Marietta 44, South Cobb 28

KirVonte Benson rushed for 303 yards and scored four third-quarter touchdowns as Marietta broke open a close game Friday and went on to beat South Cobb 44-28.

Although most of the scoring didn’t come until the second half, the 72 total points were right on par for two teams that had both scored and given up a combined 77 points per game for the season.

But it was Benson who was the star of this game, which started almost an hour late because of a lightning delay. His 15-yard touchdown run on the Blue Devils’ first drive of the second half tied the score 14-14. After Marietta (2-2) took the lead on the next play on a safety when South Cobb’s fumble went out the back of the end zone, Benson scored three more times, on runs of 1, 50 and 32 yards, to give the Blue Devils a 37-21 lead. He gained 204 yards in the second half and finished with 31 carries.

Marietta quarterback Brenton Martin also had a big night, passing for 137 yards and rushing for 104. He threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Dukes in the first quarter and scored the game’s final points on a 3-yard run.

South Cobb quarterback Kylil Carter, who averaged a combined 467 yards rushing and passing in the first two games, passed for 236 and a touchdown and rushed for 108 yards and three scores.

This was the final tuneup for both teams before they take next week off and then begin region play. Marietta will be at home against Hillgrove on Sept. 26 in Region 4-AAAAAA play. South Cobb (1-2) will open 3-AAAAAA play that night at Newnan, which lost to Marietta 37-14 last week.

Both teams scored on their opening possessions of the game. South Cobb drove 80 yards in seven plays and scored on a 32-yard pass from Carter to Dorquincy Jordan with 9:04 to play in the first quarter. Marietta answered with an 80-yard drive of its own, using 11 plays to reach the end zone on the pass from Martin to Dukes. Benson picked up 56 yards on five carries on the drive.

And while the teams continued to move the ball, the only score in the remaining 16 minutes of the first half came on Carter’s 13-yard run with 8:59 to play in the second quarter that gave South Cobb a 14-7 lead.

Marietta – 7-0-30-7 – 44

South Cobb – 7-7-7-7 – 28

S – Dorquincy Jordan 32 pass from Kylil Carter (Carlos Saldona kick)

M – Jordan Dukes 8 pass from Brenton Martin (Ian Shannon kick)

S – Carter 13 run (Saldona kick)

M – KirVonte Benson 15 run (Shannon kick)

M – Safety (fumble out of end zone)

M – Benson 1 run (Shannon kick)

M – Benson 50 run (Shannon kick)

S – Carter 2 run (Saldona kck)

M – Benson 32 run (Shannon kick)

S – Carter 2 run (Saldona kick)

M – Martin 3 run (Shannon kick)