The final score was 14-13 in favor of the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes over the Allatoona Buccaneers, but, if possible, it was closer than that. Cartersville committed two turnovers in the first half and had to feel lucky to only be trailing 6-0 entering the locker room.
Tee Webb had 82 passing yards. Quante Jennings had 48 rushing yards. And Cartersville’s leading receiver, Sam Phillips, had just 38 yards after one half.
In the third quarter, Allatoona went quietly on its first possession. Following a stellar punt, Cartersville was backed up inside of its own 2-yard line. Enter Quante Jennings, who took one carry 98 1/2 yards into the end zone to give Cartersville its first lead of the game and season. Fans have seen this script play out plenty of times before. Now it’s time for Cartersville to put the pedal to the metal and coast in the second half on its way to a lopsided win, right?
Not this time.
Allatoona answered on the ensuing drive, which would end with a 1-yard and a 13-7 lead. Enter the fourth quarter and the Canes would still find themselves trailing by six. Oddly, a missed field goal might have played the most important role in the outcome.
All-State Kicker for Allatoona Jude Kelly had already missed one field goal, so banking on another would have perhaps been false hope. But in a game where nothing went the way people thought, why not? Kelly missed a field goal from 42 yards out and Cartersville found itself with a chance to take the lead but with under six minutes left in the game.
Webb found Phillips for a 55-yard score, that saw the Allatoona defense breakdown in coverage. Oscar Hernandez would connect on his second PAT to give Cartersville a 14-13 lead.
Allatoona would get the ball one last time, but, as Cartersville fans have gotten used to over the past, several years, the Canes defense made a big play, a fumble recovery, with under 90 seconds left in the game to seal the Cartersville victory and the first for new head coach Conor Foster.
Cartersville will have an off week next week, but will be back on WBHF on September 6th at 7:30 to take on Luella for its 2019 home opener.