Demons stop Canes to win Class AAAAA title

Cartersville head coach Conor Foster

Warner Robins scored five unanswered touchdowns in the second and third quarters Wednesday afternoon and held off the Cartersville Hurricanes 62-28 to win the 2020 GHSA Class AAAAA state championship game at Georgia State University's Center Parc Stadium.

The Demons, who were playing in their fourth consecutive state title game, finally broke through to win the school’s fifth state title all-time and their first since 2004. Warner Robins put up 601 yards of total offense and tied a 49-year-old state record for points in a GHSA championship game with 62. The Demons scored touchdowns on nine of their first 10 possessions, failing only when they intercepted a pass with 5 seconds left in the first half and took a knee.

Things started well for Cartersville when Sam Phillips took the opening kickoff back 94 yards in the game’s first 14 seconds. Oscar Hernandez booted the first of his four PATs and the Canes held an early 7-0 lead. That advantage was short-lived however.

Warner Robins’ ensuing drive was capped with a one-yard touchdown run by Ahmad Walker with 6:40 remaining in the first quarter and tied the score at 7-7 after Daniel Barber’s extra point kick.

The two teams swapped touchdown drives again at the end of the first quarter and the opening of the second period. Carlos Del Rio-Wilson connected with Devonte Ross for a 26-yard Cartersville touchdown with 3:43 remaining in the first period, but the Demons marched right back down the field to tie the game again on the opening play of the second quarter.

Warner Robins’ quarterback Jalen Addie tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Malcom Brown to cap an 84-yard drive that made the score 14-14 just seven seconds into the second period.

On the Canes’ ensuing possession, Del Rio-Wilson was picked off and that began the Demons’ unanswered string of scores. Addie had a 29-yard touchdown pass to Kaleb Howard and a pair of 5-yard touchdown runs to cap Demon drives of 34, 74, and 72 yards to close out the first half with a 35-14 advantage. With the opening drive of the second half, Warner Robins scored in five plays capping an 84-yard effort. Jahlen Rutherford scored on a 10-yard run for a 42-14 lead for the Demons.

Cartersville’s next scoring play came with 4:42 left in the third quarter. Del Rio-Wilson tossed a 22-yard scoring pass to Evan Slocum that narrowed the margin to 42-21.

Warner Robins (13-1) closed out their scoring with three more touchdowns in the second half. Addie added a pair of nine yard touchdown runs and connected with Daveon Walker on a 56-yard touchdown pass for a 62-21 lead. Cartersville wrapped up all the scoring in a running clock fourth quarter with a one-yard plunge at the 2:20 mark by Quante Jennings. That made the final score 62-28.

Addie finished 16-for-18 passing for 259 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for three scores and 107 yards. Rutherford led the Demons’ rushing attack with 143 yards on 21 carries.

For Cartersville (12-2), Del Rio-Wilson finished 15-for-26 for 225 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 17 yards. Jennings ran for 51 yards and one touchdown. Ross and Phillips both had four receptions for 60 and 48 yards, respectively. Brynen Wilkins caught three passes for 67 yards and Kyler Johnson contributed three receptions for 28 yards.

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Cartersville, Georgia