VARNELL — Once the Coahulla Creek Colts won the opening coin toss and deferred to the visitors, it took only about two minutes for Cartersville running back Kalin Heath to scamper into the end zone from 2 yards for the first score of the game.
Caution: gale force winds approaching.
The Purple Hurricanes used a combination of team speed and the arm of quarterback Brooks Barden to overpower the Colts 63-7 in a Region 5-3A game at Coahulla Creek Stadium.
Barden threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers, completing an efficient 7-of-13 passes for 186 yards.
Heath, who ran the ball six times for 45 yards, also was on the receiving end of a 55-yard screen pass from Barden with 11:31 in the second quarter that effectively put the game out of reach.
The Coahulla Creek (2-3, 1-1) offense sputtered for much of the first half, due to a swarming Cartersville defense. The first two Colts possessions resulted in punts, while a third came to an end of a fumble recovery by Cartersville and ended the brief drive.
Two plays later, Barden found junior Gordon Gray across the middle of the field, resulting in another score to make it 28-0 with 2:08 left in the first quarter.
Junior running back Brandon Long ran for three scores for Cartersville, (5-0, 2-0), including runs of 1, 2 and 20 yards.
Colts coach Jared Hamlin said there is still work to be done for his young athletes after facing one of the better teams in the state.
“They’re just a great football team,” Hamlin said. “We’re a first-year program. Our goal was to come out here and work on things we needed to get better at. We got better at some things and the kids kept fighting. We’re going to continue to fight and come back each week and get better.”
Coahulla Creek’s only scoring came on a 1-yard run by T.C. Cole with 25 seconds to play in first half. Irwin Rivera made the extra point.
Barden, a junior quarterback, was impressive getting the ball to his teammates in the open field.
“We’ve got a lot of skill players to get the ball to and let them get open in space,” Barden said. “The skill positions are as good as they’ve ever been. You get the ball to them in space and they can put a move on somebody and take it the distance.”
Cartersville coach Frank Barden wants his team to continue to improve each week.
“We worked hard Monday through Thursday,” he said. “We have to work one week at a time and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’ve got some special kids here and hopefully we can do something special as a team.”
Cartersville 63, Coahulla Creek 7
Score by quarters
Cartersville 28 35 0 0 — 63
Coahulla Creek 0 7 0 0 — 7
How They Scored
CV — Kalin Heath 2 run (Preston Slemp kick), 10:14
CV — Brandon Long 2 run (Slemp kick), 7:23
CV — Hayes Linn 21 pass from Brooks Barden (Slemp kick), 3:52
CV — Gordon Gray 7 pass from Barden (Slemp kick), 2:08
CV — Heath 55 pass from Barden (Slemp kick), 11:31
CV — Long 20 run (Slemp kick), 11:03
CV — Long 1 run (Slemp kick), 8:05
CV — Mark Quattlebaum 7 pass from Barden (Slemp kick), 5:32
CV — Kobie Whitfield 48 yard INT return (Slemp kick), 5:05
CC — T.C. Cole 1 run (Irwin Rivera kick), 0:25