There were a pair of tight ballgames won by Bartow County teams and a couple of one-sided contests lost by local teams, as Georgia high school football entered the second half of the season this week.
With less than two minutes remaining, Adairsville trailed Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 21-14 at home. Quarterback Conner Crunkelton turned the game around in a matter of moments. The sophomore scored on a 31-yard touchdown run, drew the Warriors offsides and rushed in a 2-point conversion for a 22-21 win.
In its first Region 5-AAAA road game of the season, Cartersville survived an upset bid by Central, Carroll. The Canes trailed late in the third quarter and needed a late interception to seal the victory.
Virtually next door, Cass fell to Carrollton by a 50-14 final score. The Colonels trailed 44-0 at halftime but found the end zone twice after the break.
Against another Class 5A powerhouse, Woodland suffered a 41-0 road loss to Rome. It's the second straight game the Wildcats have been shut out.
This week, Adairsville (3-3, 2-2) will travel to Calhoun; Cartersville (6-0; 2-0) will head to LaGrange; Cass (3-3, 2-2) will host Hiram; and Woodland (1-5, 0-4) will visit Carrollton.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dakota King — Adairsville
King was a one-man wrecking crew along the defensive front in Friday's come-from-behind win. While some of his teammates didn't have their best night, the senior standout stepped up.
He posted 10 tackles, eight of which were solo. King cause three of LFO's four fumbles. Immediately following a Tigers turnover, King came up with a huge play, quite literally, ripping the ball out the arms of a Warrior and returning it 11 yards.
In a game where the Adairsville offense came through with a key touchdown drive in the closing minutes, the team's defense should get some credit for being able to cause a handful of fumbles and force a couple of turnovers on downs.
King and Co. will need to show up in a major way next week if Adairsville is going to knock off Calhoun.
Blake Cash — Woodland
There wasn't much for Woodland to celebrate in Friday's defeat to Rome. But as is often the case regardless of opponent, Cash came up big for the Wildcats.
The senior led the team with seven solo tackles and three tackles for loss. He also assisted on two other stops. Cash pressured the quarterback once, while adding two pass breakups in a well-rounded effort.
Another solid showing will be necessary next week, when Woodland heads to Carrollton.
Amarai Orr — Cartersville
For the second time this season, Cartersville forced a turnover on its opponent's potential game-winning drive deep in Canes territory. The first one came against Allatoona in the season opener when a fumble preserved the narrow victory. On Friday, with Central driving in Cartersville’s end of the field, needing only a field goal, the Lions tried a pass down the middle of the field. With a 54-game regular season winning streak on the line and the Cartersville faithful’s collective hearts in their throats, Orr saved the day by cutting in front of the intended receiver and leaping to high-point the football, taking it away for an interception to seal a Cartersville win. It was his second of the game. He also added 40 yards as a receiver, including a long catch to set up Cartersville’s final touchdown of the day in the fourth quarter, which ended up giving the Canes the necessary cushion to hold on.
Devonte Ross — Cartersville (2)
With Cartersville trailing for just the second time during the regular season and with the end of the third quarter drawing near, Ross made possibly the play of the game when he made an acrobatic catch and run for a 66-yard touchdown to retake the lead at 10-7 entering the fourth quarter. The play came just a couple of plays after Central had taken the lead. Ross’ touchdown retook the momentum with the game in the balance. In total, he had five receptions for 100 yards. He also intercepted a Central pass to open the game, setting the tone early on a night when Cartersville would pick off the Lions three times.
Malachi Gardner, Adairsville — Gardner had a dozen tackles (10 solo) with a key takedown in the backfield on LFO's final drive. He also had a QB hurry and a 21-yard reception.