Over the past three seasons the Cartersville Hurricanes have won 37 football games and two state championships.
Cartersville is currently ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA in Georgia this fall. The Hurricanes convinced another opponent on Friday night with their 56-0 shutout against LaGrange High.
There was no home cooking at Callaway Stadium for the Grangers, who had their upset hopes dashed very early in the game. Cartersville, the soon to be 7-0 football team, scored 14 points in the first quarter and 35 points in the second period.
As a matter of fact, Cartersville did rain on the Grangers football parade. The Hurricanes had 16 first downs in the game. La-Grange High had two first downs. Cartersville, with apparent ease, yanked the chains for 291 yards.
LaGrange High, 0-7 overall and 0-3 in the region, had a net gain of just 35 yards. The Grangers passed for 30 yards and rushed for just five more yards. That is net yardage. La-Grange High could not win the war on the line of scrimmage.
The Hurricanes manned up and put the Grangers down for the most part. Cartersville’s athletes beat LaGrange’s athletes. The No. 1 team in the state pounded the still winless Grangers.
The visitors beat LaGrange High on all fronts. “We learned you have to be hitting on all cylinders (to merely have a chance against the Hurricanes). We felt their pulse and heartbeat. We were hanging on. We knew they were big and could run,” said Granger head coach Dialleo Burks.
In the first half of this Region 5-AAAA game, LaGrange High got reminded that it was playing the best team in the state.
“They looked like the best team in the world. We missed some blocks, and we gave too much cushion (on defense). You have to make sure you secure the tackles,” said Burks.
The Granger defensive secondary got burned to a crisp. Hurricane senior quarterback Trevor Lawrence was throwing some tight spirals, good for 178 yards and six touchdown passes. And that was just in the first half.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Lawrence completed 12 of 14 passes, and he did not play in the second half. Cartersville already had a 49-0 lead at halftime. In just the first period, Lawrence lit up the Grangers with a 43-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Jkobe Orr and an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jackson Lowe (6foot-4, 210 pounds).
In the second quarter the Hurricanes put this region win to bed. Cartersville rocked the Grangers to sleep with four touchdown passes in the second period. Lawrence layed the ball in the hands of his receivers with a 10-yard strike to E.J. Turner, a 6yard scoring pass to freshman wide receiver Jaylon Akins, a 49-yard touchdown pass to Turner and a 31-yard scoring toss to Hurricane senior running back Rico Frye.
“We had a business-like mindset. We did a good job of throwing and catching, and our defense gave us field position. Our guys are naturally competitive,” said Cartersville head coach Joey King.
The Hurricanes also scored a second quarter touchdown on a blocked punt with 44.9 seconds left in the first half. LaGrange High could not get a break, and they certainly couldn’t score any points against the Hurricanes.
“We had to play low and hard. Cartersville was fast. They are well coached, and they’re disciplined,” said Joe Thornton, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound senior offensive tackle for the Grangers.
The holes to run through closed quickly for the La-Grange High ball carriers. The Grangers top two rushers were Myles Johnson with 11 yards on nine carries and Trez Delaney with seven yards on six carries.
“LaGrange has some young guys. They are going to be good (in the future),” said King, the coach of the No. 1-ranked Hurricanes.
Making one of the few significant plays on defense for LaGrange High was senior lineman Jeremiah Holloway. He sacked Cartersville golden boy, Trevor Lawrence, for a 1yard loss late in the first quarter.
Holloway is a 6-foot-1, 220-pound defensive dandy.