After finding themselves down 13 points in the second quarter, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes rallied to beat the Baldwin Braves 42-13 and advance to the semi-finals of the Class AAAA State Playoffs.
The Braves fumbled on their opening drive, but Cartersville turned the ball over on downs after an unsuccessful fake punt, which would come back to bite it. Baldwin’s Derrick Lewis threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Noah Hill to give Baldwin a 6-0 lead after a blocked PAT. On the Braves first drive of the second quarter, they marched 93 yards down the field to grab a 13-0 lead with 9:28 left in the first half.
The Canes had cruised into the playoffs and into the first two rounds. Now was the time to see if they could answer the bell.
After a Baldwin special teams gaffe, Marcus Gary scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Canes on the board. Cartersville would go into the half down six.
The third quarter belonged to Cartersville, as it would put up 21 unanswered points. Tee Webb found a wide-open Trendon Horton for a 62-yard score to give Cartersville its first lead of the ball game with 10:32 left in the third quarter. Defensive lineman Isaiah Chaney recovered a fumble, which gave Cartersville an opportunity to extend its lead. Gary would answer the call and score his second and third rushing touchdowns in the game on 3-yard and 52-yard rushing scores. Before Baldwin could blink the third quarter was in the books with Cartersville up 28-13.
To make matters worse, Baldwin’s first play in the fourth quarter turned into a 10-yard pick-6 to extend the lead for the hometown Canes 35-13. On the next Braves drive, Evan Slocum would come down with an interception. Cartersville’s offense would again make Baldwin pay for its mistakes as Webb would cap off the drive with a quarterback keeper into the end zone to seal the 42-13 victory.
Cartersville will play at Weinman Stadium next Friday at 7:30 and will host visiting Marist. You can hear all of the action on WBHF.