The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes (7-1, 2-1) defeated the Hiram Hornets (4-4, 1-2) on Friday night by a score of 44-26.

Cartersville won the kickoff and opted to start on offense. Unfortunately for the Canes, the offense did not click and punted after three plays. Hiram was ready offensively as the Hornets had a game plan involving junior running back Jemarion Whatley. On the first drive, Whatley scored on a 66-yard run to take an early 7-0 lead over Cartersville.

The Canes answered back on the next drive as Luke McBride scored on a 1-yard rush. The Canes defense proved opportunistic as Myles Forristall forced a fumble recovered by Cartersville. The Canes answered on the following drive when Malachi Jeffries scored on a short, rush to give Cartersville its first lead of the game. Hiram, however, was not done. The Hornets scored to answer Cartersville and tie the game on Chase Tyler’s touchdown pass. Paul Gamble connected with Collin Fletcher for a 20-yard aerial score. Once again Cartersville took the lead, but also Whatley waited his turn. The junior took a dive play 67-yards into the end zone in the blink of an eye. The Hornets missed the PAT and still trailed Cartersville. The Canes got the ball back with a chance to get some points to extend the lead, but were unable to convert a fourth down and took the 21-20 lead into the half.

The Hornets scored first in the third quarter when Walter Matthews hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tyler to open up the half. While Cartersville looked “off” to begin the game, the Canes were about to find their groove. Gamble and Jeffries scored touchdowns on back-to-back drives with rushes of 21 yards and 18 yards, respectively. Ryan Johnson added a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to put the Canes up two scores in the blink of an eye. Braylon Inman picked off Tyler with just over four minutes left in the game with a chance to effectively put Hiram away for good. Gamble scored his second rushing touchdown of the evening effectively thwarting any chance of a comeback with a 7-yard rushing touchdown.

Jamauri Brice intercepted Hiram in the end zone to put the finishing touches on an impressive win.

Cartersville will host Woodland next Friday night with kickoff set for 7:30 PM. You can hear the game on WBHF with pregame coverage beginning at 6:00 PM.