The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes (10-0, 5-0) scored 35-unanswered points to defeat the Dalton Catamounts and win Class-5A Region 7 crown.
The first quarter featured a Catamount offense that was on the attack. Not many teams can boast about how they’ve made short work against the Cartersville defense in recent memory, but Dalton was able to add itself to a shortlist. The Catamounts scored on back-to-back possessions to begin the game. Before seats could be warm, Cartersville found itself down two scores.
Cartersville has been punched in the mouth several times this year. Calhoun, Cass and Hiram all gave the Hurricanes close finishes, while Calhoun and Cass led Cartersville in their respective games. Despite Dalton’s hot start, the Canes knew if they stayed the course, they would be fine.
It all started with a touchdown run from Khristian Lando to put Cartersville on the scoreboard. Dalton answered to regain its 14-point advantage. But that advantage would dissipate. Cartersville scored again towards the end of the second quarter as Nate Russell connected with Brady Marchesee for a 23-yard score to make it a one-score game going into the half. Cartersville was set to get the ball first in the second half with the opportunity to start over with a clean slate.
The Canes would do just that. Lando capped off the drive with a touchdown run to tie the game at 21 apiece. Lando wasn’t done as he scored touchdowns on the first three Cartersville possessions of the second half. The last of which gave Cartersville a 35-21 lead in the third quarter.
Dalton’s offense hit a rut and the Cartersville defense refused to help. In fact, the Cartersville secondary would score more points in the third quarter than Dalton’s offense as Turner Abernathy intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards to pile onto the lead 42-21.
The rest was academic as Cartersville captured the region championship and a No. 1 seed in the GHSA 5A Football Playoffs, which begin November 10th. You can hear all of the Cartersville Purple Hurricane playoff action on WBHF.