Can anyone stop Cartersville? The semifinals are a couple days away, but this has likely been a question most of those familiar with Class AAAA have been asking since last December. The Purple Hurricanes ride a state-best 28 game winning streak into Friday’s semifinals matchup with Mary Persons. Their head coach Joey King has compiled a 40-2 overall record the past three seasons. The only two losses came in 2014 to North Cobb and Buford, but the next season Cartersville avenged those losses by beating both programs en route to a perfect season and Class AAAA crown. Cartersville has been unstoppable this season, even scoring a 31-0 win over Class AAAAAAA semifinalist Westlake back on Sept. 9.
Junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been a three-year starter Cartersville’s dominating run. He’s thrown for a cool 3,450 yards this season with 45 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His go-to target this season has been senior transfer Avery Showell. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound receiver has hauled in an efficient 16 touchdowns off 40 catches. In the backfield, running back Trey Creamer benefits from his five-star quarterback and can rack up the all-purpose yards as defenses account for Lawrence’s ability to connect with targets sideline to sideline. Defensively, Cartersville’s 26-15 win over the potent Woodward Academy offense in the quarterfinals resulted in the War Eagles’ lowest home point total in five seasons.
“We want to go 1-0 this next week,” King told Adam Krohn after advancing to the semis. “Our goal at the beginning of the year was a state championship. Our kids have been working towards that and that’s what’s most important.”
As I look at Cartersville, I can’t help but think of a quote a great coach once told me about what it takes to win a state championship in Georgia: “Everything”
At this point, Cartersville does have “everything”. They have a coaching staff and roster that has been steering this ship for the past three seasons. They’ve got a defense, a five-star quarterback and a history of hard-fought games together. Mary Persons, Thomson and Jefferson are still alive and Thomson could set up a 14-0 vs. 14-0 showdown at the Dome with a win this Friday. All that being said, I still have no reason to say that Cartersville can or will be stopped.