The two teams have played each other 39 times and the Rebels have still yet to win a game against the Trojans.
At times it looked like Haralson County might put an end to the painful losing streak against Carrollton, but the Rebels could never recover from a disastrous start and the Trojans won 41-21 in the Region 6-AAA opener for both teams at Taylor Memorial Stadium.
With the Rebels (3-1, 0-1 Region 6-AAA) off to their best start since 1990 and looking to go 4-0, Carrollton’s Courtney Mabry returned a 95-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff return of the game to give the Trojans a lead they would hold throughout the remainder of the game.
“They knocked us off our heels when they ran that first touchdown back and from that point on we were trying to play catch-up,” Haralson County coach Frank Vohun said. “We couldn’t stop them defensively and therefore it was they’d go up two and then we’d get one. We were constantly going from two to one, two to one.”
Carrollton (4-0, 1-0 Region 6-AAA) was able to keep Haralson County’s dangerous offense off the field for much of the game by taking time off the clock with long and productive drives.
Just after Haralson County had scored its first points on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Malik Allah to Blake Poole late in the first quarter to cut the Trojans’ lead to 14-7, Carrollton used a 93-yard drive that lasted for more than eight minutes and culminated with a 2-yard touchdown run from Devron Owensby with six minutes left in the second quarter.
With the exception of a late drive that started with a minute left in the second half, the Trojans scored a touchdown on all but one of its other seix possessions in the game. In typical Carrollton fashion, its offense wasn’t pretty, but it was effective against a Haralson County team that has the potential to put a lot of points on the scoreboard if its offense is on the field too often.
“People get after us all the time about why aren’t we more exciting, why don’t we throw it more and everything else, but our philosophy is that our weight room, our ball control offense, good solid defense and a great kicking game is going to take us as far as we can go and I think they did that (Friday),” Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague said.
The Rebels got their offense going in the third quarter beginning with an 83-yard touchdown pass from Allah to Juan Singhavong, who was wide open around the Carrollton 40-yard line, 21 seconds into the half.
The teams then traded touchdowns, with Luke Walker scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run for Carrollton and Haralson County answering with Anthony Kight’s 33-yard touchdown pass from Allah.
Trailing 28-21, a good punt by the Rebels pushed the Trojans back to their own 2-yard line. On fourth down at its own 4, Carrollton faked the punt and tried to trick Haralson County by running the ball, but the Trojans picked up just two yards and the Rebels took over on the Carrollton 6 with 2:03 left in the third quarter.
With three of his team’s four snappers having gone down with injuries in the last few days, Teague said he took the chance, which he added has usually resulted in long runs from the Trojans.
With a chance to tie the game, Haralson County couldn’t come up with the touchdown and on fourth down Allah’s pass was intercepted in the end zone with 15 seconds remaining in the quarter.
“We would’ve got some momentum, which we didn’t get, but they sure wouldn’t let us have it either,” Vohun said. “We didn’t do the things we needed to do, and that’s my fault.”
Haralson County’s offense was on the field for less than a minute in the fourth quarter and Carrollton tacked on two more touchdowns to make it 39 wins in a row over the Rebels.