Cartersville 58, Thomson 7
No team can boast a better two-year run than Cartersville.
Cartersville won its 30th straight game and its second consecutive Class AAAA title with ease, a 58-7 victory over No. 2 Thomson that was all but sealed by halftime.
“We didn’t care about being 15-0, we just wanted to be 1-0 tonight,” Cartersville coach Joey King said.
Whether it was the ability of quarterback Trevor Lawrence to sidestep a blitzer and find an open man downfield or the knack of a Cartersville defender to pry a ball loose, recovering five of seven fumbles, the No. 1-ranked Canes (15-0) showed why no one has found a way to beat them for two years.
It was so frustrating for Thomson (14-1) that linebacker Xzavious Lewis, his helmet off, was pounding the turf at the feet of Lawrence in sheer exasperation in the wake of a long touchdown pass.
It was so one-sided that the fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
Lawrence wasn’t his sharpest, but still completed 14 of 34 passes for 196 yards. He threw a 20-yard touchdown to Trey Creamer and an 18-yarder to Avery Showell, giving him 51 this season. Two other long touchdown passes were called back because of penalties.
“We dropped a few and missed a few and had a couple called back,” King said.
Creamer also ran 16 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on a 3-yard run to complete a 10-play scoring drive that set the pace for the game, and added a pair of 1-yard touchdowns.
Cartersville even resorted to a little razzle-dazzle when kicker Jonathan Cruz completed a 45-yard pass to Evan Williams on a fake punt to set up a touchdown. Cruz also kicked three field goals.
Thomson spent the first half stifling its own momentum. Thomson’s Christian Tutt bobbled a punt return right into the arms of Cartersville’s Garrett Shelton. Marcus Cade fumbled when Cartersville’s Evan Williams knocked the ball loose and Sean Holton recovered before it could get out of bounds. Even Mike Thomas, the team’s 2,000-yard rusher, was victimized when he was stripped by Darian Poellnitz and recovered by Nyvin Nelson.
Thomson’s woes carried over to the second half when the Bulldogs fumbled away their first two possessions, leading to two Cartersville scores. Thomas again had the ball pried out by Xavier Coaxum and recovered by Trase Fezzia for a 60-yard touchdown. Thomson’s Bubba Murray fumbled on the next possession, with Carson Murray recovering for Cartersville, which scored four plays later on Creamer’s 1-yard run.
“Our guys did a good job of tackling well all night long,” King said. “Hats off to our defense. We were in position to be able to take those guys because our defense played lights out.”
Thomson’s potent rushing attack was limited to 94 yards and Thomas gained 84 of those on 28 carries. Quarterback Mills Ridings completed 14 of 21 for 131 yards.
Cartersville also got 53 rushing yards and one touchdown from Nique Williams. Antoine Jefferson caught five passes for 85 yards. Showell caught two passes and led the team with nine tackles, three of them for loss.
The Canes had 399 yards in total offense and scored each of their seven trips inside the red zone.