Rome Football

Rome High’s Ahijah Blackwell, who leads the team with 423 yards rushing, is one of several weapons for the Wolves as they head to Cass this week.

Game: No. 8 Rome (2-2, 1-1) at Cass (3-1, 2-0)

Last meeting: Rome won 49-14 (Sept. 21, 2018)

All-time series: Rome leads 8-1

On the air: WRGA-AM 1470, FM 96.9

The scoreboard at the end of last Friday’s game had Rome High losing to bitter region foe Carrollton, but the Wolves didn’t spend time dwelling on it.

Only two games into an eight-game region schedule with no off weeks in between, Rome has business to take care of, and head coach John Reid said that’s just how the players have acted this week at practice.

“That was over on Friday,” Reid said of the 24-20 loss to the Trojans. “They came back to practice ready to go. It was a tough loss, but those are the things you learn from and move on. We did a great job coming back.”

Rome was up 20-17 with 55 seconds left at Grisham Stadium when Carrollton frantically drove down the field to score the game-winning touchdown. The Wolves had two penalties on the drive that helped the Trojans out, but finished with the most offensive yardage (306) and was +3 in turnovers.

“We played great defense,” Reid said. “They didn’t score a touchdown against our defense until that last drive. Our guys have grown up a lot and really improved. We just made too many mistakes, and sometimes you just can’t pull one out when you do that.”

Back on the road this week, Rome will pull into Cass on Friday looking to hand the Colonels their first region loss of the season. Cass is enjoying its best start to the season in three years after going 1-9 last year and 0-10 the season before.

“I think that we’ve got a good game plan, but they are much improved on offense,” Reid said. “Cass, since they’ve been in the region, has always been good defensively. Even with some of our state championship teams they’ve played good defense against us. But offensively they’ve got some good running backs.”

Running out of the Wing T, the Colonels’ offense is spearheaded by junior Tanayce Calhoun, who ran for 124 yards and two scores in a 36-7 win over Woodland and had a 72-yard touchdown run against Villa Rica last week.

That put Cass up 17-0 in the third quarter as the team held on to win 17-14.

Rome has found a strong runner in senior Ahijah Blackwell. He rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries against Carrollton last week and has 423 yards and two touchdowns on 67 carries in four games.

EJ Burks, who transferred to Rome from Chattooga in the offseason, has rushed for 181 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries.

— Jeremy Stewart

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