The Blessed Trinity Titans won their consecutive 4A state title Wednesday evening against the Cartersville Hurricanes 23-9, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
These two teams have history and came into this game with a lot to earn. For the Hurricanes, their season ended last year to the Titans crushing a shot at a potential three peat. A win avenges last years lost and gives the Hurricanes three state titles in the last four years. The Titans went through the Hurricanes at home in the first round playoffs last year to eventually win the state title. If a repeat was to happen, they needed to do it against the team who won the state title two out of the last three seasons.
The Hurricanes scored first as kicker Oscar Hernandez converted a 37 yard field goal. Early on, it seemed the Hurricanes defense had the Titans offense in check. Blessed Trinity was not able to run the ball or gain many yards offensively.
On the next Titans drive, all of that changed. Quarterback Jake Smith ignited the offense and capped off a five play, 62 yard drive by hooking up with Ryan Dupont on a nine yard touchdown strike. The Titans were in control 7-3 early in the second quarter.
The third quarter was a chess match between both teams. Eventually, the Hurricanes put together a 75 yard drive but settled for a field goal, cutting the Titans lead to one.
The Hurricanes went three and out on their next drive and mishandled a punt in the end zone, which gave Blessed Trinity a three point lead heading into the fourth quarter
That play changed the game, giving the Titans a lot of momentum and energy. On the ensuing offensive drive for the Blessed Trinity, receiver Jake Smith answered for the Titans, burning the cornerback for a 54 yard touchdown reception to lead by 10. This was the Titans biggest lead of the game and Hurricane fans looked to their offense for a sense of urgency.
The Hurricanes’ offense just did not have it, as receiver Trendon Horton fumbled after catching a quick pass.
At this point, the Titans were in full control of the game and needed to run out the clock to finish the game. If the Hurricanes wanted a chance for a late comeback, the defense had to get a huge stop.
Blessed Trinity’s ground game was too much for Cartersville. As the Titans took a lot of time off the clock, Smith finished the nine play drive with a quarterback sneak to put the Titans ahead 23-6.
Tee Webb led the Hurricanes offense downfield in hopes of getting a quick touchdown. The defense of the Titans stood tall and forced another field goal, making the score 23-9.
The Titans running game proved to be too much for the Hurricanes defense again. Their ability to run the ball ran the clock down to zero and give them their second consecutive state title.
“We don’t care about the back to back, I mean it is great and all. I am just proud of these kids and the way they played on defense…they were phenomenal,” said Titans coach Tim McFarlin.
“For this to be my last game, for this team is something I’m going to miss but am proud of,” said an emotional Ryan Davis.
Davis finished the game with seven catches for 135 yards and one touchdown.
The Titans are the second team to repeat as champions in Class 4A since Cartersville (2016,2017).