Cartersville only needed three quarters of play to jump out to a 51-0 lead over McNair in Friday night’s home game — and thanks to a spectacular lightning burst, barely two minutes of the fourth quarter was contested before officials called off the game entirely.
Canes senior quarterback Tee Webb went 8-for-10 in the first two quarters, unofficially collecting 165 yards through the air and notching up four touchdown passes — three of which came in the form of strikes to junior slot receiver Sam Phillips.
“We were just trying to take what the defense gives us and try to continue to improve on what we do,” said Cartersville head coach Conor Foster. “Tonight, I thought Tee did a great job of reading the defense … our kids executed, they blocked well in the perimeter and did a good job of getting vertical and getting some positive yards.”
Phillips unofficially concluded Friday night’s contest with 101 yards and three scores on just four receptions. He very nearly had a fourth touchdown when he broke off a gargantuan 41-yard reception with less than two minutes to go in the first quarter, only to get tackled at the McNair 1.
That play, however, set junior running back Harrison Allen up for an easy 1-yard touchdown run to make it a 30-0 game before the second quarter even began.
The Cartersville offense got rolling from its very first play of the game, as Webb connected with junior wide receiver Devonte Ross on a 38-yard touchdown pass. Barely two minutes into the first quarter, the Canes had all the points they ultimately needed to secure the victory.
Yet the offensive onslaught was far from over.
With about two minutes left in the second quarter, junior running back Quante Jennings galloped into the Mustangs’ end zone on a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 44-0 Cartersville.
Sophomore Jalen Thomas recorded a 1-yard rushing touchdown around the midway point of the third quarter to make it 51-0 Cartersville.
And on defense, the Canes recorded a safety about halfway through the first quarter when junior free safety Amarai Orr dropped the punter in his own end zone for two points on the scoreboard.
To say McNair sputtered out on offense would be an understatement — by the game’s merciful early ending, the Mustangs combined for an estimated six total yards of offense. The absolute farthest McNair managed to move the ball throughout the contest was the team's own 34-yard line, while Cartersville didn't experience a single play within their own half of the field until the third quarter.
So dominant his team’s performance, Foster struggled to think of anything that went wrong for the purple and gold on what turned out to be an anything but unlucky Friday the 13th for the Canes' faithful.
“We’ll have to go in there and check the film,” he said. “There’s always plenty to improve upon every week, so we’ll go in and self-reflect and figure out what we need to do to do better next week.”
Amazingly, the 51-0 throttling is actually less one-sided than last year’s match-up between the two teams. In 2018, the Canes pulverized the Mustangs by a final score of 70-0.
With the victory Cartersville improves to 3-0 on the year. Next up for the Canes is a road test against Cherokee in Canton on Sept. 20.
“Cherokee’s a great football team, very well coached, I was very impressed with them last year,” Foster said. “I know they’ve got a lot returning, they just do a tremendous job both sides of the ball.”
Cherokee was scheduled to take on Kennesaw Mountain Friday evening. A barrage of inclement weather, however, postponed that game to 7:30 p.m. tonight.
The Warriors, like the Purple Hurricanes, will enter that contest with a 3-0 record.
“They’ll present a great challenge for us,” Foster said. “I know they’ve got a nice home environment, so hopefully we can bring a big crowd over there and by ready to go next week.”