After a hot 4-0 start, the Woodland Wildcats (4-3 overall, 2-3 in region) experienced their third consecutive loss Friday night — a bruising 47-20 defeat at home at the hands of the Carrollton Trojans (6-1 overall, 4-1 in region.)

“The last two weeks we’ve lined up against two of the best teams in the state of Georgia, and we didn’t back down,” said Woodland’s head coach Tony Plott.

“Right now, we’re just going to have to recover and heal. Going back-to-back against Rome and Carrollton, you get beat up. Those are two very physical teams.”

The Trojans cashed in on a 41-yard touchdown pass on just their second play from scrimmage to begin the first quarter. Woodland would go three-and-out on their first possession, as Carrollton racked up a 10-yard rushing TD to make it 14-0 about halfway through the first.

Carrollton struck again just seconds into the second quarter, registering a 14-yard rushing touchdown to extend their lead to 21-0. After Reed Findley recorded a sack against the Trojans, Seth Johnson blocked a Carrollton field goal attempt. On the very next play, Woodland’s sophomore quarterback Jakob Foss would connect with senior running back Justice Carter on a 41-yard scorcher to make it a 21-8 game following Titus Jones’ ensuing successful two-point conversion.

Roughly two minutes later, however, Carrollton’s potent rushing offense notched up another touchdown around the four-minute mark of the second to extend its lead to 28-8. Woodland, however, would reduce the deficit with another score with just 14 seconds remaining in the first half — a 15-yard touchdown pass from Foss to Jones. A blocked PAT, however, kept it a 28-14 contest heading into halftime.

“Titus Jones played out of his mind,” Plott said. “He had a great game on defense,  offensively there for a while he was our offense. I’m very proud of him and the effort he  put out.”

Woodland went three and out to begin the third quarter. Carrollton would spend roughly half the quarter driving, ultimately recording a 2-yard rushing touchdown to increase their lead to 34-14.

The Wildcats would go three and out yet again on their next possession, and Carrollton would respond with a 46-yard rushing touchdown with 2:28 to go in the quarter. Foss connected with Jones again on a 42-yard TD pass, but the 2-point try was not converted.

Woodland entered the fourth quarter down 41-20 against their Class 5A, Region 7 rivals. Carrollton scored one more touchdown — this, a rushing TD from nine yards out — to make it 47-20. Woodland would eventually make it down to the Carrollton 46 on a nine-play final drive, but regulation expired before they could find end zone.

“We had some stupid mistakes, that went wrong for us,” Plott said. “And defensively, we couldn’t stop them. We slowed them down at times, but they’re so good on offense — I don’t  know that anybody can stop them. Rome had a hard time stopping them — they are very good on offense.”

Despite the losing outcome, Plott said he’s happy to see the Wildcats’ passing attack gain some momentum.

Foss wrapped up the contest with three passing touchdowns. Unofficially, he finished the game 7-for-15 on passing attempts and recorded approximately 150 yards through the air.

“We’ve always wanted to be able to throw the ball more,” Plott said. “I think our quarterback is growing up a little bit. He seems to get better each week and he’s just a sophomore … as he grows, our offense will grow also.”

Senior running back Justice Carter finished the game with an estimated 105 rushing yards on 21 carries, plus one 41-yard touchdown reception.

Jones led the Wildcats in receiving, finishing the game with two touchdowns and an estimated 109 yards.

Woodland will take next Friday off and return to the gridiron Oct. 19 for a road game against Villa Rica (3-3 overall, 2-2 in region) at 7:30 p.m.

“The coaching staff’s going to go ahead and start getting ready for Villa Rica,” Plott said. “We’ll come up with a plan — these next few days are going to be about our kids healing and getting better.”WOODLAND FALLS TO CARROLLTON


Wildcats, Canes compete in out-of-state XC events

McKenna Trapheagen set a personal best as the Woodland girls cross country team finished 11th against teams from several different states in the Great American Cross Country Festival on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

The top runner in the county this season, Trapheagen completed the 5k course in 18 minutes, 18.40 seconds. The junior finished 19th out of 184 girls in the Race of Champions — the event’s highest level.

Carli Clymer was the next-fastest Woodland runner, placing 52nd and crossing the finish line in 19 minutes, 11.10 seconds, for her season-best time. Tess Cochran (69th, 19:26.00), Rylee Evans (101st, 19:54.90) and Baylee Evans (124th, 20:09.60) rounded out the scorers for Woodland, which placed 11th out of 26 teams.

The remaining Wildcats who competed in the Race of Champions were Cheyenne Spinks (134th, 20:24.60) and Marlee Bowles (164th, 21:23.50).

On the boys side, Woodland competed in one of the varsity 5k races. John Shropshire (17:36.10) paced the Wildcats with a 48th-place showing. Dylan Stermer finished 96th out of 334 runners in 18 minutes, 8.50 seconds.

John Forsyth (135th, 18:28.00) and Kobe Cochran (172nd, 18:42.10) also put forth strong efforts. Reece Mitchell (19:02.90) and Patrick Bollwerk (19:04.00) finished in 210th and 212th, respectively. Ian VanOrder’s closed out Woodland’s varsity runners, crossing in 19 minutes, 20.20 seconds, good enough for 232nd — better than more than 100 competitors.

While Woodland was competing in North Carolina, the Cartersville cross country team was running in Alabama. The Canes crossed the state line to head to Oakville for the Jesse Owens Classic.

The boys finished ninth out of 51 teams; the girls placed 22nd out of 42.

Bill Archer led the boys with a time of 17 minutes, 14.62 seconds, for a 19th-place finish. Alex Rios (18:04.61) and Max Florence (18:09.57) wound up 64th and 69th, respectively.

Parker Breedlove (18:47.19) and Harrison Banks (18:47.23) finished just 0.4 seconds apart. Breedlove edged out his teammate to finish 128th. Just seconds behind the duo was Jacob Busek (18:49.45) in 133rd. Colin McCann (18:54.99) rounded out the Cartersville competitors.

Alex Machado starred for the Cartersville girls with a time of 22 minutes, 2.44 seconds. Her 61st-place showing was by far the best for the Canes. Trista Kelly (132nd, 23:31.88) and Vanna Beach (142nd, 23:47.07) had the next fastest times in the 286-girl race. Alice Terry (24:06.67) and Jaxiry Betancourt (24:06.97) finished three-tenths of a second apart in 158th and 159th, respectively.

Jocelyn Blanchette (176th, 24:28.51) and Metztil Munoz (25:39.65) completed the Cartersville runners.

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Cass 1st, Woodland 2nd in weekend cheer competitions.

Half of the Bartow County cheer teams competed on Saturday with one placing first in its division.

Cass took first in Rome in the 5A division, while Woodland finished second to Wheeler in the co-ed division at LakePoint. The Wildcats did win the JV co-ed division.

This coming weekend, Cass will compete at Kennesaw Mountain and Woodland will be at West Georgia. Meanwhile, Cartersville heads to Creekview after taking the past weekend off.