clear
Friday February 12th, 2016 1:13PM

Spartans just miss upset of No. 2 Cartersville

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
CARTERSVILLE -- West Hall was six inches from pulling off the biggest upset of the season in Georgia Friday night.

Brad Hodgson's 39-yard field attempt as time expired sailed just wide left in windy conditions and preserved a 28-26 victory for Cartersville over the Spartans in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.

West Hall coach Tony Lotti was more than pleased with his team's showing against the No. 2-ranked Purple Hurricanes.

"We played our tails off and can't say enough about how proud I am off their effort," Lotti said. "I'm heartbroken for them because we were so close and really should have won the game. We were inches from shocking the entire state."

The Spartans (6-5) were making their first playoff appearance in more than a decade and made the most of the opportunity. They led most of the first half.

West Hall took the opening lead 6-0 with a 22-yard TD pass from Zach English to Hunter Atkinson midway through the first quarter. Cartersville would take a 7-6 lead on a 67-yard touchdown run by Tiamon Pennymon but the Spartans answered right back with an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Ty Statham for a 13-7 lead.

Pennymon would add a 15-yard TD run a minute later to give the Purple Hurricanes (11-0) a 14-13 lead. West Hall would take a 20-14 in to halftime on a 99-yard touchdown pass from English to Kwan Williams.

Cartersville looked to gain control of the game early in the third quarter on a pair of touchdowns in the first four minutes to grab a 28-20 lead. But West Hall did not go away.

The Spartans closed the gap to 28-26 on an 84-yard interception return for a touchdown from Statham but the two-point conversion to tie the game failed.

It stayed that way until late in the fourth quarter when West Hall had two chances to take the lead. The Spartans would fail on a 35-yard field goal attempt on a bad snap and then on Hodgson's last-second chance that was pushed wide by a strong wind.

"It looked good when it left his foot but the wind was blowing pretty good. One yard closer and we win the game," Lotti said.

Anthony Pittman led the Spartans on the ground with 87 yards rushing on 22 carries. English finished 10-of-14 for 201 yards passing and two touchdowns and Atkinson had eight catches for 94 yards and one score.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 2 years ago )
Sports
Big Red Shootout: Buford foils Lady Elephants' upset bid in finale
Buford junior Camille Anderson knows to forget about the past during games.
11:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Boys basketball: Knights rebound with win over Centennial
The Johnson boys bounced back after a loss to Grayson on Friday with a 94-72 win Saturday night over Centennial in the Duluth Jingle Jam.
10:43PM ( 2 years ago )
Girls basketball: Dawson falls in Battle of States finals
Dawson County fell behind early and could not complete the comeback in a 70-65 loss to Hayesville, N.C. in the championship game of The Battle of the States Tournament Saturday night.
10:38PM ( 2 years ago )
High School Sports
Snelling to make curtain call at East-West Classic (Video)
Ask Walt Snelling about Gainesville football and you will be supplied with a litany of great players and games from a program with an illustrious history.
7:33PM ( 2 years ago )
High School football 2013: Superlatives abound after another special season
After letting it soak in for a few days we
7:42PM ( 2 years ago )
Friday Game Night
Basketball: Region semifinal slate tips off today around northeast Georgia (full schedule)
Area regions have -- outside of 8-A -- determined their state tournament participants; starting today those teams will duke it out for seeding and a shot region glory
By AccessWDUN Staff
5:46PM ( 4 hours from now )
7-AAA Tournament: Indians, Spartans, Vikings join Banks Co. boys in semifinals
East Hall, West Hall, and Lumpkin County all took wins Thursday in the Region 7-AAA Tournament at the East Hall gym to join Banks County in advancing to the Class AAA boys state tournament...
12:17PM ( 56 minutes ago )
7-AAA Tournament: West Hall girls end state tourney drought; East Hall, Banks march on
Anna McKendree was five years old the last time the West Hall girls basketball team reached the state playoffs...
11:49AM ( 1 hour ago )
Tony Stewart shows he's up and walking by live streaming himself on a treadmill
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Injured former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart used social media Friday to give fans an update on his health about 30 minutes before his team was scheduled to announce Brian Vi...
11:32AM ( 1 hour ago )
Wrestling: 31 area grapplers move on to traditional semifinals
Plenty of northeast Georgia's best high school wrestlers still have a chance to claim gold this weekend at the GHSA Traditional Championships in Duluth, as 31 area grapplers battled their way into the semifinal round on Thursday.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:22AM ( 1 hour ago )