The Purple Hurricanes and Bulldogs are 2-1 in sub-region play with the loss for both teams coming at the hands of Allatoona, ranked No. 6 in the state GACA coaches poll and poised to claim the sub-region crown once again.
Cedartown is averaging 32 points per game, the highest total in the region and well above the 22 points rung up on average by the Canes.
Both teams are coming off big games.
The Bulldogs (5-2 overall) fell 27-21 to Allatoona, a squad that had beaten the Canes (4-3) the week before, 10-0.
Turnovers proved costly to the Bulldogs in that contest and canceled out the strong showing of an offense that had totaled 303 yards while allowing the Buccaneers 212.
The bulk of that offensive attack came from two brothers who accounted for 293 yards. Nick Chubb bruised his way through the Buccaneer defense for 174 yards on 31 carries while Zach Chubb accounted for 119 yards on 17 carries.
“They are probably, as a pair, the best in the region,” Cane coach Frank Barden said. “Cedartown runs the option like Georgia Tech. Anytime you play an option team, you have to be very disciplined, and you have to make sure your players play their position correctly.
“It’ll be a big challenge to go over there and slow those guys down.”
The Bulldogs, who are allowing 23 points per game —13 more than the 10 being allowed by the Canes — showed up defensively as well for Allatoona.
They held highly sought running back Miles Jones to 82 yards on 24 carries. The previous week Jones punctured Cartersville’s defense for 217 yards on 30 carries, scoring the game’s only touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, a 79-yarder.
The Bulldogs’ other loss was 29-8 to Ridgeland. Left on their schedule after tonight’s game is Murray County.
The Canes, who have yet to play Pickens County, also are coming off a big game, from an offensive standpoint, as they scored four touchdowns in the first quarter alone on their way to a 54-6 homecoming victory over Murray.
The first-quarter scores included two via the passing route, one on a run and another on a 26-yard interception by Mark Quattlebaum.
Early in the second quarter Hayes Linn tallied the defensive team’s second score — on a 38-yard punt return — and Cartersville pulled its starters.
“It was good to have homecoming week and get a big win,” Barden said. “It’s a good time when everybody gets to play. All of our players work hard and some may not get seen as much in the game, but they help prepare us for the game.”
The win allowed the Canes to move above .500 on the season and sets them up to play the Bulldogs with a little momentum in a game that will go a long way toward determining the sub-region’s final standings.
Coach Barden said playing against Cedartown in such an environment is something the Canes have come to expect.
“It’s a big game. It’s a placement game,” he said. “We’ve been over there before in this kind of situation, and we know we’ll get a hard-fought ball game against a good football team.
“They have a lot of good athletes who are playing hard. We will be playing a tough opponent and we know what to expect.”
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.