Game: Model (5-4, 5-1) at No. 1 Rockmart (9-0, 6-0)
Last meeting: Rockmart 61, Model 6 (Nov. 2, 2018)
All-time series: Rockmart leads 26-8
On the air: Mountain Coast Network — www.mountaincoastnetwork.com/model-blue-devils.html; WZOT-FM 101.9
Just one game stands between the Rockmart Yellow Jackets and a second straight undefeated regular season.
They’ll play that game against a rising Model team that has turned around its season and program under first-year head coach Jeff Hunnicutt.
Rockmart, ranked No. 1 in Class AA by the AJC, goes into Friday night’s game riding plenty of momentum from a season that has seen the Jackets allow just 8 points per game and be in the same position they were during the 2018 season with an offense averaging 48 points per game.
This year’s offense has been spearheaded under center by Javin Whatley, with Mehki Floyd and Jai Penson carrying much of the load in the run game.
They’ll not only be 10-0 with a victory over the Blue Devils but will also claim their third straight Region 7-AA championship and the No. 1 seed in the state playoffs.
“There’s a lot on the line,” Rockmart coach Biff Parson said. “We want to win out the region, and we have to beat Model to accomplish that.”
Model began the season with three losses but has since won 5 of its last six, giving the Blue Devils a playoff berth for the first time since 2016.
Model will be looking to rely on the talents of quarterbacks Jabari Burge and Sam Silver to overcome a Rockmart defense that has only given up 77 points on the entire year.
The Blue Devils have a stout defense of their own, having given up only six points in their last three games with Tyler Gamble and Richmond Sims making big plays.
Hunnicutt said they will treat Friday’s game as a test to see just how far they have come this season before going into the playoffs.
“I’m excited about that challenge, and that’s what I told the kids,” Hunnicutt said. “We have an opportunity before us, and if we don’t capitalize on those opportunities you just let them slip by the wayside. How are we going to handle it if we’re up or we’re down? Where’s our character going to be at? And it’s going to be revealed against Rockmart.”
— Staff Reports