Adairsville, Cartersville and Cass have combined to average just under 35 points per game. Meanwhile, those three teams’ opponents have averaged under 15 points per game, meaning there has been some excellent defensive performances as well.
Here is a list of the top 10 games from Bartow Players to this point in 2013:
10. Chris Morton — Cass 44, Heritage, Catoosa 7 — Sept. 13
Morton has become a regular on Sunday Standouts with his big play ability. He displayed it that Friday with a 78-yard touchdown catch, another catch for 11 yards and a 58-yard punt return. Morton could have had an additional 55-yard punt return for a would-be touchdown, but the play was called back on a penalty.
9. Trey Lloyd — Adairsville 38, Armuchee 7 — Sept. 6
Lloyd has distinguished himself at the defensive end position all season for the Tigers. On this day, he had 10 tackles, three for a loss, and a fumble recovery.
8. Brandon Long — Cartersville 41, Rockmart 0 — Sept. 13
Long has three 100-yard rushing games already this season. His game against Rockmart was his most impressive because he accumulated the bulk of the yardage and his two touchdowns in the first quarter. He finished with 116 yards on four carries and two touchdowns.
On the first play from scrimmage, Long made two cuts to get into the open field where his speed allowed him to go 46 yards untouched into the end zone. He produced a similar run later in the quarter, this time for 68 yards.
7. Greg Davis — North Murray 10, Cartersville 55 — Sept. 20
The junior defensive end had six tackles on the game. Three of them were for a loss, including one sack. The biggest play of his night was a fumble recovery for a touchdown with just over six seconds left in the first half to give Cartersville a 20-point advantage.
6. Qua Stocks — Woodland 3, Villa Rica 27 — Aug. 23
Had Woodland won the game, this performance may be higher on the list. As is, Stocks had, by far, the most reception yards by any Bartow player this season with 157. His 54-yard catch-and-run was the offensive highlight of the night. Stocks said he felt like the Hulk after the play, which resulted in one of his nine catches for the game. He also contributed defensively, limiting Villa Rica’s receivers in pass coverage.
5. Keelyn Wilkey — Adairsville 14, Cass 23 — Aug. 30
Wilkey scored all three of Cass’ touchdowns in its game against Adairsville, including one in the fourth quarter to seal the game from 21 yards out. The junior running back finished with 128 yards on 21 carries.
Wilkey’s position on the rankings reflects the conditions of a rivalry game, his substantial role in the victory, and the presence of a background story: his family is from Adairsville.
4. Sidnee Johnson — LFO 0, Adairsville 49 — Sept. 20
All four of Johnson’s games are deserving of mention in the rankings. The sophomore will battle Long for the Bartow rushing crown over the remainder of the season. He, like Long, has not needed many carries to produce those yards. Against Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Johnson needed just six carries to accumulate 141 yards, including three touchdowns. The yardage count is the highest of any Bartow rusher this season.
3. Keylon Woodard — Cass 44, Heritage, Catoosa 7 — Sept. 13
With so many impressive performances, this defensive effort is as impressive as any. While Morton was getting the job done on the offensive side of the ball, Woodard was busy intercepting three Catoosa passes, while returning one for a touchdown. The senior linebacker finished with 92 yards on interception returns, including the 34-yard score.
2. Mark Quattlebaum — Cass 7, Cartersville 42 — Sept. 6
Similar to Johnson’s and Woodard’s performances, there is an argument to be made that this one is deserving of the top spot in the rankings. Quattlebaum was impressive in all three phases. He had an interception from his safety position early in the game on defense. He also had four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown on offense. Meanwhile, he returned a kickoff 42 yards and two punt returns for a total of 60 yards. One of his punt returns went for 38 yards down to the Cass 2-yard line, which set up a score two plays later. Adding further significance, the performance occurred during a Bartow rivalry game.
1. Brooks Barden — North Murray 10, Cartersville 55 — Sept. 20
Barden is another player who could have had any of his performances on this list. However, six total touchdowns earns the senior quarterback the top ranking. Barden threw for 312 yards on 14-for-16 passing with four touchdowns. He also ran for two more touchdowns and had 21 yards on four carries. Coincidentally, the top two-ranked performances are teammates headed to UNC-Charlotte next season.
It will be difficult to unseat Barden over the remaining seven weeks of the season, but assuredly, there will be several impressive Bartow player performances to come.