Local football teams go 4-for-4 Friday night
The first four Friday nights of the 2020 high school football season are in the books and the four local teams have the best won-lost record possible. The four teams have combined for 13 wins through the first four weeks and the only loss was when two county teams played each other. Friday night, Adairsville (3-1, 1-0) earned the first region win among the local schools with a 38-7 final over visiting Murray County while the other three teams added non-region wins. Woodland (3-0) routed North Springs 50-9 in Atlanta; Cartersville (4-0) held on for a 21-18 win at Creekside in Fairburn; and Cass (4-0) outlasted Temple 17-14 at Cochran Stadium.
JAMES, THOMAS LEAD WILDCATS TO ROUT AT NORTH SPRINGS
The Woodland Wildcats traveled to Atlanta Friday night and cruised to a 50-9 win at North Springs. Woodland senior quarterback Johnathan Thomas and junior running back Asa James shared much of the offensive load again as the Wildcats improved to 3-0. The duo connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the game’s first three minutes for Woodland’s first score. Then kicker Christopher Sanchez gave the Wildcats a 10-0 lead with a 30-yard field goal. North Spring’s Jordan Duggar returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for the Spartans’ only touchdown of the night to make the score 10-7. Woodland then put the game away with 34 unanswered points before the intermission. Thomas had touchdown runs of 4- and 82-yards. Zach Good scored a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery and return and the Thomas to James connection struck two more times on passes of 38- and 27-yards. The scoring flurry gave the Wildcats a 44-7 lead at halftime. With a running clock in the second half, North Springs scored its final points with a safety in the third quarter on a Woodland punting miscue.
Alejandro Mays added a 16-yard touchdown run for Woodland late in the period. Woodland will host Chamblee of Region 5-AAAAA Friday at 7:30 p.m. It will be the season opener for the visiting Bulldogs who had their season delayed until October.
CANES HOLD ON FOR WIN AT CREEKSIDE
On the final play of the game Friday in Fairburn, Creekside was at the Cartersville 13-yard line with only eight second remaining. Canes’ defensive end Jesse Grogan sacked the Seminoles’ quarterback Nyqua Lett as time expired however, to close out the first road victory of the year for Cartersville, 21-18. The thwarted final drive began for Creekside with only 1:41 remaining after the Seminoles’ defense had forced a three-and-out. Lett gave Creekside a 6-0 lead in the first quarter when he scored on a quarterback keeper. The Seminoles’ two-point conversion attempt failed. Cartersville signal caller Stratton Tripp then connected on the first of his three touchdown passes in the game with 1:32 left in the half. The five-yard connection with Devonte Ross put the Hurricanes ahead 7-6 following the Jesus Gutierrez PAT kick.
In the third quarter, Tripp found Evan Slocum for a 36-yard touchdown pass to culminate the Canes’ opening possession of the second half. On the next Cartersville possession, Kolbe Benham caught a 24-yard scoring strike from Tripp that extended the lead to 21-6.
Creekside narrowed the margin with a pair of touchdown passes of their own. Lett connected with Wesley Campbell in the third and Jared Lawrence in the fourth quarter to make the score 21-18. Both extra point attempts failed. Quante Jennings rushed for 63 yards for Cartersville on 11 attempts. Tripp was 14-for-23 through the air for 191 yards and the three scores. Benham caught three passes for 60 yards. Ross hauled in four receptions for 51 yards. Slocum had three receptions for 46 yards. Sam Phillips had 34 yards on three catches, and Brynen Wilkins added a 10 yard reception.
CASS DEFENSE SECURES WIN OVER TEMPLE
For the second straight week, the Cass defense dialed up a second half shutout and the Colonels escaped with a 17-14 win Friday night over Temple at Cochran Stadium. The defense stopped the visiting Tigers in a final series of downs at the end of the fourth quarter to preserve the non-region win.
Temple running back Phillip Johnson provided much of the offense for the Tigers including four runs during a five-play, opening drive that covered 80 yards. The 6-2, 210 senior scored on a 13-yard run less that two minutes into the game as Temple took a 7-0 lead. After exchanging possessions twice, Cass began its first scoring drive late in the first quarter and it extended into the second period. Senior kicker Kaleb Speights made a 47-yard field goal to cut the Temple lead to 7-3. On the next possession for Cass, freshman quarterback Devin Henderson scrambled for a 14-yard touchdown and a 10-7 lead.
The Colonels’ defense stopped Temple on their next possession and quickly drove back down the field. Henderson had a key run that was abetted by a tacked on facemask penalty and Josh Varnum powered his way to the five yard line on a fourth-and-two play. Zay Jackson then scored on a five-yard run extending the Cass advantage to 17-7. Temple drove right back down the field before the half, however. Johnson escaped the Colonel defense for a 55-yard touchdown run that made the score 17-14 at halftime.
The second half went scoreless with both defenses coming up with key plays. Temple had a drive stopped at the Cass 39-yard line in the third quarter on a fourth-and-two situation and early in the fourth quarter had a scoring opportunity following a Cass fumble. Cass punt returner Tanayce Calhoun fumbled at the end of an otherwise nice return and the ball popped directly into the hands of Johnson. His scoop and run was chased down at the Cass 35-yard line. The Tigers (2-2) drove to the Cass 17-yard line, but a costly delay of game penalty forced Temple to attempt a 39-yard field goal on a fourth-and-eight. The kick missed and Cass took over at their own 20-yard line with just over two minutes remaining. Varnum, who finished with 80 yards rushing, picked up a game-preserving first down with a 22-yard run and the Colonels were able to run out the clock from victory formation. Henderson finished with 140 total yards — 67 passing, 73 rushing — and C.J. Pipkin contributed 40 yards in receptions. Cass (4-0) has one final, non-region game Friday (Oct. 2) at Ridgeland before a bye week and five consecutive region games starting with a home matchup against Cartersville. The Colonels’ kickoff Friday in Rossville is set for 7:30 p.m. Cass will be seeking its first five-win start to a season since 2004.
TIGERS OPEN REGION PLAY WITH WIN OVER MURRAY
The Adairsville Tigers got back in the win column with a 38-7 win over region foe Murray County on Friday night.
Adairsville was led by Courtney Slocum, who had three rushing scores in the contest. The Tiger defense allowed one touchdown. Slocum got into the scoring column early with a 49-yard touchdown run with 8:49 left in the first quarter. About two minutes later, Conner Crunkelton pitched the ball to Slocum for a 13-yard score and a 14-0 Adairsville lead. Chris Roper was the next Tiger to score with 2:48 left in the first period finding the end zone on a 9-yard pass from Crunkelton.
Murray County cut the Adairsville lead with a score early in the second period, but the 14-point deficit was about to get bigger for the Indians. Emanuel Lopez kicked a 46-yard field goal before Slocum found pay dirt for the trifecta: a 4-yard touchdown run. At the half, the Tigers led 31-7.
In the third quarter, Roper juked his way 38 yards for a score to extend the Adairsville lead and put the game away comfortably.
Adairsville has a second bye week next week but will be back in Region 6-AAA action at Lafayette on October 9th.