The season was long and hard. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t given, but it was victorious. On Saturday evening, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes finished their season 15-0 and beat the Buford Wolves 10-0 for the AAAA State Championship at the Georgia Dome. Cartersville was led behind quarterback Trevor Lawrence, defensive back Trey Creamer and the leg of punter/kicker Jonathan Cruz. The Canes defense held Buford to just 240 yards on the day and forced their quarterback to toss three interceptions and a fumble on the evening to shut out the Wolves for the first time since 2010.
The first quarter showed the Buford Wolves able to march on Cartersville, but unable to put up any points. It wasn’t until the offense failed to convert a fourth down in Cartersville territory, that the momentum seemed to shift. Cartersville wasn’t able to generate much on offense, but Lawrence did find Terrius Calahan for a big 3rd down conversion that would set up Cruz for a 47-yard field goal to give the Canes a 3-0 lead with under five minutes remaining in the half. With under 1:30 left in the half, Buford committed a costly turnover, when Tiamon Pennymon recovered a fumble to the Buford 10-yard line. Two plays later, Lawrence found Miller Forristall in the end zone to give Cartersville a 10-0 lead entering the half.
That’s all the Canes would need. With three turnovers committed in the second half and the inability to convert in Cartersville territory, the Buford offense was stymied. the Canes won their third state championship and their first since 1999.