Rockmart (2-0) is on a big roll and made a bold statement on the road with a 51-7 win over another Class 4A opponent before getting a break this week ahead of another big game.
Head coach Biff Parson said his defense played a big game in their second game out at the Central Carroll Lions, with his backs having a “tremendous game.”
“We created around four or five turnovers in the game,” Parson said. “That included a scoop and score… I’ve really got say my hats are off to the defensive coaches and players for a really fantastic performance.”
That scoop and score on the defense came with two minutes to go in the first quarter on a 20-yard return to put the Yellow Jackets up 14-0 after a Noah Hughes point after.
Rockmart’s defense didn’t give up a single point through three quarters of play, and it was only after the junior varsity took the field in the fourth quarter the Lions were able to get on the board at all.
Dylan Bailey was the first to capitalize off of big offensive plays during the game as well as he marched the offense down the field and scored the opening touchdown on the night with a four yard rush.
He wasn’t the only one scoring on the ground. ZJ Whatley and his brother Javin both scored rushing touchdowns on the night, with the elder picking up two in the second quarter alone. ZJ Whatley would have scored a third touchdown on the night had a 70 yard sprint down the field not been called back, Parson said.
The Jackets played so well last Friday night, they were up 34-0 by the half.
Parson said he used a variety of backs on the night and sent at least five out on the field in rotation against the Lions defense, including in the second half when younger players were given a chance for experience on the field. He added it was “exciting to get that level of depth back” on the ground, especially against bigger opponents.
Having scored 71 points against their last two opponents and only given up three touchdowns on defense, every aspect of their game is clicking well, but Parson said he still seems some room for improvement in his team’s game and said they still have a long way to go.
He’s still enjoying himself regardless.
“It’s fun to coach these kids when they’re doing well,” he said after last Friday’s game. “They’re not perfect, and they still have some bumps and bruises that need to heal during the week coming up.”
They’ve got their chance as Rockmart rests on a bye week as Polk County celebrates the fair, and are back home on Sept. 7 to face off against the Heard County Braves.
Heard started off the season at 1-0 after a 10-3 win over LaGrange on Aug. 17 in overtime, and got a bye week last week before they face Hapeville Charter of Atlanta at home this coming Friday.
The Braves then travel to Rockmart in what is expected to be big showdown.
Parson said whatever the hype around the game, he has respect for Heard County head coach Tim Barron, who has been at the helm for more than a decade for the Braves.
“It’ll be a good test of where we are as a team,” Parson said.