The Carrollton Trojans improved to 7-1 on the year with a 34-14 region win over the visiting Kell Longhorns on Friday night. This win will likely put Carrollton ahead of Kell when it comes time for the playoffs. It is shaping up to look like Rome and Carrollton will host first round games as the 1 and 2 seeds from region 7AAAAA while Kell and either East Paulding, Paulding County, or Villa Rica will travel as the 3 and 4 seeds.
The offense was rolling on Friday night against a Kell defense that was giving up only 11 points per game coming into the contest. They had held their opponents to 7 or less points in 4 of their 7 games. The Longhorns also had very impressive wins over Tucker and Rome, two powerhouses in Georgia high school football this year.
All these impressive defensive stats did not seem to bother the genius offensive mind of Head Coach Sean Calhoun and the Trojan offense as they put up 34 points, the most Kell had given up all year.
How it Happened:
It was a special night for all of Carrollton fans as former Carrollton and Auburn alum Josh Harris was an honorary captain for the Trojans. Josh was a part of a National Championship team while at Auburn and he is now the long-snapper for the Atlanta Falcons.
Kell received the opening kickoff and was forced to punt after gaining only one first down. This allowed Carrollton to begin their 1st drive on their own 41 yard line.
Two plays later, the CHS offense was facing a third down and long situation. #7, junior QB Mark Wright, found #8, junior receiver Dalton Benefield, for a 1st down. #4, junior RB Jaylan Thomas, then picked up a big gain on the ground that ended in a facemask. This run and penalty gave Carrollton the ball on the Kell 16 yard line.
On the very next play, Jaylan Thomas exploded up the middle for a 16-yard touchdown to give his team the 7-0 lead after the converted extra point.
On the next kickoff, Coach Calhoun took a chance and kicked a surprise onside that his team was able to recover. It seemed as if Kell would recover the kick, but the front linesman bobbled the ball and Carrollton was able to jump on it. This electrified the CHS sideline and gave the Trojans the ball on the Kell 45 yard line.
In the next series, Mark Wright handed the ball off the Thomas up the middle for what looked like a standard run play. However, Thomas stopped at the line and tossed the ball back to Wright who then threw a bomb to #13, senior WR Xavier Hammett. Hammett was able to pick up 41 yards on the play and it brought his Trojans to the 4 yard line of Kell.
Mark Wright took it in on the next play for a 4-yard rushing score. The converted extra point made the score 14-0 with 6:39 left in the 1st quarter.
Kell was able to respond on the next series as they converted on a 3rd and long to extend the drive. Their quarterback, senior John Lampley, then found his tailback, junior Josiah Futral, for a 59-yard touchdown score down the sideline. The converted extra point allowed Kell to decrease the Carrollton lead to 7 points with 3:30 left in the 1st.
Mark Wright and the Trojans were able to move the ball for a couple first downs on the next drive but it ended in a Sam Barge punt that was downed on Kell’s 2 yard line. This play also ended the 1st quarter.
Kell then had a huge mishap as #17, sophomore linebacker Reid Dedman, forced a fumble that #14, freshman linebacker, Kevin Swint recovered. This gave Carrollton the ball on the Kell 6 yard line. Mark Wright then found his tight end, senior Dylan Parham, for the touchdown. This score gave Carrollton the 21-7 lead with 11:47 left in the 1st half.
Kell was able to put another score on the board as they converted on a 4th a goal situation late in the 2nd quarter. This gave us a halftime score of 21-14.
Carrollton came out receiving the opening kickoff of the 2nd half and they were forced to punt on their first drive. Kell then started on their own 30 yard line after Sam Barge changed the field with his booming punt.
On the 1st play of the drive, sophomore linebacker Jacob Cotton intercepted a Kell pass and took it all the way for a pick-6. This score gave his team a 14 point advantage after the converted extra point.
Kell was forced to punt on the next drive and Carrollton was able to take advantage. Mark Wright led his team down the field and kicker Sam Barge was able to nail a 28-yard field goal with 3:47 left in the 3rd quarter. This gave his team the 31-14 advantage.
Kell was again forced to punt on the next drive and Carrollton mounted a 15 play, 68-yard drive that took 6 minutes off the clock. This drive lasted ended to the 4th quarter and it also ended in a Sam Barge field goal. This time, Barge hit it from 24 yards out to bring our score to its 34-14 final.
Carrollton improves to 7-1 on the year with a 5-1 region record while Kell falls to 6-2 with a 5-1 region record.
Mark Wright finished his day 11-of-17 for 127 yards and one touchdown. He added 62 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown on the ground as well. Jaylan Thomas finished as the leading rusher with 112 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Culwell and Benefield each had 3 catches for 53 and 22 yards respectively. Xavier Hammett, Jordan Bonner, and Dylan Parham each had one catch for a total of 47 yards.
The defense was great on the day as they held Kell to 223 total yards and 0 second half points. #27, junior MLB Jeremiah Pierce, lead the way with 7.5 tackles. It seemed as if he was in on or altering every single play. He has been a huge force in the middle of the Carrollton defense all year.
Carrollton will now travel to Paulding County this Friday as they take on Paulding County High School in a key region game. The Patriots are 4-4 on the year with a 3-3 region record. They are one of the teams fighting for that 4th place spot in the region. Paulding County loss big time to Kell and Rome and they narrowly lost to Villa Rica.
Carrollton should have no problems with the Patriots of Paulding County if they play like they have been. The offense seems to really have found its rhythm as they have scored over 33 points in all but one game, which was week one.
You can listen to this Carrollton game live by tuning into Kiss 102.7 on your radios.
Thanks for reading my recap of the game!
I also want to send a special thanks to the Skinner family for providing me with stats when I cover the Carrollton games. Your help is much appreciated.