“Both sides were sloppy with turnovers, mistakes and penalties,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said. “Certainly, with us trying to make the playoffs and do some damage, we can’t be sloppy so that needs to be something that we focus on.”
Even though it was the Eagles’ fourth straight loss, Kylil Carter passed for 313 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 162 and two scores.
Benson ignited and capped Marietta’s 22-0 start with a 67-yard run up the middle early in the first quarter. After Jordan Mathis threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kadeem Wallington later in the frame, Benson returned to the end zone with a 27-yard run early in the second.
But thanks to Carter, South Cobb (2-6, 2-4) would fight back within two points. First Sam Jackson capped an 80-yard drive, which was highlighted by a 70-yard run by Michael Lapeyrolerie, with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Then after an interception by Lapeyrolerie, Carter would hook up with DorQuincy Jordan for a 47-yard passing score on the next play.
Then to take advantage of an interception by Jarrell Pinkney, Carter would race 57 yards to paydirt with 7 minutes to go.
But Benson would answer with a 3-yard rushing touchdown on the Blue Devils’ ensuing possession with 4:50 left before the half.
Then after a South Cobb punt and on the first play from scrimmage, Benson sprinted 42 yards for his final score and a 37-20 Marietta (6-2, 4-2) lead.
“KirVonte’ is an explosive athlete and he really is still learning the game,” Burton said. “He’s relatively inexperienced, but we need to make sure he gets his touches because good things happen when he does.”
But the Eagles appeared to have a response in store until Lawton Ward intercepted Carter’s pass at Marietta’s 1-yard line and returned it 99 yards for a score as time expired in the first half.
“I was not surprised that Lawton would come up with a big play for us,” Burton said. “He’s definitely the heart and soul of our team and it couldn’t happen to a nicer kid. I think the whole stadium was excited, not only about the play, but who made the play because he is a special kid.”
In the second half, Brenton Martin had a touchdown run and pass to prevent a rally by the Eagles.