Several players stood out as Cartersville and Cass took home wins to begin the season, while Adairsville and Woodland are still searching for their first.
The most closely contested game was Adairsville at Cass. At one point Cass had a 16-point lead in the third quarter, but the Tigers stormed back and had the ball trailing by just two points with over three minutes remaining. The Colonels wound up gaining a hard-fought 23-14 win in this rivalry game.
Cartersville was the most impressive team Friday as they defeated Darlington 36-0 and can now move on to bigger and better things.
Woodland begins the season 0-2 after suffering a 50-0 loss at Allatoona.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Keelyn Wilkey had all three of Cass’ touchdowns in its game against Adairsville, including one in the fourth quarter to seal the game from 21 yards out. Wilkey finished with 128 yards on 21 carries.
“I was just trying to push the ball up the field and win the game,” Wilkey said. “I didn’t want to lose. I hate losing.”
Wilkey also had some extra motivation in this rivalry game.
“I don’t ever want to lose, but it boosts it up because Adairsville is where my family is from. So I wanted to play harder,” Wilkey said. “My mom came out so I wanted to show her.”
“He is a very good runner and athlete,” Casko said of Wilkey. “You’re going to hear more about him.”
BEST OF THE REST
Montavius Parker — Cass
This extremely athletic defensive end for the Colonels recorded eight tackles in the game, four for a loss. He was one big reason Adairsville’s offensive line struggled all night to keep Cass defensive players out of the backfield.
Brandon Long — Cartersville
The senior running back did most of his damage in the second half against Darlington, but put up very similar statistics to Wilkey. Long rushed for 123 yards on 14 carries while scoring three of the Canes’ touchdowns. Long also had one reception for 11 yards.
Brooks Barden — Cartersville
Barden completed 13 of his 24 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns while throwing one interception. Barden went the entire 2012 regular season without throwing an interception. Maybe the most impressive aspect of his game Friday was that the senior spread the ball out to seven different receivers and not one of them had more than three catches. Barden also had four rushes for 21 yards.
Gordon Gray — Cartersville
Gray had the most catches and yards among Barden’s targets. The senior receiver had three catches for 47 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown.
Kalin Heath — Cartersville
The junior tailback had nine carries for 62 yards and one reception for six yards.
Chris Morton — Cass
Morton is known for maximizing his touches with big gains. The junior is the proverbial “home run threat.” He did not waste much time this season getting back to what he does best. Morton had one carry for 41 yards in the second quarter on a drive that would eventually lead to a Wilkey touchdown. Morton broke several tackles and displayed his elusiveness in the open field on the impressive run.
Sidnee Johnson — Adairsville
The sophomore running back is another player who did not get many touches, but maximized the ones he did have. Johnson had four carries for 40 yards.
Trase Fezzia — Cartersville
The freshman had two receptions for 40 yards in his high school debut.
Phelan Philpot — Woodland
Woodland’s offense accounted for just 62 total yards on the day with several plays that resulted in negative yardage. Without Philpot’s 61 yards on three catches, that number would have been much worse.
Marcus Childers — Adairsville
The junior signal-caller ran the ball 14 times for 64 yards. He also completed nine of his 19 passing attempts for 79 yards. He threw one touchdown and one interception.