Class 5A going into the playoffs.
Senior running back Devin Henderson rushed for a first-quarter touchdown and sophomore quarterback, Brodie McWhorter, added three more rushing touchdowns as Cass built a 28-7 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Kell’s Josh Langefels had a short touchdown run that put the Longhorns ahead 7-6 with 5:04 left in the first quarter but Cass responded with 15 points in the second quarter to lead 21-7 at halftime. Quinterrius Gipson scored the Longhorns' final points with a 25-yard run with only 1:18 remaining in the game.
Cass received the opening kickoff and following a nice return to the 40-yard line, the Colonels drove 60 yards in just five plays to take a 6-0 lead with 9:36 to go in the opening quarter. A long pass from McWhorter to Sacovie White put Cass in scoring position and Devin Henderson finished off the drive with a short, 2-yard run. The Colonels’ PAT kick was blocked.
Kell then scored on its opening possession. The Longhorns marched 75 yards in 11 plays and culminated the drive with Langefels’ run. The extra point kick by Colin Mitchell had Kell on top, 7-6, with 5:04 to go in the first quarter.
Consecutive scoring drives by the Colonels put them back up for good.
McWhorter finished off a 70-yard touchdown drive that took 10 plays and 4 minutes off the clock. Key runs by Devin Henderson were included in the drive and the touchdown run by McWhorter was a 13-yarder. A two-point conversion attempt failed but Cass held a 12-7 lead with 7:17 left in the second quarter.
On the next Cass possession, the Colonels covered 61 yards in just three plays and scored on McWhorter’s 23-yard scamper. A pass interference penalty and a personal foul penalty on the Longhorns aided the quick Cass score. Austin McArthur booted the PAT giving the Colonels a 19-7 lead with 4:13 remaining in the first half.
Kell was pinned deep on the ensuing kickoff and committed another penalty to start from their own 13-yard line. Longhorn quarterback Bryce Clavon was not ready for an errant snap that bounced into the Kell end zone. Gipson recovered for Kell in the end zone resulting in a Cass safety and a 21-7 Colonels lead with 2:23 left in the second quarter.
The two teams traded possessions for most of the second half but the Colonels put together one of their best drives of the season in the back half of the third quarter.
Kell’s second-half offense was also hampered by an injury to their star quarterback, Bryce Clavon, in the third quarter. He was tackled on a scramble play midway through the period and did not return.
Starting at their own 9-yard line with 5:24 left in the third period, Cass marched the length of the field and scored on a 6-yard keeper by McWhorter on the final play of the quarter. McArthur’s PAT kick gave the Colonels a 28-7 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Cass defense kept the Longhorns in check for most of the fourth quarter and the offense methodically chewed away at the game clock to melt away the win.
JaKai Baldwin had a fumble recovery and an interception for the Colonels’ defense. Devin Henderson picked off a pass in the third quarter. Josh Love also had an interception.
Kell, who was the Region 6-5A champion, has its season end with a 9-2 record.
Cass (6-5) will be on the road again next Friday in a rematch of last year’s second-round tilt at Mays. The Raiders beat Loganville in the first round, 65-7.
BartowSportsZone.com will have the playoff broadcast. Watch for announcements coming during the week.