In one of the more intriguing matchups Friday night, Carrollton traveled to Northeast Georgia to take on a stellar Stephens County team.
It was a packed house an hour before game time, but it was the visiting
defense that dictated early to the home team.
Stephens County had the ball first, but a quick three and out and a big punt
return by Georgia Tech Commitment Jerrard Tarrant set up the Trojans in good
field position. They were able to cash in with a field goal.
The second series for each team looked much the same as the first. A stop by
Carrollton led to a punt and a big return by Tarrant. This time the Trojans
crossed the goal line as sophomore Wes Dothard punched it in after a toss sweep
left to give Carrollton a 10-0 lead.
Stephens County's third drive spelled trouble for the Indians as they went
three and out again. Carrollton was driving down the field, but Stephens County
ended that threat with an interception in the end zone, giving new life back to
the home team.
A pass across the middle for a first down energized the home crowd and opened
up the Carrollton defense enough to give junior running back Tauren Poole all
the space he needed to break off a 45 yard run and set Stephens County up with a
touchdown pass making the score 10-7.
Sensing a change in momentum that needed to be stemmed, Carrollton coach
Rayvan Teague took a big risk with less than two minutes left by faking a punt
at his own 35. The risk paid off with a big first down, and Carrollton was able
to take the ball to half time leading 10-7.
Stephens County got a stop as Carrollton opened the first half with the ball,
but a costly interception gave the Trojans back the ball and the momentum. On
the first play from scrimmage after the turnover, junior Courtney Mabry took a
wingback sweep around right end for a 40 yard touchdown elevating Carrollton to
a 17-7 lead.
Carrollton didn't have long to rest on its lead though as Poole got loose
again for a 60 yard scamper to set up his own one yard touchdown plunge. A
costly personal foul after the touchdown pushed the PAT attempt back 15 yards,
and the attempt was no good. Carrollton still led 17-13.
Mabry's presence was felt right away again as he returned the ensuing kickoff
to midfield. Poole made his fourth special teams tackle of the night, and it was
his speed on special teams that helped limit the damage of Carrollton's big
plays on punt and kick returns.
Dothard took the next play 25 yards, and Carrollton was rolling again. But
the next play was a fumble, and the Stephens County faithful exploded.
Poole made a host of Trojans miss as he had another highlight run to move the
ball to midfield. It was there the Trojan defense stiffened.
Special teams had been good to Carrollton, but Tarrant made a mistake
fielding a beautiful Stephens County punt, and the Trojans were pinned inside
the five. The Stephens County defense held, but senior punter John Dugan did a
good job of getting the ball out of his endzone with a 37 yard punt with no
A quick completion and another run by Poole, and Stephens County was knocking
on the door with 1st and 10 at the Carrollton 15 and only down by four. A Costly
penalty moved the ball back to the 25, and Carrollton was able to hold the
Indians on downs.
Tarrant may have had the play of the game on 3rd and long. He took a quick
stop route, made a move to the outside, and converted for the first down rather
than giving the ball right back to Stephens County. Carrollton was in business
Carrollton's running game took over to amount the drive that for all intents
and purposes ended the game as Dugan took it in from 10 yards out putting the
Trojans up 24-13 with just under five minutes left in the game. That is how the
score would finish. Carrollton will take on upstart Carver Columbus on Friday.
See all of the key plays from Friday night's action in this presentation by
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Video Review - Carrollton tops Stephens Co.
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