LOUISVILLE, Ga. - Jefferson County had no answer for a vaunted offense that has a team rolling to one of its best seasons.
The result was the end of another successful year for the Warrior program.
Rockmart, the last undefeated team in Class AA, used an offense full of weapons to take down Jefferson County 48-13 on Friday night in the state quarterfinals.
The victory marks the first trip to the semifinals for the Yellow Jackets (13-0) since 1988. They’ll play for their first state championship appearance since 1957.
Jefferson County (10-3) bowed out after reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in three years.
In a season full of trials, including injuries and an offensive playbook adjustment early in the season, the Warriors withstood everything thrown at them to earn a region title and fourth consecutive double-digit-win season.
The season ended at the hands of a Rockmart team led by Dylan Bailey, who threw for three touchdowns and totaled 103 yards of offense. Zabrion Whatley rushed for 100 yards and Markus Smith added 83 yards and two scores.
Jefferson County star senior Jaden Jenkins rushed 27 times for 98 yards and one touchdown in his final high school game.
Bailey totaled three passing touchdowns in the first half, the first coming on a quick first drive when he found Reed Couch on a 15-yard pass for a 7-0 lead. Smith scored on a 16-yard run at 1:01 for a 14-0 lead.
Jefferson County gambled on fourth-and-inches deep in its territory early in the second and was stuffed. Rockmart went deep on its first play and Bailey found Juke Boozer on a 32-yard touchdown pass for a 21-0 advantage.
A long Warrior drive led to an answer at 4:31 when Jenkins scored on a 5-yard run, but the Yellow Jackets got a score with 30 seconds left in the half on a 21-yard pass from Bailey to Whatley for a 28-7 lead at the break.
The onslaught continued into the third. After a Warrior fumble on the opening possession, Rockmart again charged downfield and scored on an 8-yard Smith run for a 35-7 lead to set the rout in motion