The Colonels played the Bulldogs probably a lot closer than most expected and threatened to make a game of it until turnovers — an old nemesis — stopped the home team on key drives.
Cass showed mental toughness, falling behind 34-7 in the first half but clawing its way back to 41-21 by the break. The Colonels tried to close the deal in the second half but in the end couldn’t stop the Cedartown offensive arsenal.
Head coach Rick Casko said he was proud of his players’ effort especially in view of the fact they were short-handed.
“We didn’t broadcast it, but we had four starters ejected last week,” Casko said. “I was pleased with the level of play. Our kids picked it up and played hard.”
The Colonels also lost a key offensive and defensive weapon in the second half when Keylon Woodard, a running back/defensive back could not return.
“Keylon Woodard, who had an outstanding game, got dizzy and couldn’t come out and play the second half. It kind of dampened things,” Casko said.
Woodard, one of the Colonels’ defensive leaders, had also electrified the team with his offensive and special teams play. Woodard ran back a Cedartown kickoff 85 yards with 19 seconds remaining in the first half to pull the Colonels to 41-21 and earlier had contributed a 63-yard touchdown pass catch.
The Bulldogs scored the first two times they touched the ball, capping their first drive with a 3-yard touchdown run by Kalin Glover, and their second with a 15-yard touchdown run by Chubb, who scored also on runs of 28, 2 and 11 yards.
Cass got on the scoreboard its first time early in the second quarter after intercepting a Bulldog pass and starting a four-play drive from the Cedartown 12. Colin Rogers cracked the line twice to net 7 yards and Chaz Rokins pounded the ball into the end zone with the next two runs, scoring from the 6-yard line with 11:49 remaining in the first frame.
But Cedartown quickly responded with a four-play drive that scored on a 47-yard pass, taking a 20-7 lead with 10:44 remaining in the half.
The Colonels’ next drive ended with a turnover and Cedartown turned that misfortune into a six-play drive that covered 53 yards and provided them a 27-7 lead.
The Bulldogs scored again with 2:28 left in the half on a 28-yard run by Chubb that improved their position to 34-7.
Cass answered with a two-play drive that turned into a touchdown when freshman quarterback Trevor Lowe connected with Woodard on their 63-yard strike. Pablo DeLores made good on the point-after touchdown, one of four he made on the evening, and the Colonels closed to 34-14.
Cedartown answered that touchdown as well and the scoreboard read 41-14 with 33 seconds left until the break.
The Bulldogs kicked off to Woodard, who was standing at his 15, and then watched helplessly as the Cass player cut right and threaded through several Cedartown players for an 85-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left in the period and the score at 41-21.
Cass closed the gap even further its second possession of the second half when the Colonels engineered a 11-play drive that featured three chain-moving passes by Lowe. Rokins scored his second touchdown of the night to put a punctuation mark to the drive, closing the score to 41-28.
It was the Colonels’ last score of the evening, but Cedartown added two more touchdowns to provide the game’s final totals.
Casko said turnovers once again hurt the Colonels but the team still gave its best shot.
“We had some opportunities to move the ball and I thought we did some good things,” he said. “Our kids went out and battled. We were not at full strength and at full strength, they were going to be all that we could handle. I was real pleased with how the kids played hard all night.”
The loss dropped Cass’s record to 3-6 overall and 1-3 in Region 7A-AAAA.
The Colonels now have a bye week before they return to the gridiron on Nov. 8 for a “play-in” game.
Cedartown improved to 8-0 with the victory and 3-0 in the region.
The Bulldogs next play Gilmer on Friday night.