That provided Carter with a tough act to follow, but he managed to do so Friday.
The versatile senior passed for 400 yards, ran for 145 and totaled seven touchdowns in leading the Eagles to a 57-35 victory at Pope.
It was the second-highest point total in South Cobb’s 62-year history, only trailing the 68 points from a seven-overtime playoff game in 2004.
“We adjusted to Pope’s defense well in the game,” Carter said. “We have speed on our offense and wanted to throw deep, while running the ball as well. I tried to stay focused and this win provides us with a big boost.”
Leading 24-21 at halftime, South Cobb (1-1) scored touchdowns on all three of its third-quarter possessions to secure the victory.
The first score came on a 15-yard touchdown run up the middle by Carter, who ultimately ran for three touchdowns. The next second-half touchdown was on Carter’s 16-yard toss to Joseph Law, making the score 37-21 in the Eagles’ favor.
Dorquincy Jordan’s 8-yard touchdown run increased South Cobb’s lead to 44-21 heading into the fourth quarter.
“It feels really good to earn our first victory of the season,” said South Cobb coach Sherrod Rainge, who earned his first career win as a head coach after serving as an assistant to previous Eagle coaches Ed Koester and Michael Youngblood.
“When the clock winded down, it was a great feeling, and I’m happy I was able to share it with my players and coaching staff.”
Pope (0-2) was without the services of starting quarterback Taylor Wolf, who suffered a torn ACL during the week, Greyhounds coach Matt Kemper confirmed before the game.
Wolf’s replacement, sophomore Ben Bolt, had a strong performance, throwing for 239 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Bryan Terry had a game-high 148 yards rushing.
“Our kids played hard and hung with them,” Kemper said. “We have some things to work on in our off week, but the effort tonight was tremendous.”
After South Cobb got points on its first possession of the game, Pope proceeded to score in its next two possessions, on touchdown passes of 73 yards and 28 yards, respectively, from Bolt to Carson Day, giving the Greyhounds a 14-7 lead heading into the second quarter.
Day had a game-high 163 yards receiving on five catches.
South Cobb responded with two touchdowns on its own to start the second quarter, giving the Eagles a 21-14 lead. The scores came on a 14-yard scoring run by Carter and an 81-yard catch by Fitzpatrick, who matched Day with a game-high 163 receiving yards.
Bolt threw his third touchdown of the contest with 3:53 left in the first half, this one a 53-yard toss down the right side to Joshua Lowe, tying the score at 21-21.
A 36-yard field goal by Carlos Saldona with less than a minute left in the second quarter gave South Cobb a 24-21 lead into the locker room.