One area that has allowed Cartersville to be so successful this season is the squad’s depth, which has become more and more apparent as the season has progressed.
The team has sustained several injuries to prominent players, most notably defensive back Kobie Whitfield, linebacker Jahir Camps and running back Brandon Long. All these players sustained season-ending injuries over the course of the season.
Cartersville has been able to compensate, however, thanks to its strong overall depth.
When Long, Cartersville’s leading rusher, went down with a knee injury, Kalin Heath stepped up and has been productive. The junior already has a scholarship offer from Chattanooga and has shown to be more than adequate enough to fill in at the running back position. Heath has rushed for 266 yards in his four games as the primary running back on just 17 carries.
Camps’ season-ending shoulder injury also could have had a negative effect on Cartersville. However, Friday night’s game against Adairsville allowed sophomore linebacker Tyler Reed to step up and record 12 tackles, including a sack.
The way Reed stepped up was how fellow sophomore defensive player Auston Davis stepped up on Oct. 4 at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe. With junior defensive end Greg Davis out with an illness, Auston Davis took advantage of the increased playing time by recording eight tackles, seven for no gain or a loss. He also had a sack in the game and hit a runner in the backfield, forced a fumble and then picked it up seconds later.
The secondary was an area of concern entering the season as the Canes lost Josh Cooper and Hayes Linn to graduation. Once the team lost Whitfield, the Canes became thin in the secondary. The reason the team has been able to play excellent defense despite the losses has been the play of Devin Henderson, Mark Quattlebaum and Bryce Gober.
All three have stepped up and become playmakers in the secondary.
It is nice to have starters who can get the job done, but injuries are a part of football. The injury bug is one of the few things that can derail the season of a team as talented as Cartersville. The Canes’ depth will be vital to ensure they reach their goal of a deep playoff run.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES — Cass High football players may have gotten an early look at what University of Georgia foes will face when Nick Chubb lines up on the field for the Bulldogs the next several seasons.
Chubb, a Cedartown High running back, has committed to play for UGA and some analysts believe he will make an impact for the Dogs in the SEC as early as next season.
Against the Colonels, Chubb scored four touchdowns, rushing for 281 yards on 27 carries before he left the game late in the third quarter.
Chubb scored touchdowns on runs of 15, 28, 2 and 11 yards.
Cass head coach Rick Casko, who has coached some star running backs in his day, said Chubb has attributes that many star running backs have and is a “big time running back.”
“Nick Chubb is really just a class act,” Casko said. “He runs hard all the time. He’s a really quality running back and you can tell in his demeanor, how he acts, he’s got his head on his shoulders and Georgia’s got a great one in him.
“He’s just a great kid. He’s talented and his talent shows on the field.”
Casko said he challenged the Colonels last week in anticipation of Chubb’s appearance.
“We told the kids we faced a team with a very special back,” he said. “I feel like our kids stepped up. They made some open field tackles on Chubb and that’s something they said they hadn’t seen that much this season.”
—The Daily Tribune News staffers Jason Greenberg and David Royal contributed to this report.