Best win: Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Sept. 20, 49-0
The Tigers have either won impressively or lost against good teams. The reason LFO is their best win is because it was a region game and the offense had its best performance of the season.
Sidnee Johnson scored three touchdowns, including 55- and 51-yard runs. Quarterback Marcus Childers threw a 20-yard touchdown to Austin Harris and ran one in from four yards.
Worst loss: Ringgold, Sept. 27, 38-20
The Cass loss in the first game of the season was a rivalry game, but Friday’s loss hurts the Tigers in the region standings. Ringgold and Adairsville were the two main contenders vying for second place in Region 5-AAA. Ringgold is now in the driver’s seat for that distinction and will have a chance to win the region in a game against Cartersville the last week of the season.
Breakout Player: Trey Lloyd
Lloyd broke out with his performance in Adairsville’s 38-7 victory over Armuchee on Sept. 6. The senior defensive end had 10 tackles, three for a loss, and a fumble recovery. Lloyd has been one of the most consistent defensive players for the Tigers through their first five games.
Offensive MVP: Sidnee Johnson
Johnson could have been the breakout performer as well. The sophomore has 100 yards rushing in two games this year and has had at least 40 yards rushing in each. He also had a kick return for a touchdown against LFO and leads the team in touchdowns.
Defensive MVP: Dametrices Pitt
This is another distinction Johnson is deserving of, but for the sake of variety, Pitt will get the nod. The senior is the starting nose tackle and he went down because of a possible high ankle sprain Friday. Adairsville struggled to stop the run against Ringgold. The Tigers lack some size up front. Pitt is someone who can hold his own against size, and if he misses significant time with the injury, the Tigers will have to compensate in other ways. As the saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Such was the case Friday night. Tristin Smith, DeAndre Applin and Lloyd deserve recognition as well.
First half review: The Ringgold game may have been the biggest game the Tigers will play all season. That loss will hurt playoff positioning because Ringgold was the primary competition for second in the region. They took care of business against Armuchee, Pepperell and LFO. The Cass loss stings because it is a rivalry game, but really has no bearing on the playoff predicament.
Second half preview: Despite the loss at Ringgold, Adairsville is still in a good position to make the playoffs even though the team may have to win every game, besides its matchup with Cartersville, to ensure the team qualifies. If the Tigers lose two games, they could be in trouble. They play Cartersville on Oct. 25 at home. The North Murray, Sonoraville, Gordon Central and Coahulla Creek games will be very important for Adairsville to win in order to ensure a spot in the playoffs.
Cartersville 5-0 (2-0)
Best win: Cass, Sept. 6, 42-7
The Purple Hurricanes have not been tested as of yet in 2013 and have gotten their second team reps in each of their five games. The Cass game qualifies as the team’s best win because of the rivalry between the two schools.
Breakout Player: Trase Fezzia
Fezzia is a freshman and is third on the team in receptions-13, and receiving yards-214. He has four touchdowns on the year and a bright future ahead of him.
Offensive MVP: Brooks Barden
Barden has 1,075 passing yards on the season and 16 passing touchdowns in the first five games. He has thrown for nearly 10 yards per attempt. He has also carried the ball just 24 times, but had 168 yards rushing.
Defensive MVP: Mark Quattlebaum
The Canes’ trademark is their team speed. Quattlebaum is one of the primary reasons why. He has contributed offensively and on special teams, but also helps give Cartersville an identity in the secondary after losing Hayes Linn and Josh Cooper to graduation and Kobie Whitfield to injury.
First half review: Cartersville has yet to be challenged in any of its games and has won each impressively. The Canes have now won their last 15 regular season games. Their offense has been balanced, accounting for over 1,000 yards passing and will likely reach 1,000 yards rushing Friday night against LFO. The offense is averaging 43 points per game. The defense has been as good as ever, giving up an average of just five points per game.
Second half preview: Cartersville will continue to rack of points and wins in the second half of the season. They will travel to Adairsville on Oct. 25 and will play a home game against Ringgold the last game of the season on Nov. 8. The Ringgold game may be their biggest challenge of the regular season before what hopes to be a long playoff run.
Cass 2-3 (0-0)
Best win: Adairsville, Aug. 30, 23-14
Cass has yet to play a region game and this Bartow County rivalry was the most closely contested of any the Colonels have played thus far. Keelyn Wilkey led Cass with 128 yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns.
Worst loss: Northwest Whitfield, Sept. 20, 52-35.
The loss to Northwest Whitfield was a tough one because six turnovers took the team out of the game early. Had it not been for the turnovers, three of which were returned for touchdowns, the Colonels may have won the game. None of their losses were in region, however, so the team can start with a blank slate Friday.
Breakout Player: Chaz Rokins
Rokins’ has come on in the last two games to become Cass’ featured running back. He had 62 yards on eight carries against Dalton on Friday and seven carries for 74 yards the week before against Northwest Whitfield. He also had a touchdown reception in the game and has made Sunday Standouts in each of those two weeks.
Offensive MVP: Chris Morton
Morton has made Sunday Standouts three weeks, but has been a big play threat all season for the Colonels. His elusiveness and speed have helped him rack up yardage with few touches this season. He had four receptions for 82 yards Friday against Dalton, including a 40-yard touchdown on a screen pass.
Defensive MVP: Justin Reed
Reed has been a terror rushing off the edge for Cass in the first five games of the season. In the game against Cartersville, he hit Barden more than any other opponent has all season. His performance Friday was especially noteworthy as he stepped in front of the running back and stole the ball on Dalton’s option play for a 7-yard defensive touchdown.
First half review: Turnovers have cost the Colonels in the last two games. Each of the games were, otherwise, winnable. As a result, 2-3 is probably not where head coach Rick Casko would like his team, but the games will only matter in a tiebreak situation. If Cass takes care of business during region play, the first five games could mean nothing but valuable experience for freshman quarterback Trevor Lowe and the rest of the Colonels.
Second half preview: Cass’ begins region play Friday at Pickens. Pickens is 3-1, but like Cass, lost to Northwest Whitfield. Gilmer is 4-1, but also like Cass, lost to Dalton. Cass and Gilmer play Oct. 11. River Ridge is Cass’ next opponent and the Knights are 1-4. The last game of the season should prove to be the toughest region battle as the Colonels welcome Cedartown, who was placed in the top 10 in AAAA last week by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Woodland 0-6 (0-6)
Worst loss: Villa Rica, Aug. 23, 27-3
The Villa Rica game was probably the best chance the Wildcats have had at a win so far this season. The team was in the game in the first half. Had the Villa Rica game been at the end of the season, Woodland may have had a chance to steal one.
Breakout Player: Tanner Self
The Woodland offense has put some drives together the last two games while alternating between Mason Robinson and Self at the quarterback position. Self will likely be the starting quarterback next year when Woodland loses Mason Robinson to graduation.
Offensive MVP: Qua Stocks
Stocks had the best game of any Wildcat so far this season. Against Villa Rica, Stocks had nine catches for 157 yards, including a 54-yard catch-and-run that took the Woodland offense down to the Villa Rica 6-yard line.
Defensive MVP: Isaiah Ross
Ross has been the leading tackler for Woodland and even had 13 carries for 52 yards on offense Friday against North Paulding.
First half review: Woodland has only scored three points this season, which is the root of the problems for the Wildcats. They have played against very good competition so far with all of their games coming against Region 5-AAAAA opponents.
Second half preview: The next four games offer Woodland’s best chance of recording wins this year. Woodland’s next opponent, Paulding County, snuck by Villa Rica in overtime on Friday. Lithia Springs is 0-4 and has had similar offensive struggles to Woodland. That is likely Woodland’s best chance at a win as the teams will play Oct. 11. Two weeks later, Woodland hosts Hiram, who also is 0-4.