Canes fall to Woodward in Quarterfinals


Ryan McCrary, Writer

On Friday, November 29th, the Cartersville Hurricanes took on the Woodward Academy Wareagles in the quarterfinals of the Georgia 4A playoffs. This was Cartersville’s most difficult game of the season and the biggest obstacle in their path towards the state championship. 

If the Canes wanted to come out of this game victorious, they couldn’t come out of the gates flat. They did just the opposite, as they were on fire the whole first quarter.  

Cartersville faced a 4th and 1 on their first possession, which they converted. Following the huge fourth-down conversion, Tee Webb threw a 63-yard passing touchdown to Devonte Ross to go up 7-0 with 6:40 left in the first quarter. 

Woodward couldn’t get anything going on their first possession as they faced a three and out.  

The Canes’ kept on rolling on their second possession as they drove down the field and scored on a 9-yard rushing touchdown by Quante Jennings to extend their lead to 14-0.  

The Wareagles’ offense came to life at the start of the second quarter and they found themselves in a great position to put some points on the scoreboard. UCF commit Mike Wright scrambled, and just before he got down inside the 5-yard line he got hit and the ball popped out and fell right into the hands of Kolbe Benham. Unfortunately, Carterville couldn’t take advantage of the turnover and gave the ball right back to Woodward on an interception from Tee Webb.  

With a lot of momentum and possession on their own 44-yard line, the Wareagles went to work on offense. Woodward finally found the end zone as Mike Wright threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Jacorrei Turner to make the score 14-7 with 3:29 left in the second quarter. The Wareagles had a chance to tie the game just before halftime, but Amari Orr returned an interception 28 yards to go up 21-7 at the half.  

Woodward got back on track in the third quarter as Mike Wright punched the ball into the end zone from one yard out to make the score 21-14.  

Cartersville responded with a screen pass to Sam Phillips which he took 35 yards for a touchdown to extend their lead to 28-14. After this possession, everything fell apart for the Canes. 

The Wareagles drove down the field and faced a crucial fourth down with a 14 point deficit. They didn’t chase the points and settled for a 26-yard field goal to make the score 28-17. 

At this point, the Canes started running the ball to try to run the clock down, but the success they had on offense up to this point was gone. Sam Phillips’ 35 yard touchdown would be the last time the Canes score in this game.   

With 7:33 left in the game, Mike Wright threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Alan Wright in the back of the endzone, making the score 28-24 and reviving the Wareagles’ chances of winning this game. Once again Cartersville came up empty on offense and couldn’t put points on the board. After a huge stop, Woodward got the ball back with just a few minutes left in the game and had an opportunity to take the lead. 

On Woodward’s final drive they faced two fourth downs and on both fourth downs, the officials gave the Wareagles favorable spots that gave them first downs.  

Early in the drive, Woodward faced a fourth and one. One yard was possibly going to decide who moves on and who goes home. The Wareagles’ quarterback, Mike Wright, ran the ball himself and was tackled just short of the first down marker. The large jumbotron showed that Wright had in fact been tackled just short of the first down. However, the officials gave Woodward the first down and their drive continued. Woodward faced another fourth down later in the drive and once again it appeared as though the Canes stopped them just short of the first down. The officials gave Woodward a second favorable spot and a second first down. The Wareagles took advantage of the favorable spots and scored a touchdown with 1:01 left in the game on a 13-yard pass by Mike Wright to go up 31-28.  

The Canes had one more drive to tie or take the lead. The drive started off wonderfully as Tee Webb had several completions on the sideline to preserve the clock and move the ball down the field. After a huge sack and multiple incompletions, Woodward jumped in celebration as they clinched a huge victory and moved on to the semifinals. 

Friday was a sad and disappointing day for the Cartersville Hurricane fanbase as the Hurricanes lost to the Woodward Academy Wareagles 31-28 in the quarterfinals of the Georgia 4A playoffs. The loss ended the Hurricanes’ undefeated season and sent them home ringless for the third straight season. The seniors were devastated, but they have accomplished so much and have enjoyed a lot of success over the past two years. Connor Foster had a fantastic first year as head coach of the Cartersville Hurricanes, finishing with a 12-1 record and two games away from the state championship. 2019 was a fantastic year for the Hurricanes and we looked forward to what we hope is an even better 2020 season.

Good Job Canes!