The 2016 state championship will feature undefeated Cartersville and undefeated Thomson. The Purple Hurricanes are one win away from entering next season with a 30-game winning streak. Here's how the two teams outclassed their semifinal opponents on Friday.
Cartersville 38, Mary Persons 17:
How the game was won: Mary Persons took advantage of a slow start for the Cartersville offense and got on the board first with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Caleb Speir to Roger Akins. After a Cartersville fumble, Zach Harvey found the endzone from 1-yard out to give the visiting Bulldogs a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter. Cartersville’s 38-3 scoring advantage in the final three quarters began with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Lawrence to E.J. Turner 59 seconds into the second frame. Mary Persons answered with an Alexander Rivera 21-yard field goal to maintain a 17-7 lead, but Cartersville closed out the first half with a 54-yard touchdown run by Trey Creamer and a 19-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to Turner to give the Purple Hurricanes a 21-17 halftime lead. Lawrence threw his third touchdown of the game on a 3-yard toss to Darian Poellnitz with 6:23 left in the third quarter. Cartersville’s Jonathan Cruz opened the fourth quarter with a 36-yard field goal and Lawrence closed out the game with a screen pass to Creamer that the senior running back took for a 29-yard touchdown.
Top Performers: Cartersville quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw four touchdown passes. E.J. Turner caught touchdown passes from eight and 19 yards in the second quarter. Trey Creamer rushed for a 54-yard score and caught a 29-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Thomson 27, Jefferson 6:
How the game was won: After a scoreless first quarter, visiting Jefferson capped off a 9-play drive with a Hayden Kilgore 22-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Thomson got on the board with a 1-yard Michael Thomas touchdown run and quarterback Mills Ridings scrambled in for a 15-yard touchdown with 49 seconds left in the half to build a 13-3 lead. Thomson outgained Jefferson 189-to-97 in the first half. In the third quarter, Thomas connected with Trey Parker from 32 yards out on a halfback pass touchdown to take a 20-3 lead. Later in the quarter, Kilgore made a 30-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 20-6. Bubba Murray ran in the only points of the fourth quarter on a 2-yard handoff with 10:08 left on the clock.
Top performers: Michael Thomas rushed for a touchdown and threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Trey Parker to lead the Bulldogs. Mills Ridings and Bubba Murray each added Thomson rushing touchdowns. Jefferson’s points came off of a pair of made field goals by Hayden Kilgore.