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Colonels march past Mays and into the state quarterfinals

November 18, 2023 Charles Wilson /

Devin Henderson ran for a touchdown and picked off two passes Friday night as the Colonels beat Mays at Lakewood Stadium, 17-7.

The Cass Colonels reeled off a third consecutive upset Friday night and took down the Mays Raiders, 17-7, in the Sweet Sixteen round of the GHSA Class 5A State Playoffs.

The second-round playoff game was a rematch of a second-round game one year ago when the Raiders scored a late touchdown to edge the Colonels, 34-27.

Playing at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta, the Colonels built a 14-0 lead in the first half and held off the Region 5-5A runner-up Raiders in the second half.

The game was delayed at halftime by more than one hour due to malfunctions with the stadium lights. Both teams returned from the intermission to the field with only one-half of the stadium lights operating. Eventually, game officials sent both teams back to their locker rooms until the lighting was restored.

Cass, who had to beat 10th-ranked Calhoun in their regular season finale just to qualify for the state playoffs, scored on its second possession of the first quarter and never trailed the Raiders. 

Starting at their own 40-yard line, the Colonels took nine plays to post the game’s first score. Key runs by sophomore quarterback Brodie McWhorter and a nice pitch, catch, and run from McWhorter to Chase Tatum spurred the 60-yard drive that was culminated by Devin Henderson’s two-yard run. Austin McArthur booted the PAT to give Cass a 7-0 lead with 2:58 left in the first quarter.

After stopping Mays on the Raiders' next possession, Cass engineered an 81-yard drive to take a 14-0 lead with 10:22 remaining in the second quarter. Runs by McWhorter and Henderson plus clutch receptions by Sacovie White moved the Colonels down the gridiron. The drive was capped with a 30-yard touchdown pass from McWhorter to wide receiver Colton Cotton who sprang free down the right sideline.

Following the long halftime delay, the Raiders cut their deficit to 14-7 midway through the third quarter.

Both teams punted away their first possessions of the second half before Mays got on the scoreboard. An eight-play, 65-yard drive was finished off with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Semaj Martinez to Quintarian Kelley with 5:54 remaining in the third quarter.

Much of the remainder of the game was a defensive stalemate including one huge stop by Cass. 

The Colonels left Mays with a short field following a sack and fumble by McWhorter at the Cass 24-yard line with 9:50 left in the game. The Raiders moved to the Cass 12-yard line on a pass interference call but were then called for an offensive pass interference on third down. Cass coach Steve Gates decided to decline that penalty to force a fourth down and 11 play at the Colonels' 12-yard line. The Cass defense was able to thwart the Raiders’ pass attempt to end the threat.

The Cass offense took over from there to help secure the win with a 15-play, 84-yard drive.

A 16-yard pass from McWhorter to Devin Henderson converted a 3rd-and-10 to get the drive started. Following a seven-yard reception by Colton Cotton and a short run by Henderson, McWhorter converted a 4th-and-inches near midfield with a quarterback sneak to keep the drive going. A 27-yard pass to White picked up another first down to the Mays’ 21-yard line and Henderson’s 15-yard run moved the Colonels inside the Mays 6-yard line in the final two minutes.

The Raiders used each of their three timeouts following each snap and run by the Colonels.  On fourth down, McArthur was successful with a 21-yard field goal to make the score 17-7 with 1:08 left in the game.

Mays returned the ensuing kickoff into Cass territory to threaten one final time but Devin Henderson picked off his second interception of the game near the goal line to seal the Colonels’ victory.

McWhorter finished 16-for-22 passing (72.7%) for 180 yards and one touchdown. He also ran 18 times for 40 yards. Henderson had 20 carries for 94 yards and one score. He also made two pass receptions for 38 yards. White caught ten passes for 78 yards. Cotton hauled in two passes for 40 yards including a touchdown and tight end Chase Tatum caught a pair of passes for 24 yards.

The Colonels rolled up 314 yards of total offense in their win.

Mays’ season ends with a 7-5 record.

Cass (7-5) reaches the state quarterfinals for the first time since 1983 and will travel to Douglas to challenge the unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Coffee Trojans on Friday. Coffee (12-0) beat Jones County 45-14 in the second round and blanked Chamblee in the first round, 56-0. The Trojans are the Region 1-5A champs and are making their seventh quarterfinal appearance in the last eight years. They have outscored their opponents 489 to 68 through the first 12 games of 2023.

In other Class 5A second-round games Friday night, Cartersville downed Eastside 28-9, Jefferson stopped Hiram 42-21, Harris County routed Statesboro 42-7, Creekside beat Dalton 49-24, and Warner Robins edged Ware County 23-21.

The Cass at Coffee quarterfinal game will be available via and on the Mixlr app. The link for listening will be available on the website and on all of Bartow Sports Zone’s social media outlets.



2:58 — 2-yard TD run by Devin Henderson. (Austin McArthur kick). Cass 7, Mays 0


10:22 — 30-yard TD pass from Brodie McWhorter to Colton Cotton. (Austin McArthur kick). Cass 14, Mays 0


5:54 — 21-yard TD pass from Semaj Martinez to Quintarian Kelley. (Andros Carmona kick). Cass 14, Mays 7


1:08 — 21-yard FG by Austin McArthur. Cass 17, Mays 7


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