Corky Kell Preview: Carrollton vs. Kell

Photo by Ty Freeman

The opening game of Saturday’s action is a cross-classification matchup filled with storylines. Carrollton, a program that played its first football season in 1920, is facing Cobb County’s Kell for the first time in school history. Kell, which played its first-ever season in 2003, has established itself as one of the most consistent programs in the state. The Longhorns have won 44 games the past four years under coach Derek Cook and are coming off a school-record 13-1 season.

Despite the two teams never meeting before, the programs are familiar with one another. Carrollton coach Ed Dudley was hired this offseason after leading Ware County for the past five years. Before taking the job at Ware County, Dudley coached down the street in Cobb County from Kell at Walton for 14 years. During his final season with the Raiders (2008), Dudley beat Cook and the Longhorns 17-9. New Carrollton offensive coordinator Tripp Allen led the Walton offense for 15 seasons and is a 3-time Cobb County Offensive Coach of the Year (2003, 2007, 2011).


Kell takes pride in playing guys on both sides of the football and they are able to maximize the strengths of multiple players at a time. With the best players getting time on both sides of the football, Kell will often have to replace huge fractions of their production season to season. Finding leadership has been the key and this year the Longhorns must replace four-year starter Taylor Henkle, as well as three-year starters Julian Burris, Jay Moxey, Ethan Elliott and Nathan Waller. Also gone are Austin Meaut, Errol Breaux and Donnell Greene.

Quarterback Cameron Rosendahl is set for a key role after stepping into the starting job last year when then-senior Matthew McGuigan suffered injuries. Rosendahl’s performance and leadership gave Cook the confidence to rotate his quarterbacks deep into the playoffs even as McGuigan was back and healthy.

The Longhorns love to run the football and their veer attack will chip away at defenses. Kell’s offensive style sets up big-play opportunities and, after getting the playbook rolling, the Longhorns look to take shots to their athletes downfield.

Itabari Mason is a physical runner with plenty of experience and proven durability. He’ll join Ivan Walls in the backfield where the two will share carries.


Carrollton is one of the most storied and successful programs in the nation with a 632-213-28 (.740) all-time record and seven state championships. The Trojans finished 13-2 with a loss to Griffin in the state championship last season and have plenty of talent returning. Dudley last coached at Carrollton in 1988-91 as the defensive coordinator and his defenses held 35 opponents to single digits, including 21 shutouts during those four seasons.

The Trojans are traditionally built to run the football and they will remain a ground and pound offense while using no huddle and an uptempo pace to keep the defense guessing.

On Carrollton’s defensive side of the ball, Georgia Tech-commit Dante Wigley is a lockdown corner at 6-foot-1, 183 pounds. Wigley will also step in as a running back and wide receiver and is one of the team’s top playmakers. Jarvis Terrell rushed for 80.1 yards per game last season with a team-high 17 rushing touchdowns and will lead the backfield as a junior this season. In the team’s scrimmage against West Forsyth, Terrell scored Carrollton’s first touchdown on a 92-yard screen pass.


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One Response to “Corky Kell Preview: Carrollton vs. Kell”

  1. Fan
    August 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

    Worried about Carrollton. I am afraid that the Trojans will not be represented as they have been in years past with a rough and ready program. They are only returning 4-5 starters – have a brand new head coach and coaching staff – brand new offensive scheme – brand few defensive scheme – and zero of the four or five returning starters, much less any of the new players, have any familiarity with the new offense, defense, or coaches. This will be a very rough year for Carrollton.

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