After falling behind just under five minutes into the game, the Carrollton Trojans quickly rebounded and outscored their visitors big time during the remainder of the contest and took a resounding 35-7 Region 5AAAAAA decision over the East Paulding Raiders at Grisham Stadium on Friday night.
With the win, coach Joey King’s squad notched their third consecutive victory and appears to be on a roll going into next Friday’s home field region bout against the Alexander High Cougars which lost to Rome, 16-6, on Friday in Douglasville.
The Trojans upped their overall record to 7-1 and region slate to 4-1. Alexander will bring 5-2 and 3-2 overall and region records into the game.
East Paulding won the coin toss, deferred to the second half, and set up to kick-off to the Trojans to start the game.
However, the Raiders surprised everyone with an onside kick which they recovered on the Trojan 49. With tailback Justin Williams leading the way, East Paulding scored in 10 plays. The West Virginia commit scored on a 5-yard burst, and the PAT gave the visitors a 7-0 lead with 6:30 left in the first quarter.
But The Trojans roared back by taking the kickoff and marching 80-yards in only 5 plays to tie the game. After a 36-yard pass from MJ Morris to Bryce Hicks to the Raiders 22 , a false-start penalty followed.
On the next snap, Terrell Carmichael broke loose on a 47-yard scoring dash. Shavique Bascus kicked the extra point, and Carrollton tied the game, 7-7, with 4:38 showing on the first-period clock.
Looking at the stat sheet after the game’s initial 12 minutes, however, the number of plays from scrimmage and time of possession was heavily in favor of the Raiders as they rolled up 17 offensive plays and consumed 10 of the quarter’s 12 minutes compared to the Trojans’ five plays and two minutes.
But yet the game was tied going into the second quarter.
Carmichael put Carrollton up for good with 2:42 left in the first half when he broke free on a dazzling 47-yard scamper. Bascus’s PAT made it 14-7 at the break.
Although East Paudlng’s Division I bound star Justin Williams raced and slammed his way to 110 first-half yards, the Trojan defense shut down the West Virginia commit in the final two quarters, allowing him only 24 yards on 9 carries in the second half.
“I wasn’t too pleased with some of our defensive play in the first half,” Trojan head coach Joey King said after the game, “but we tightened things up in the second half and did, I thought, a much better job.”
Carrollton got most of its yardage through the air, throwing for 190 yards while running for 105.
Leading the way for the Trojans was quarterback MJ Morris who notched 190 yards and a pair of scores passing and Ace Williamson who caught six passes for 85 yards and a TD.
On the ground, Carmichael and Bryce Hicks ran for 47 and 46 yards, respectively.
As a team, Carrollton doubled the Raider's 295 total yards to 139.
Next week at Grisham Stadium, the Trojans will try to avenge a surprise loss to Alexander suffered at the hands of the Cougars when they host the Douglas County team in a region matchup.
Ace Williamson caught six passes for 185 yards and a TD in Carrollton’s 35-7 win over East Paulding on Friday night.