Cartersville 49, Blessed Trinity 21

Cartersville, the No. 2 team in Class 5A, scored on five of six first-half possessions and rolled to a 49-21 victory Friday night. The score was 21-0 before two of Blessed Trinity’s best players, quarterback J.C. French and running back Justice Haynes, entered the game.

“It was a personal, internal matter, not going to discuss that,’' Blessed Trinity coach Thomas Hall said. '

Cartersville’s offense was the bigger problem, though. Blessed Trinity’s only stop in the first half came from an interception by Drew Stephenson.

Cartersville quarterback Jake Parker 7-of-12 passing for 152 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Amari White had 17 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns and a 32-yard highlight reel TD reception on a screen in which he broke multiple tackles and eluded defenders. Malachi Jeffries added 11 carries for 68 yards before leaving with an injury.

“Our running backs and the offensive line did a tremendous job of grinding one out,” Cartersville coach Conor Foster said. “It takes 11 guys to make it work. We did enough in the passing game to make them respect it and keep that box from getting overloaded.”

Cartersville is 7-0 overall, 3-0 in Region 5, with a potential region title game in two weeks against No. 6 Calhoun (6-1, 3-0).

“I hope our best football is still out in front of us,” Foster said. “We are 1-0 this week, and we will go back and evaluate the film. We have to continue to fight for and play to our standard and focus on our attention to detail. Make sure we go in every day with great humility and work ethic.”

Blessed Trinity, which entered ranked No. 9, struggled early without French and Haynes, going three and out four consecutive possessions before Hayes gave the offense a spark heading into halftime with a 72-yard scamper on fourth-and-4. Even with the touchdown Blessed Trinity still trailed by 28 points heading into the half.

Haynes, the state’s consensus No. 1 junior running back recruit, had 17 carries for 154 yards and two rushing touchdowns. French, a senior with several Division I offers, completed eight of 14 passes for 79 yards and one touchdown.

With the loss, Blessed Trinity (4-4, 1-2) is denied in its bid to win a fourth straight region title. Their next opponent is Hiram on the road.

“We have to go get ourselves a win next week if we hope to get into the postseason,’' Hall said. “It starts next Friday night.”

Cartersville will be on the road next week against Woodland-Cartersville.

Cartersville 14-21-7-7- 49

Blessed Trinity 0-7-7-7- 21

C - Kendrick Price 22 pass from Jake Parker (Jesus Gutierrez kick)

C - Malachi Jeffries 3 run (Gutierrez kick)

C - Amari White 26 run (Gutierrez kick)

C - White 32 pass from Parker (Gutierrez kick)

B - 72 run Justice Haynes (H.B. Todd kick)

B - Hayes 20 run (Todd kick)

C - Morocco Wilkey Jr. 9 run (Gutierrez kick)

B - Cole Weaver 31 pass from J.C. French (Todd kick)

C - White 21 run (Gutierrez kick)