The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes (3-0) defeated the Allatoona Buccaneers (0-3) on Friday night by a score of 28-20. However, this was not a back-and-forth game as the score might indicate.
Allatoona stifled the Cartersville ground game in the first half, which led the Canes being shutout for the game’s first 24 minutes. Allatoona, meanwhile, took a 17-0 lead into halftime. If Cartersville could get the ground game established and the defense could contain Allatoona’s Jayden Ponder, then the Canes would have a chance.
— CartersvilleFootball (@CHSHurricaneFB) September 2, 2022
Allatoona kicked a field goal in the third quarter and many thought the game was over.
No one on the visiting sideline believed that sentiment. Not even when Paul Gamble, the team’s starting quarterback, got injured in the second half. Not even when they trailed by multiple scores with less than eight minutes left in the game.
Collin Fletcher caught a touchdown thrown by Nate Russell, a freshman and the team’s backup quarterback. That cut the score to 20-7. Malachi Jeffries, who had much more success in the second half running the football, then found pay dirt to cut the game to 20-14.
Then the Cartersville defense began to feed off of the offense’s energy. Connor Brasfield caught an interception, which set up a 25-yard touchdown pass from Russell to Jamauri Brice. After the extra point from Jesus Gutierrez, Cartersville held its first lead of the game.
The homestands were in shock. Surely, they knew that Cartersville was a good team, but how could anyone see a 21-point explosion happen so quick? Not only did they score quickly, but they did so after looking feeble for much of the game’s first 36 minutes.
And it wasn’t over.
Myles Forristall came up with a lose football, which would set up Russell for a rushing touchdown to extend the Canes advantage to 28-20. The Buccaneers still had a chance to tie the game and force overtime, but another turnover – the third in as many drives – gave Cartersville the ball. Without any timeouts to stop them Allatoona was forced to let Cartersville kneel the ball to close out the come-from-behind victory.
Cartersville will host Columbia next Friday night at 7:30 PM and you can hear the game on WBHF with pregame coverage beginning at 6:00 PM.