The Purple Hurricane offense scored five touchdowns while its defense blocked two punts for touchdowns and scored yet a third time on a 99-yard interception return.
Brooks Barden threw three touchdown passes for the Canes, including an 11-yarder, a 50-yarder and a 35-yarder, to lead Cartersville to the victory, which gives the Canes a two-game lead in Region 5-AAA over three teams now tied for second with a 4-2 record.
Coach Frank Barden said the Canes, 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the region, did what they needed to do.
“We had to come out and be intentional about what we were doing and play with a purpose,” he said. “They came out and played well and took care of business. I’m proud of them. We had some blocked punts and a pick-six. It was a good overall team effort.”
The Phoenix took the opening kickoff but after making three first downs were forced to punt.
Cartersville started from its own 5 and relied heavily on its aerial attack the first series, a 15-play drive that netted the team’s first touchdown through the air when Brooks Barden found wide receiver Gordon Gray open and the two combined for an 11-yard touchdown strike. They took a 7-0 lead with 5:26 remaining in the first quarter after Preston Slemp made the first of eight PATs.
Josh Cooper set the Canes up for their second score when he blocked a Phoenix kick and joined the Cane wrecking crew throwing blocks for Malik Wilkins, who had picked the ball up around the 40 and headed to the barn after giving his team a 14-0 lead.
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