After eight months of waiting, Bartow County football fans finally got to see live football Friday against a different team.
Adairsville and Woodland showed some early-season rust, trading fumbles and defensive stops before the game opened up with the JV in for the second half.
Woodland led 7-0 before the starters exited later in the game, and Woodland’s JV outscored Adairsville’s 14-7 the rest of the way to give the game a final of 21-7.
Adairsville will be back in action at home against Ridgeland next week, while Woodland will host River Ridge.
The Cartersville-Westminster scrimmage took on a very different complexion, as the game was not nearly so evenly-matched. After failing to get the ball in the end zone on their first two drives, the Canes quickly worked off the rust and went right down the field on the next three series for a 24-0 lead. That prompted head coach Joey King to call it an early night for star QB Trevor Lawrence not even midway through the second quarter.
The JV did not showcase quite the same offensive firepower, but the defense remained unrelenting for all four quarters, and Cartersville cruised to a 31-0 win.
The Canes will travel to Allatoona next Friday to open the season for real.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Rico Frye — Cartersville
The highly-touted transfer from Creekside made a strong first impression on the Cartersville faithful Friday night.
It didn’t take him very long to get acclimated to the purple, either. The senior running back took the handoff on the first play of the game and went on a 55-yard run on a read-option that was a missed tackle away from being a touchdown.
On his next few touches, he dug in and grounded for extra yards, earning all of the 75 he recorded off five carries.
King praised Frye and his counterpart Marcus Gary Friday, and that will be the first time this season of many.
He averaged 15 yards a carry. Not bad.
Mason Boswell — Adairsville
Running, passing, tackling — you name it, and Boswell did it for the Tigers in Friday's scrimmage against Woodland.
Boswell split time with Bryce Burgess at quarterback with the Adairsville starters, and when he wasn't there, he stayed in the backfield as a halfback. He also played in the secondary on defense, rarely coming off the field.
He did most of his damage running the ball, either taking handoffs or keeping it himself, and picked up 52 yards on nine carries. Passing, he was 3-for-4 for 44 yards and provided the throwing highlight of the day, rolling out right and zipping a laser to Daylon Bailey on that sideline for 21 yards.
He also had four tackles on defense. The lone blemish on Boswell's day was a fumble that killed a potential scoring drive on the Woodland 20-yard line.
Marcus Gary — Cartersville
Gary gave Cartersville fans plenty of reasons to be excited for the upcoming season Friday.
The versatile tailback rushed for 46 yards on six carries and caught two passes for 20 yards. One of those receptions was a 17-yard touchdown off a beautifully executed screen pass.
Gary provides a nice complement to Rico Frye, one part of a two-headed beast that figures to be a huge asset for the Canes.
Trevor Lawrence — Cartersville
It wouldn’t come as a shock to see Lawrence take permanent real estate on this list. Lawrence didn’t do anything Friday that immediately jumps out, but he was his usual reliable self.
He passed for 134 yards in about a quarter and a half, and would’ve had even more if not for a slight overthrow on a deep ball to E.J. Turner and a few drops.
Lawrence was wearing a non-contact jersey, but played as if the scrimmage mattered. It wasn’t remarkable, but it was yet another reminder of what Cartersville has to look forward to this year.
Kaleb Chatmon — Cartersville
Chatmon only made two receptions Friday night, but they were Cartersville’s two biggest plays on offense.
Chatmon got beind the defense on one play in the second quarter before hauling in a 44-yard pass from Lawrence to set up Frye’s touchdown. On the very next drive, Chatmon went high to beat out a Westminster player for a 44-yard grab, this time on a pass from Tee Webb.
Chatmon, a junior, started Friday next to three returning senior starters, and the Cartersville coaching staff is high on the son of ’99 Canes all-stater and state champ Cortney Chatmon.
Jimmy Davis — Woodland
As the backups entered the game in the fourth quarter, the field started to open up, and nobody took better advantage of that than Davis, a freshman running back for the Wildcats.
Him breaking through the line and sprinting for a touchdown up the middle became the enduring image of the game, with Davis breaking a 44-yard and a 70-yard touchdown run, both mostly untouched. He punctuated the last one with a little premature celebration
before glancing behind him and realizing the pursuers were closer than expected.
"He's a fast kid," Woodland coach Tony Plott said. "We've got to get him to where he's not high-stepping into the end zone, but he's a good kid. He was just happy, just excited."
With a varsity debut like that, who wouldn't be?
Titus Jones — Woodland
Seeing a defender with the last name Jones cover the entire field is a common sight for Woodland fans, and the early returns are that Titus will be able to do it just as well as his brother Emmanuel, now graduated.
Operating from free safety, Jones racked up nine tackles Friday in under three quarters and broke up a pass with a monster hit on an Adairsville receiver.
His best play, though, came in the running game, as he came all the way up from safety to stuff Bailey three yards behind the line of scrimmage on an end-around in the second quarter. Jones also had two catches for 15 yards on offense.
—DTN staffers Andrew Houghton and Evan Greenberg contributed to this report.