The first week of the Bartow County football season brought forth three incredibly different results for local teams.
Woodland rolled past Southeast Whitfield, 35-7, in a dominant home win on its pristine new turf field. Just a few miles away, Cartersville rallied to win an absolute dogfight against Allatoona by a 14-13 margin. In Summerville, Adairsville hung around through the first half before wearing down in a 20-0 loss against Chattooga.
The two victorious programs get to bask in the glow of their wins for a bit longer, as Woodland and Cartersville take next week off. Adairsville, meanwhile, has to get ready for its home opener this coming Friday against county rival Cass, which had an open date Week 1.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Quante Jennings — Cartersville
While standout quarterbacks like Brooks Barden, Tee Webb and, of course, Trevor Lawrence have always been features of recent Cartersville offenses, each has had great running backs to help carry the load.
This year, that back is Jennings, and if Friday is any indication, the junior's ready to take the responsibility and run with it — literally.
Jennings put together a solid first half in Cartersville's season opener against Allatoona, rushing for 48 yards. He more than doubled that total on his first carry of the second half — a 98-yard, game-changing touchdown run. The play gave the Canes a short-lived 7-6 lead.
Overall, Jennings racked up 171 yards on 17 carries. He'll be a huge barometer for Cartersville's success, particularly in big games.
Sam Phillips — Cartersville
Talk about bursting onto the scene. In his first meaningful varsity action, Phillips put together a terrific showing at wide receiver.
The junior snagged four balls for 97 yards. Three of those receptions came in the first half, but his most important catch came late in the fourth quarter. He caught a quick slant, turned upfield and fired up the jets.
Perhaps even more impressively, Phillips kept his composure long enough to get down a perfect hold on the extra-point attempt. Oscar Hernandez converted the kick to give the Canes the lead for good.
Johnathan Thomas — Woodland
Thomas' debut as Wildcats starting quarterback couldn't have gone much better.
The junior put up three touchdowns and 95 yards on the ground. His 8-yard touchdown run put Woodland up in the second quarter. He added a 28-yarder late in the first half. Thomas broke off a 39-yard TD in the fourth quarter to set the final margin.
Demarcus Williams — Woodland
Thomas had plenty of help in the backfield, most notably from Williams. The senior put up 139 yards on just 16 rushing attempts.
Williams, who had a 60-yard touchdown run to open the scoring in last week's scrimmage against Adairsville, answered Southeast Whitfield's only touchdown with one of his own. His 30-yard score put the Wildcats up 21-7 midway through the first half.
Blake Cash, Woodland — Cash racked up eight tackles (four solo) with one tackle-for-loss and one quarterback pressure.
Malachi Gardner, Adairsville — Gardner paced the Tigers defense with eight solo tackles and five assists.
Tommy Good, Woodland — Good was in on seven tackles, including six assisted, and picked off a pass, returning it 15 yards.
Bryce Shedd, Woodland — Shedd led the Wildcats with 10 tackles, although eight of the were assists, to go with two QB pressures.