Southeast (4-5) at Cass (3-6)
The lofty expectations Cass had prior to the season drowned in a sea of flashing blue lights in July. That’s when Brandon Etheridge, the team’s all-region quarterback, was arrested by a drug task force for possession of a drug called “Molly,” a street term for an alternative to ecstasy.
A Bartow County School System tribunal determined that Etheridge, a three-year starter responsible for 2,300 yards as a junior, violated school policy and banned him from playing his senior year.
“That changed the makeup of our whole team,” said Colonels coach Rick Casko, who replaced Etheridge with freshman Trevor Lowe. “Trevor wants to be good and will be good, but you can’t coach experience.”
Lowe is a key to the Colonels’ hopes of finishing on a good note when they play Southeast in a Region 7-4A crossover game as a season of woe comes to an end. Cass hasn’t played since losing 54-28 to Cedartown on Oct. 25 without four starters suspended after being ejected from the team’s previous game. Six Cass losses came to opponents with a combined 46-8 record and were a collective 19-4 at the time they played the Colonels.
Southeast has something at stake in the finale, too. A victory would mean a .500 record for only the fourth time since 1986, the school’s last winning season.
“It would be good to win and go into the offseason with a good attitude,” coach Sean Gray said.
— Compiled by sports writers Chris Whitfield and Devin Golden and correspondents Larry Fleming and Dave Gordon.