The Cartersville band played just as loud and long, all but drowning out coach Frank Barden’s postgame speech to his Purple Hurricanes. For all practical purposes, nobody who made the 60-mile drive to Ringgold was in a hurry to leave the stadium. It was party time. It was celebration time. It was a moment in time the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes will always want to remember after putting the exclamation point on a perfect 10-0 regular season with their 42-7 victory over the Tigers.
Along with the 10-0 record, Cartersville concludes the season as the No. 1-seed in Region 5-AAA and has secured home field advantage heading into the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs. The Canes will play Jackson County, the No. 4-seed out of Region 8-AAA, this coming Friday at Weinman Stadium.
“What we did during the regular season is a great achievement and a testament to the all hard work on the part of our players and coaches,” Canes coach Frank Barden said. “We showed our heart tonight in the second half against Ringgold, but now it’s time to get ready for the state playoffs and Jackson County.”
The Canes made sure Ringgold would not play the spoiler role, as they scored 28 straight points in a span of 7:56 in the third quarter to break a 7-7 tie at halftime.
“We came out in the second half with heart,” said Cartersville quarterback Brooks Barden, who threw for four touchdowns and rushed for another. “In the first half, we were anxious while Ringgold played a solid game. We were a different team the second half.”
Barden, who only completed two passes the entire first half, turned into a quarterback possessed in the third quarter with his three touchdown passes. His 1-yard touchdown run broke the 7-7 tie two minutes after Cartersville received the second half kickoff.
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