On a night when Rockmart head football coach Dan Duff was wanting to look at younger kids to see who was ready to step up, a familiar face stole the spotlight.
Quarterback Julian Welch, a rising senior, put his arm and legs on display on Thursday evening at the annual Black and Gold Rockmart High School football spring scrimmage at the old high school.
Welch, along with Dadrian Hudson and Lance Wadell, helped the Black team soar to a 28-7 victory in front of a solid crowd of spectators.
On the first offensive play of the night for the Black team, Welch dropped back to pass and hit Hudson on a 38-yard strike to put the Black team deep in Gold territory.
A few possessions later, Hudson picked off a pass from the Gold team and raced about 46 yards to the Gold’s four yard line. With 1:58 left in the first half, Welch would sneak the ball over from two yards out to put the Black squad ahead 14-0.
The Black team had originally got on the scoreboard when Wadell ran in for a score from nine yards out during the junior varsity portion of the scrimmage with about five minutes left until halftime.
Ahead 14-0, the Black team scored again, this time when Welch hit Hudson on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with 52 seconds left until halftime.
Each team would get a score from the junior varsity participants in the second half to round out the scoring.
“Spring is all about making a depth chart and seeing the young kids step up and play,” head coach Dan Duff said. “Today I think we were able to see some of that. We have young kids, but they are great. They have good attitudes.”
Duff was also quick to point out how well the rising seniors performed.
“We don’t have a lot of seniors but we have a good group,” Duff said.
The veteran coach noted that the Yellow Jackets are young in a lot of places, therefore they are still learning as they go.
“We are a work in progress,” Duff said. “We hope to continue to improve by the time region play starts next fall.”
Despite the five offensive scores, the defense had plenty of shining moments on Thursday.
“I thought we saw a lot of good hitting,” Duff said. “But the defense is always ahead of the offense this time of the year.”
Duff said that the success of the Yellow Jackets will likely fall upon the shoulders of the guys in the trenches this fall.
“We are as good as our up front gets,” Duff said.