Canes Lose to Blessed Trinity in Heartbreaker

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Canes Lose to Blessed Trinity in Heartbreaker

Ryan McCrary and Thomas Smith

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The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes’ dream season ended December 12th after losing 23-9 to Blessed Trinity in the GHSA 4A State Championship.

 

The Canes offense struck quickly as senior running back Marcus Gary ran for 19 yards. Unfortunately, they couldn’t capitalize off the hot start as junior quarterback Tee Webb threw an interception.

 

On the ensuing drive the defense stepped up and senior linebacker Sunni Moorehead made a huge tackle for loss on third down to get the ball back.

 

Marcus Gary came through once again and ran the ball 38 yards on 2nd down. After a few short passes and a five yard carry by Gary, sophomore Oscar Hernandez kicked a 37 yard field goal to give the Canes a 3-0 lead.

 

Blessed Trinity missed a huge opportunity as quarterback Jake Smith overthrew a wide open Quinton Reese which would’ve lead to a touchdown. Once again the defense came through and forced the Titans to punt.

 

Blessed Trinity stopped the Canes offense and made the play of the night on their next possession. On third and long the Titans took a shot deep. They went after the Canes’ sophomore corner Devonte Ross who was covering wide receiver Ryan Davis. Davis, who is a few inches taller than Ross, never got a step ahead on Ross, but Jake Smith threw the ball to him anyway. Miraculously, Davis made the 43 yard catch to keep the drive alive. Blessed Trinity ended the drive with a score as Jake Smith hit fullback Ryan Dupont for a nine yard touchdown to give the Titans a 7-3 lead.

 

After many failed drives by both teams and Tee Webb’s second interception, halftime arrived with the score staying at 7-3.

 

Marcus Gary didn’t cool down after halftime and opened up the third quarter with a 57 yard run into Blessed Trinity territory. The Canes got inside the redzone but had to settle for a field goal to make the score 7-6 going into the fourth quarter.

 

Everything fell apart for Cartersville in the fourth quarter. Mistakes and turnovers piled up like dirty laundry.

 

With eleven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Cartersville set up to punt. A high snap sailed over senior Ricardo Torres’s head and went out of the endzone for the safety to extend Blessed Trinity’s lead to 9-6. Sadly this was only the beginning of the end.

 

The Titans took advantage of their next possession and scored on a 65 yard passing touchdown after Devonte Ross fell while covering Ryan Davis. This score put Blessed Trinity up 16-6 with nine minutes left in the game.

 

Cartersville’s hopes for a comeback were crushed after senior wide receiver Dadrian Dennis fumbled the ball on their own 28 yard line with Blessed Trinity recovering.

 

Blessed Trinity seized the opportunity to score again. Jake Smith took the ball in the endzone for a one yard touchdown to push the Titans’ lead to 23-6 and effectively ending the game. A late Oscar Hernandez field goal in garbage time made the final score 23-9.

 

Cartersville struggled mightily on offense in the second half. Tee Webb could never get going and his inaccuracy really hurt the Canes in this game. However, Marcus Gary was outstanding, rushing for 177 yards. The Canes’ defense was fantastic and held top running back recruit and Ohio State commit Steele Chambers to only 98 yards rushing. Eventually the defense got tired and couldn’t contain Blessed Trinity any longer. Costly penalties and turnovers made it nearly impossible for Cartersville to beat Blessed Trinity.

 

Although Cartersville couldn’t win the state championship, they still had a phenomenal season. Before the season, MaxPreps gave the Canes a slim to none chance to make the state championship and predicted them to lose in the second round of the playoffs. The Canes went 14-1 this season and against all odds made it all the way to the state championship. If junior Tee Webb can improve his game, Cartersville can be a force to be reckoned with next season.