Class AAAA: Blessed Trinity 23, Cartersville 9

Blessed Trinity (15-0) completed the first undefeated season in school history, and successfully defended its maiden title Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a 23-9 win over Cartersville (14-1).

Cartersville emerged from the first quarter in front—outgaining the Titans 73-13 in yardage—and putting a 37-yard Oscar Hernandez field goal on the board. Blessed Trinity’s offense stayed quiet until a 43-yard connection from quarterback Jake Smith to Ryan Davis gave the Titans a fresh set of downs at the Cartersville 20-yard line. Ohio State-commit Steele Chambers picked up 16 yards on the following snap, and an illegal formation penalty led to a 9-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Ryan Dupont with 10:10 left in the half.

The teams traded eight-straight scoreless possessions, and Blessed Trinity kneeled out the final ticks of the half leading 7-3. Cartersville forced a Blessed Trinity punt on the opening possession of the second half, and orchestrated a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive—capped by a 26-yard Hernandez field goal. The 7-6 margin held until 11:11 left in the fourth quarter—a high Cartersville snap sailed over punter Ricardo Torres’ head and out of the endzone for a safety.

Possession stayed with Blessed Trinity, and Smith found Davis for a 22-yard gain, and a 57-yard touchdown pass on the next play to grow the lead to 16-6. Davis came up with a huge defensive play, and forced a fumble on Cartersville’s next possession that was recovered by teammate Carson Harof. Smith capped a 23-yard, 9-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 5:42 left off the turnover. Hernandez added the Canes’ third field goal with 2:41 left for the game’s final points.

Cartersville’s Class of 2019 finishes with a four-year combined record of 55-2. The only other defeat was Blessed Trinity’s second-round upset (21-17) in last year’s playoffs. Blessed Trinity head coach Tim McFarlin added a third state title to his resume after previously leading Roswell to a state title in 2006. A perfect season was also a first for the veteran head coach.

“I never knew what it was like to go undefeated and win 15 games,” said McFarlin. “But if you were going to to it, I would think that you have to have special kids doing special things. We were banged up bad all year and they just played through it. It’s a pretty neat experience.”

Cartersville’s Marcus Gary racked up a game-high 175 rushing yards off 26 carries, but the Canes’ were forced to settle for field goals in all three of their red zone trips. Quarterback Tee Webb completed 12-of-26 attempts for 149 yards and two interceptions.

Blessed Trinity’s Chambers finished with 98 rushing yards off 22 carries and added five tackles and a tackle for loss on the defensive side. Smith was 10-of-18 passing for 156 yards and two touchdowns, and Davis finished with seven catches for 135 yards and a touchdown to go with his five tackles and forced fumble.

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