The annual rivalry between the only two teams that matter locally rekindles this Friday night as Rockmart comes to Cedartown to play the 2019 edition of the Battle of Polk County.
The stakes couldn’t be any higher for either team. And if it’s anything like last year’s exciting conclusion, fans are in for a great start to the high school football season this year.
Rockmart comes to Cedartown for the 75th edition of the game after last year’s final seconds win broke a 7 game winning streak for the Bulldogs.
Though the game doesn’t count toward getting either into the playoffs at season’s end, it does give both team bragging rights and helps set the tempo for games to come. Hot off the heels of a Cedartown win in 2018, Rockmart then went undefeated until the final game against Heard County in the Class AA state title game.
During the 2017 season, the game served as a showcase for the Bulldogs first game under Head Coach Doyle Kelley in a season that ended in the second round of the playoffs and a 10-2 record.
Though Rockmart graduated a number of players this year, they come back reloaded and ready to play. The Jackets will utilize the talents of Javin Whatley under center as junior quarterback this year, along with a backfield loaded with runners and receivers like senior Reed Couch, freshman Patrich Gardner, senior Juke Boozer and freshman Lanear McCrary.
Whatley will be a target for the Cedartown defense since he’s capable of handing off, passing or running the ball on any given play.
Cedartown on the other hand has their own backfield ready to run. Senior Kobe Pryor is looking to make a mark this year after he committed to Clemson, as well as quarterback Taji Hudson who is heading to East Carolina. There’s also young talent like CJ Washington and Harlem Diamond available to carry the ball as well. Rockmart’s defense will have several threats to contain like Chadriq Neal and Jayden and Jeremiah Johnson as well.
The Jackets and Bulldogs both come into the game off two preseason wins, with the Bulldogs shutting out both of their opponents. Cedartown scored 76 points over Morrow and Chattooga combined in the past two weeks.
Rockmart scored 72 points over Bremen and Temple in their games, but left 13 points on the scoreboard when they faced Bremen in the first week of the pre-season. It was a playoff rematch between the two from the 2018 season.
Over 74 games, Cedartown holds a 50-22-2 advantage over Rockmart. This year, it might come down to a coin toss of who gets the ball first and takes a win into the rest of the season.