Corey Cusick/ Times-Georgian
An open date did little to disrupt Mark Wright's rhythm.
Coming off a sensational season-opening performance two weeks ago, the Carrollton High School senior signal-caller was perhaps even more impressive in the No. 4 Trojans' 55-7 victory over Riverdale on Friday night at Grisham Stadium in the 2017 home opener.
Carrollton (2-0) found the end zone on six of its seven first-half possessions as Wright and the Trojan offense sliced up the Raider defense to the tune of 359 yards through 24 minutes of play.
The Trojan gun-slinger completed 19-of-22 attempts for 263 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in the opening half. Wright, who also rushed for a touchdown, connected with a slew of different receivers and continues to impress early in the 2017 campaign.
Carrollton head coach Sean Calhoun noted that even though it was an off week last Friday, his quarterback, and team in general, certainly didn't rest on their laurels.
"Even though we're not playing a game, we're still practicing. You know what I mean?" Calhoun said. "We're still working on the small things that [Wright] and everybody else needs to work on. He's really wanting his senior season to be the best it can be. He's played at a high level these two games and I hope it continues."
The Trojan head man credited his ballclub for handling the dynamics of the early-season schedule of playing the opener and then having to wait for two weeks to play a second game, which will be the case once again next week with another open date on tap before the Region 7-AAAAA slate begins on Sept. 15 at East Paulding.
"It's tough to play when you wait all summer to play and you play Newnan and then you're off again. Our kids handled the bye week well. They understood that we can't control it," Calhoun said. "I just want to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving us the opportunity to be out here. It's an honor to be out here in this kind of atmosphere for the first home game with this crowd and these facilities. This is why you do it on Friday nights. It's an honor."
The Raiders (0-3) went three-and-out on their first four possessions of the game before finally getting a first down at the 7:48 mark of the second quarter. That drive resulted in the only points of the night for the visitors, who scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Avaun Rucker to Derwin Burgess.
Carrollton took the opening drive 65 yards on seven plays and hit paydirt on a one-yard Jaylan Thomas touchdown run. Wright's two-point pass to Thomas made it 8-0 less than three minutes into the contest.
The Trojans tacked on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Wright to Nick Cade midway through the quarter and stretched the lead to 22-0 on a nine-yard hook-up from Wright to Jordan Bonner six seconds into the second quarter.
The next possession ended on a two-yard Wright keeper before the Raiders put together their best drive of the half to make it a 29-7 affair with 6:22 to go in the half.
Wright delivered his third and fourth touchdown passes of the half on the next two drives, hitting Tyler Harper for a five-yard score and Dalton Benefield on a 31-yard strike with 43 seconds remaining to capitalize on a Ricky Marenco interception.
With a running clock through the entire second half, the final 24 minutes breezed by, just like Virgil Brewer did to the Riverdale defense on his 52-yard touchdown reception from Tristen Allen with 1:33 to go in the third.
A Charlie Lanier interception on the first play of the fourth quarter set up a three-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Kashif Taylor to close out the scoring.
Along with Wright's big night offensively, Cade hauled in four receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown, while Harper had four catches for 41 yards and a score and Bonner added three receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown.
Thomas rushed for 64 yards on seven carries and a touchdown.
Carrollton has one more open date next week before it really gets things rolling with the start of Region 7-AAAAA play on Sept. 15 at East Paulding.
"We're off and then we've got East Paulding up there. We know that they're going to give us all we can handle," Calhoun said. "But we're going to enjoy this. Every Friday night is not like this. We're going to enjoy it. We've got a three-day weekend and we're going to give them off Monday and then we'll be back working and we'll work on ourselves and work on East Paulding."