The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes (14-0) have rarely had to overcome adversity in the 2016 football season. That changed Friday night with the Canes found themselves trailing 14-0 to Mary Persons (12-2) after the first quarter.

In the first quarter of action, the Canes offense was held to a three and out and lost two fumbles. The Canes defense allowed a long touchdown and then had to try and keep the run-heavy Bulldogs at bay inside of their own 20 following the first Cartersville fumble. It would have been easy to concede to momentum, but the Canes rallied to go on a 38-3 scoring run and win the semi-final matchup by a score of 38-17.

Mary Persons struck first with a long touchdown pass and then struck again with a 1-yard touchdown run to take an early lead, Cartersville’s largest deficit of the 2016 season, following a fumble by Trace Fezzia on the ensuing kickoff. Then Cartersville pounced.

Trevor Lawrence threw two touchdown passes in the first half, both to EJ Turner, and Trey Creamer added a 54-yard touchdown run to give Cartersville a 21-17 halftime lead and momentum.

The Canes held the Bulldogs at bay in the second half, and Lawrence would throw another touchdown pass, this time to Darien Poellnitz, his second touchdown catch of the season, in the third quarter to give Cartersville a 28-17 lead. Cartersville seemed to be in cruise control following a rough first half that included turnovers and penalties.

Jonathan Cruz would add a 31-yard field goal and Trey Creamer would add a touchdown reception to give Cartersville a 38-17 lead and a win to advance to the Georgia Dome next Saturday.

Tevor Lawrence threw three touchdown passes in the game and the Canes defense allowed less than five total yards of offense in the second half to end the Bulldogs’ season.

The Canes will now match-up against the Thomson Bulldogs (14-0) next Saturday at the Georgia Dome at 4:30 in a quest to capture their second consecutive Class 4-A championship.