CARTERSVILLE — Cedartown gave its all against the top team in the state on defense, but came up well short in a 24-2 loss to Cartersville to open Region 5-4A play.

The Bulldogs kept the game competitive with the Purple Hurricanes in the first half, but felt the pressure of the defense throughout the game as Clemson commit and senior running back Kobe Pryor found himself tangled all night last Friday.

“By the time we’d get some momentum going, we’d come up on a penalty,” Cedartown head coach Doyle Kelley said. “I don’t know ... our kids are playing hard. They’re fighting hard. We gave a great effort tonight. I don’t think the score is an indication of how hard we played.”

After giving up a touchdown to Cartersville quarterback Tee Webb who connected with Sam Phillips for 18 yards on the opening drive, Cedartown’s defense came up with a safety on Cartersville’s next possession and held the Hurricanes to 179 yards in the first half despite Webb going 11-of-23 and 121 yards. One of those passes went the other way as Jaylen Johnson grabbed a pick and got a 29-yard return for his efforts.

The Cartersville defense forced Cedartown (1-4, 0-1 5-4A) to punt three times in the first half and the Bulldogs only had four first downs before going to the locker room. At quarterback, Johnson was 8-of-13 for 63 yards on the night.

The Bulldogs’ defense gave the offense chances, shutting down three straight Hurricane drives, but the situation never improved for the Bulldogs’ offense.

Cartersville (5-0, 1-0) meanwhile put two more touchdowns on the board and threatened another with their younger players on homecoming night. Both touchdowns from a yard and 10 yards out came from Jake Brasfield. The Hurricanes finished the night with 361 yards of total offense.

Cedartown heads back home for homecoming in a region matchup against LaGrange this Friday, Cartersville heads to play a Central-Carroll.

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