The only game Friday night in Bartow County wasn't much of a game at all.
Cartersville entered as the clear-cut favorite against visiting Thomson, and unlike the week before, the Canes never let their opposition truly believe an upset was in the offing. A 14-point first quarter put Cartersville in complete control en route to a 35-0 victory.
The win sets up a mouth-watering quarterfinal clash against Woodward Academy in the Class 4A state playoffs next week at Weinman Stadium. Both teams will enter 12-0, making them the only unbeaten teams remaining in the classification, and ranked No. 1 (Cartersville) and No. 2 (Woodward) in the state, according to the pre-playoff composite rankings.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Quante Jennings — Cartersville
When Jennings injured his shoulder at the end of a fantastic first half against Cherokee on Sept. 20, it was fair to wonder if the junior would play again this season. With the Canes likely to be playing deep into the state playoffs, it seemed likely he would return at some point.
But coming back and coming back at 100% are two very different things. Jennings didn't look to be at his best in his return to action against Troup County during the regular-season finale. But he got better as the game went on and has looked fully healthy during each of Cartersville's playoff games.
That included a stellar performance Friday, when he needed only 11 carries to rack up 103 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Jennings nearly had a 43-yard touchdown run on the game's opening possession. instead he settled for a 42-yard gain and subsequent 1-yard score.
His 6-yard touchdown almost midway through the third quarter effectively ended the game, as it gave the Canes a 28-0 cushion. Jennings' final carry of the night was a 26-yarder.
While Harrison Allen and Evan Slocum will each see reps at running back here and there, as they should, Jennings will be the workhorse Cartersville needs down the stretch.
Tee Webb — Cartersville
After the first few series Friday, Webb didn't need to air the ball out much against an overmatched Thomson defense, finishing with just 17 pass attempts.
However, he made those 17 attempts count. Webb completed nine passes for 192 yards and a touchdown. His 11.3 yards per attempt showcase the explosive ability of the Cartersville offense.
In the win, the senior quarterback helped account for chunk gains of 50, 40 (the touchdown), 36 and 26 yards. Perhaps most incredibly, those four passes each went to a different receiver. When Webb efficiently spreads the ball around that way, the Canes are nigh impossible to slow down.
Evan Slocum, Cartersville — Always a steady presence on defense, Slocum had just two offensive touches, but he turned those into a 50-yard reception and a 40-yard touchdown run straight off the highlight reel.