Sunday Standouts: Woodland's Jones takes over 4th quarter

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It'll change next week when Adairsville travels to Cass, but for now, Bartow County football teams have a perfect win percentage in 2018.

Adairsville won its game on a gutsy decision by head coach Eric Bishop to go for 2 after a touchdown with two minutes left against Chattooga at Tiger Stadium, resulting in a 21-20 victory.

Cartersville, in contrast, had surprisingly little drama in its 35-0 win over Allatoona at Weinman Stadium. The perennially strong Bucs were shut out for the first time since the program's very first game in 2008, while the Canes showed few ill effects from losing 20 starters to graduation from the year before.

In the lone road game of the week, Woodland's much-anticipated debut to the 2018 season at Southeast Whitfield was kind of like a trip to the doctor's office: It's very important, but you end up in the waiting room longer than the actual appointment.

After a lengthy lightning delay, the Wildcats came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat the Raiders, 31-22.

Cass did not play Friday, and it will be Woodland and Cartersville's turn to get some rest with no games next Friday.

The Colonels and Tigers, meanwhile, will take the field at Doug Cochran Stadium in the Battle for North Bartow.

In a 3-0 week with strong showings from all three teams, there were plenty of standouts and competition for the player of the week.

 

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Titus Jones — Woodland

When Woodland took the ball for its first offensive possession of the fourth quarter and its first offensive possession since the 90-minute delay, the outlook for the Wildcats appeared bleak.

Trailing 22-15 after squandering a 15-0 first-half lead, Woodland turned to who else but Titus Jones.

Woodland head coach Tony Plott described Jones' fourth quarter as "probably the best single-quarter performance I've seen," and even such lofty praise may have been an understatement.

Jones took over at quarterback and proceeded to take over the game. He led the team to two fourth-quarter scores and two 2-point conversions. He also intercepted a pass late to seal the win.

Jones ran one 2-point conversion in and threw for the other, and finished with six carries for 76 yards and a touchdown rushing in just two drives.

He also got the job done from his usual safety position, registering nine tackles, one tackle for loss and a pass deflection in addition to his interception.

Plott said that, while Jones will still primarily be relied upon on defense, he could be used more at quarterback moving forward.

"I think he's always going to be a part of our game plan," Plott said of Jones at QB. "Obviously, he's way too important to our defense to take him away from that full-time. But I've said this all along, there'll be times that we'll spot play him all season."

 

SUNDAY STANDOUTS

Mason Boswell — Adairsville

The do-it-all Boswell did exactly that for the Tigers on Friday. He contributed in all three phases, returning a kick, playing quarterback and contributing as a safety.

Like Jones for Woodland, Boswell did what great players do and took over in the fourth quarter. He led the way for the final touchdown with four carries for 26 yards on the drive before throwing a perfectly-placed 17-yard pass for a touchdown to Derrick Simmons. He then ran off tackle for the 2-point conversion and a 21-20 lead.

Chattooga still had more than two minutes to mount its own comeback, though, but Boswell thwarted that effort as well with his interception with a little more than 20 seconds left.

Overall, Boswell finished with 18 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown rushing. He went 5-for-17 passing for 109 yards and two touchdowns passing.

 

Marcus Gary — Cartersville

Most Canes fans want to talk about Tee Webb trying to do the impossible and fill the shoes of Trevor Lawrence at quarterback. But nearly as important will be Marcus Gary's role in making up for the production lost with the graduation of Rico Frye.

If Friday's game against Allatoona was any indication, Cartersville shouldn't have anything to worry about on that front.

It was clear from the outset that Gary was going to be the bell cow, racking up nine carries on the opening drive. He finished with 19 rushing attempts, while piling up 144 rushing yards, 94 receiving yards and scoring two long touchdowns during a pivotal 28-0 second quarter run.

 

Tee Webb — Cartersville

Under the circumstances of following a Canes legend, Webb showed tremendous poise in his first-career regular season start. He finished the day 7-for-15 passing for 150 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. 

However, the stats belie how solid Webb looked. He made good decisions with the football, throwing the ball away when he needed to and knowing when to give and when to keep on the read-option. He made a few nice passes downfield where Allatoona's pair of Division-I corners either made a good play on the ball, or in one instance, the ball was dropped by the receiver. And the interception was a bit unlucky as it was tipped into the air at the line of scrimmage before dropping into the hands of an Allatoona defensive back.

Overall, the Canes were encouraged with what they saw.

 

Marko Dudley — Cartersville

In a game controlled by the Canes throughout, the junior safety provided the exclamation point with his late-second quarter pick-6 to cap a 28-point quarter. 

When Allatoona quarterback Dante Marshall rolled to his right and threw to a seemingly open receiver, Dudley wasn't even in the picture. But by the time the pass arrived, he had jumped the route for an easy interception with nothing but green between him and the end zone.

He added eight tackles in the game. 

 

Harrison Allen — Cartersville

Another inexperienced player making his first-career start, it seemed as though Allen's name was called every defensive play play over the PA system at Weinman Stadium. 

The sophomore middle linebacker could be well on his way to a 100-tackle season and is certainly a player to keep an eye on for the future. He got off to a stellar start Friday, finishing with 13 tackles, a half-sack and a forced fumble.

 

Justice Carter — Woodland

Injuries his junior season meant Carter never really broke out like he was capable of in 2017, despite solid production. However, now healthy, the senior fullback is in line for a monster 2018 season.

While Jones stole the show in the fourth quarter, Carter was the workhorse all four quarters for the Wildcats. He finished with 22 carries for 221 yards and two touchdowns rushing, adding a 13-yard reception.

He scored the touchdown that, along with the subsequent 2-point conversion, tied the game in the fourth quarter, and when Demarcus Williams went down with an injury early in the third quarter, he and Jones carried the load on offense without a single pass being thrown in the period.

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Wade Conduff, Adairsville — The junior had two long receptions downfield of 37 and 42 yards.

Nic Jackson, Adairsville — The state-placer wrestler and double-digit tackle accumulator led the Tigers with 11 takedowns Friday night.

Sunni Moorehead, Cartersville — Moorehead had several big hits and finished with 10 tackles and was in on two tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a half-sack.