Rockmart dominated all facets of the first half of the non-region contest between top-ten ranked teams, and Heard County decided to end the night on their own terms, officially conceding the game during a lengthy halftime brought on by a lightning delay.
The move by the No. 3-ranked Braves came with the No. 8 ranked Yellow Jackets leading 33-0, however the game will go down in the books as a forfeit.
Rockmart head coach Biff Parson said the well-roundedness of his squad — which is now 3-0 — is what makes them so dangerous.
“We have weapons,” he said. “And we’ll rotate them in as much as we can because we know that each one of them brings a different value and skill-set of what they can do.”
A two-play sequence in the second quarter was all it took for the Yellow Jackets to climb in the driver’s seat. Immediately after Rockmart stuffed Heard County on a crucial 4th and goal-to-go, Rockmart quarterback Dylan Bailey connected with a sprinting Juke Boozer up the seam for a 97-yard touchdown to put the home team up 14-0 with 10:12 left in the second quarter.
“It was a great ball, a great catch, and the run after it was really nice,” Parson said. “That momentum of what happened really sealed the deal of how our kids finished the half.”
Ant Lester picked up the first score of the night on a 1 yard rushing touchdown with 3:57 left in the first quarter. After the Boozer catch-and-run, the Jackets offense got the ball again and made the most of it, piecing together a nice drive that ended in a 5 yard touchdown run from senior Zabrion Whatley, who ended his night with 73 yards and two scores on six carries.
The Yellow Jackets would continue to pour it on in the last few minutes of the half, getting a 75-yard punt return touchdown from sophomore Javin Whatley and a 53 yard score from the elder Whatley to bring the score to 33-0.
Bailey would finish his night with an efficient stat line, completing all four of his pass attempts for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Touted Heard County running back Aaron Beasley, a Tennessee commit, did not travel to Polk County with the Braves.
Rockmart opens their Region 7-AA schedule next Friday against Armuchee at home, while Heard County will face Central at home.