Cartersville defeated the Sonoraville Phoenix 56-7 Friday night. Cartersville is currently at the top of their region, 5-AAA, and have been all season.
The last time the ‘Canes went undefeated this long in a season was in 1999, head coach Frank Barden’s fourth year with Cartersville. That season, led by all-state offensive lineman Josh Brock, the team went 15-0 and won the state championship, defeating Hart County 27-21 for the title.
“Honestly, I don’t remember from year to year where we were at certain points during the season, but I always remember where we were at the end of the season and, yes, that was a special year,” Barden said
This season, Barden and his team are staying level headed and not letting success go to their heads, he said.
“We are going out each week and working Monday through Thursday to try to get better each week,” Barden said.
Even though a trip to playoffs is imminent at this point, Barden said his team is not preparing for the postseason yet, but are simply focusing on the game coming up on Friday.
Prior to playing Sonoraville, the Canes scored a total of 324 points over eight games. In those games, Cartersville had only given up 100 points, for an average of 12.5 per game.
The reason for such a great season, according to Barden, can be broken down into two parts: the players and their work ethic.
“We have great seniors on this team that provide leadership to a group of underclassmen that are talented and mesh well as a team. They also have great heart and work ethic,” said Barden.
There are several players leading the team in offensive stats.
In rushing, sophomore Kalin Heath has 263 yards and junior Brandon Long has recorded 311 yards. Passing has been controlled by junior quarterback Brooks Barden who has accumulated 1,645 yards over eight games. On the receiving end, senior Hayes Linn has 22 receptions for 319 yards. Juniors Mark Quattlebaum and TL Ford each have 18 receptions for 293 and 317 yards, respectively.