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Cartersville one win away from Georgia Dome
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
December 05, 2012 10:55 AM | 1817 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville freshman wide receiver Tony Dean runs with the ball after making a catch during a recent practice.
Cartersville freshman wide receiver Tony Dean runs with the ball after making a catch during a recent practice.
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The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes defeated Thomson 21-13 Friday night in the Class AAA quarterfinals, earning themselves one of the four spots in the semifinals.

The ’Canes are set to play perennial state power Buford on Friday, Dec. 7, for a trip to the Georgia Dome and the AAA finals.

Head coach Frank Barden said he expects to see a well-coached team.

“They play hard and obviously have experience even though they graduated a lot of seniors. It’s going to be a good game, just like the last two games against Blessed Trinity and Thomson,” he said.

Barden and Cartersville have some history with the Buford Wolves, as they have met in past years and Barden formerly had two Buford assistants on his staff.

“We have some history with these guys as we’ve played them in 2006 and 2007,” said Barden.

In the 2006 season, Buford traveled to Cartersville and left with a 28-25 victory over the Canes. The Wolves won in 2007 as well with a 40-0 final score.

Against Thomson, Barden said his team played a great game and the entire team did their jobs.

“It was a great game. We played the No. 1 team in the state and they were everything they were advertised as, but our defense did a good job of holding them to 13 points. Our kicking game was great and our team played with a lot of heart,” said Barden.

Cartersville scored first on the night but went into the half at 7-7. Barden said the big play of the night was a blocked extra point on Thomson’s next touchdown, which held them to 13 points.

“That was huge for us to be able to score and go up 14-13 the next time down the field,” said Barden.

Kailan Heath led the team in rushing for the night and had an almost 70-yard run to set the Canes up for the touchdown that put them back on top.

Quarterback Brooks Barden threw for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

As it gets closer to the championship each week, Barden said his team remains level headed.

“The demeanor of this team is really special. They never let the highs and lows affect their game. They don’t just play week to week, it’s more like play to play,” Barden said.

Cartersville has not been to the Final Four since 2004 when they lost to Washington County 21-7.
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