CARROLLTON — It was a close call for the Cedartown on Friday night as the Bulldogs managed to hold off a scrappy Central-Carroll team to come away with a 28-21 victory on the road.
Cedartown put up 345 yards of offense on the night despite a defensive struggle for both teams that came down to the closing minutes of the game as the Bulldogs shut down a Central drive and finished the game in victory formation.
Cedartown head coach Doyle Kelley said he was proud of the way the team held on despite a shift in momentum toward the Lions in the latter half of the game.
“The kids fought hard the entire time and never quit,” Kelley said. “Now we get to enjoy next week off and get ready for Troup.”
The two teams traded defensive stands in the opening quarter that included a fumbled punt by Cedartown senior Kobe Pryor and two Bulldog interceptions to cut off the Lions before they could finish the drive. Neither team scored until Pryor found 62 yards of running room in the opening minutes of the second quarter to put the Bulldogs in control of the game.
Cedartown (3-4, 2-1 5-4A) added another touchdown thanks to a quarterback keeper by Jayden Johnson from 14 yards out. Central finally responded when the Lions found an opening on Bulldogs’ busted pass coverage on a 40-yard touchdown play.
With the clock about to run out at halftime, Cedartown went back up 21-7 before time expired when Johnson connected with DJ Frazier twice in a row on passing plays in less than 30 seconds and completed a 17-yard touchdown play with 21 seconds left in the half.
The Bulldogs added their final score of the night as Johnson threw a touchdown pass to Pryor for a 71-yard scoring reception in the third quarter.
That’s when Central (3-4, 1-2) tried for a comeback, scoring twice in the fourth quarter and threatening to score the tying touchdown when the Bulldogs defense came up with a hold on a fourth down play late and ended Central’s hopes for a victory.
Johnson finished the night at 3-for-5 passing with two touchdowns plus one on the ground and two interceptions. Central put up a total of 230 yards of offense on the night.
The Bulldogs have next Friday off before picking things back up on Oct. 25 hosting Troup County.