The Carrollton High School football team packed the 1-2 punch of Brandon Marenco and Trent Lane and ran home with a 47-20 victory to show for it.
The pair of Trojan tailbacks combined to tally 287 yards and five touchdowns upon wearing out Woodland, Cartersville in a Region 7-AAAAA road decision on Friday evening.
No. 5 Carrollton (6-1, 4-1 Region 7-AAAAA) raced out to a big lead by forcing four straight three-and-outs defensively before the host Wildcats (4-3, 2-3) made things a little interesting just before halftime upon abandoning their option attack and dialing it up through the air.
Woodland pulled within 28-14 by the break, but the Trojans put the game away early in the third quarter and never allowed the outcome in jeopardy the rest of the way.
"All praise and glory goes to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving us a great night of football and safe travels and keeping everybody healthy out there," Carrollton head coach Sean Calhoun said. "We talked about playing fast, but more importantly starting fast. We were able to start fast and we jumped out on them, which was really good for us."
Lane rushed for a game-high 147 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, while Marenco powered through the pile for 140 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries. He also hauled in a 41-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Kashif Taylor on the opening drive to jump-start the early scoring barrage.
Junior tailback Kodee Brewer remained sidelined with a foot injury on Friday.
"Trent is still learning the system, but both of them bring some good things to the table," Calhoun said of Lane and Marenco. "They're fresh and through the season were able to get loose. We did a really good job up front. The ones that won't be in the stats for the paper, coach (Chad) Blevins does an outstanding job every week getting them ready."
Leading 21-0 early in the second quarter, the Trojans withstood a change in game plan by the Wildcats, who negated their bread-and-butter following four consecutive three-and-outs to start the game. Woodland found some life by connecting on a 41-yard pass play from Jakob Foss to Justice Carter with 6:10 left in the first half.
After the Trojans answered on their next drive, Woodland cut the deficit in half just before intermission on a six-play, 72-yard drive where Foss found Titus Jones on a 15-yard score with 14 ticks left in the first half.
Rather than allowing the Wildcats to take the momentum into the second half, the Carrollton defense stuffed them on three straight run plays to start the third quarter and busted the game open with a two-yard Taylor touchdown run and 46-yard dash by Marenco for the 41-13 margin with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.
Woodland had one last quick strike in it on a 42-yard connection from Foss to Jones, but Marenco's fifth and final touchdown of the night slammed the door shut.
Kevin Swint and Jacob Cotton both had sacks for the Carrollton defense with Swint recording 2.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 takedowns overall.
The Trojans return home for a key region rendezvous with Kell (4-2, 2-2), which made a statement on Friday night in its win over Villa Rica after a pair of tough losses early in the league schedule.
As a team that makes no secret about wanting to throw the ball, Calhoun said his defense will have to be dialed in across the board next week against the Longhorns.
"They are going to come in here flying high," Calhoun said. "It seems like they're getting back in their groove."