On Saturday night, The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes defeated The Bartram Trail Bears on a nationally televised game that aired on ESPN2.
The game was originally delayed due to weather but once it started, the Canes jumped out to an early lead of 17-0. In the first quarter, Trevor Lawrence threw for two touchdowns and the canes added a field goal to the board as well.
The second quarter would see Cartersville refusing to let off the gas despite their defense allowing a few scores. Going into the half, the boys from North Georgia were up 38-17.
The second half was a dog fight. Cartersville opened up the half with a score to bring the totals to 38 and 17. However, Bartram Trail scored on it’s first possession as well and then elected to go for an onside kick to try an maintain their momentum. The kick was successful and the Bears would score again. After a bit of back and forth, Bartram Trail scored their third unanswered touchdown of the half which made it a one possession game. Hometown Hero Trevor Lawrence refused to be denied, however, and responded by throwing his fifth touchdown pass of the game. With the score 45-31, the two teams entered the fourth quarter.
It became quite clear as to why these two high schools were chosen to face one another on the national stage when the Bears once again responded with a touchdown of their own. The Canes would respond with a score as would the bears. This set up a final drive in which the Bartram Trail boys would need to score in order to tie the game at 52 a piece.
After a herculean effort to drive the ball almost the length of the field, Bartram Trail would themselves faced with fourth and goal from the Cartersville fifteen. Bartram Trail QB Joey Gatewood took the snap, rolled to his right, and fired a pass to the endzone only for it to fall to the ground with no receiver there to catch it. Cartersville would go on to kneel the game out and extend their win streak to 32 straight games.
After a delay that lasted 100 minutes and watching a 28-point lead dissipate in the second half, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes (2-0) defeated the Bartram Trail Bears (0-1) by a score of 52-45 on a nationally televised game at Weinman Stadium Saturday night.
Cartersville had the first possession of the game and marched straight down the field on an opening drive that was capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Lowe. On its next possession, the Cartersville offense would drive deep into Bartram Trail territory, but it would end with a Jonathan Cruz field goal.
The Canes would not be content with 10 points in the first quarter. After the defense stymied the Bartram Trail offense yet again, quarterback Trevor Lawrence would hit Lowe for their second touchdown connection of the game and extend Cartersville’s lead to 17-0.
In the second quarter, the Bartram Trail offense moved down the field but would have to settle for a 23-yard field goal. The Canes would then start their next possession on their own 2-yard line. Instead of a long, time-consuming drive, Lawrence would hit T.J. Horton for an 82-yard touchdown pass to give Cartersville another passing touchdown. On the next possession, sophomore Marko Dudley picked off a pass and just a few plays later, Cartersville would punch in another touchdown to give it a 31-3 lead over Bartram Trail.
The Bears would call quarterback phenom Joey Gatewood’s number, as the senior would run into the end zone to give Bartram Trail its first touchdown of the day. Not to be outdone, Lawrence made sure that eyes would continue to be on him and the Cartersville offense as he found Horton for his fourth touchdown pass of the first half and again extend the lead 28 on a drive that took less than two minutes. Riley Smith would try to lead the Bears to some momentum going into the half. Smith and company would march down the field in less than three minutes and connect with Robert French for a touchdown to go into the half trailing 38-17.
Cartersville outgained Bartram trail 406 to 235.
Despite being down by 21 at the half, the Bears came out confident in the third quarter. On its opening possession, Gatewood would rush for his second touchdown of the day and then on special teams, Bartram Trail recovered the onside kick. Making the most of its opportunities, the Bears punched in another touchdown to give them 21 unanswered points and make it a one possession ball game.
Both defenses would force punts and on Cartersville’s second possession of the second half, Lawrence would hit Kaleb Chapman for his fifth touchdown pass of the game and give the Canes a 45-31 lead.
But Bartram Trail wouldn’t stay away. Again the Bears would march down the field and Smith would hit Hutchinson for his second touchdown pass of the day and again pull within one score trailing 45-38 in the fourth quarter. After another Cartersville punt, the Bears would again march down the field and throw a 34-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 45 with just over seven minutes left in the game.
After being outscored 28-7 in the second, Cartersville looked adversity straight in the eye and marched down the field and capped an 80-yard drive on a third down touchdown run by Rico Frye.
On the final drive of the game, Bartram Trail would move up to the Cartersville 13-yard line with three seconds left on the clock. Smith would roll to his right and the game-tying pass would fall incomplete. Cartersville extended its winning streak to 32 games with Saturday’s victory.
Cartersville will be back at Weinman Stadium next week at 7:30 PM to take on the Calhoun Yellow Jackets. The game can be heard on WBHF with Countdown to Kickoff presented by Peachtree Planning live at Scott’s Walk Up Barbeque at 6:00 PM.