Is Cartersville the state’s top team regardless of class?
A theoretical question is spreading across Georgia: Is Cartersville the best team in the state, regardless of classification? While this season’s Class AAAAAAA giants like Mill Creek, Grayson and Roswell will get the benefit of the doubt in most minds, Cartersville has impressed enough in its first two games to be in the conversation. Regardless of your opinion on this question, it is the question itself that is the uppermost compliment a team in the smaller classifications could garner two games into a season. Class AAAA No. 1 Cartersville followed its Week 2 bye with a 56-0 blowout road victory over Calhoun Friday night, extending its winning streak to a state best 17 games.
The Purple Hurricanes turned in another complete performance on both sides of the football. They racked up 490 total yards offensively, while holding Calhoun to just 75 total yards and only six yards in the second half. Any time a team’s entire yardage in a half doesn’t add up to a single first down, that is a feat that should not go unnoticed. Junior five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence tossed 350 yards off of 21-of-33 passing with three touchdowns and an interception. On the ground, Trey Creamer took his seven carries for an efficient 58 yards and four touchdowns.
While Cartersville is stationed firmly at the top of Class AAAA for another week, the rest of the classification continues to shuffle. Powerhouses Woodward Academy, Blessed Trinity, Mary Persons, Sandy Creek, Marist, Cairo, Stephens County, Pickens and Jefferson have all stepped into the loss column this season, while St. Pius has already dropped two games. Thomson, however, is off to a blazing start. The Bulldogs have dominated the competition through their first three games, the latest being a 42-20 victory over Jefferson on Friday.
In the 22-point victory, Thomson produced points in all three phases of the game. First, Mike Thomas capitalized on an early Jefferson turnover and got the Bulldogs on the board with the first of his two touchdown runs. Jefferson added a Hayden Kilgore 20-yard field goal with 9:08 left in the half, but less than a minute later, Bubba Murray scored a 12-yard touchdown to build a 14-3 Thomson lead entering the second half. Colby Wood scored Jefferson’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run in the second quarter, but Thomas answered with his second score to push the lead back to 21-10 entering the final frame. Kilgore booted a 36-yard field goal to open the fourth quarter, but Thomson’s Christian Tutt broke loose for a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown to make it 28-13. Zack Boobas ran in a 7-yard Jefferson touchdown to cut the deficit to 28-20 with 4:54 left but Thomson returned the onside kick attempt for a touchdown. After scoring two non-offensive touchdowns via special teams, Zack Johnson iced the game with a 50-yard fumble return touchdown with 2:23 left. Thomson prepares for an intriguing matchup at Class AAA’s Pace Academy next Friday.