One of the most highly anticipated intracounty matchups in recent memory didn’t live up to the hype, as Cartersville jumped out early en route to a 59-0 win over Cass Friday on the road.
The Canes connected on several big pass plays, including a trio of touchdowns from 60-plus yards out. It was the definition of a bounce-back performance, as Cartersville rebounded from its first regular-season defeat since 2014 with a victory in its Region 7-AAAAA opener
Cartersville (5-1, 1-0) will hope to build off the dominant display next Friday, when it hosts Hiram.
Cass (5-1, 0-1) will attempt to get back in the win column next week against rival Woodland. The Wildcats (3-0) haven’t played since Sept. 18, and the team’s region opener set for this week at Blessed Trinity was pushed back to Nov. 20.
Meanwhile, Adairsville dropped a 23-17 decision on the road at Ringgold. Four turnovers proved costly for the visiting Tigers in the Region 6-AAA loss. Adairsville (3-2, 2-1) will look to get back on track next Saturday, when Eric Bishop and Co. host Coahulla Creek.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Devonte Ross — Cartersville (3)
There was a banner hanging near the Cass bleachers Friday that read, “No hurricane can stop this beach party.” Counter point: Devonte Ross. The senior absolutely turned in one of the most impressive performances Bartow County has seen on a per-touch basis in quite some time. Everything he touched turned into six points. He opened the night with a statement 80-yard touchdown catch from Stratton Tripp on the first play from scrimmage. Later, Ross turned a screen pass from Tripp into an 82-yard score for the final touchdown of Cartersville’s dominant first half. In between, Ross endeared himself to newcomer Carlos Del Rio-Wilson, as he caught another screen and took it 25 yards to pay dirt. After being held mostly in check offensively last time out against Cherokee, Ross, who still managed a kickoff return touchdown in that game, showed Friday why he remains among the biggest home run threats in the state.
Tokyo Gordon — Adairsville (2)
Gordon could become a Sunday Standouts fixture with the type of performances he has been churning out on a weekly basis. The junior racked up 15 tackles, including 11 solo stops, in Friday’s defeat. He also had a tackle for loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry. Through five games, Gordon is averaging 13.2 tackles (10 solo) a night. He also has four sacks. At the midway point of the season, The Daily Tribune News defensive player of the year honors appears to be his to lose.
Ja’Maury Johnson — Adairsville
Coming off a two-touchdown performance against LaFayette, Johnson found the end zone one more time Friday at Ringgold. The senior carried the ball 17 times for 97 yards (an average of 5.7 yards per attempt) — nearly twice as much rushing yardage as his next closest teammate. Johnson even chipped in with a pair of tackles on defense. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound running back has just under 300 rushing yards on the season to go with his three touchdowns. Johnson could have another strong performance on the ground against Coahulla Creek next Saturday at home.
Stratton Tripp — Cartersville (3)
Tripp missed on just one pass attempt across his four first-half drives. He managed a 64-yard touchdown throw to Kolbe Benham, and the senior added the 80- and 82-yard scoring passes to Ross. The Canes starting quarterback played like his job depended on it, and perhaps, it did. With the arrival of Del Rio-Wilson, the QB situation at Cartersville certainly will be one to monitor moving forward. Tripp played well enough against Cass to earn the start next time out against Hiram. If his performance against the Colonels is a sign of things to come, Tripp likely will remain an integral part of the offense regardless of what Del Rio-Wilson shows.
Eli Agnew, Adairsville — The junior recorded a 29-yard interception return, adding 50 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground.
Drew Wilson, Adairsville — A senior linebacker, Wilson totaled a dozen tackles.