A slow start led to a tough night on the pitch for the Rome High boys’ soccer team.
With a chance at earning the program’s first region title in 19 years, the Wolves hosted Kell at Barron Stadium on Friday night in a Region 7-5A match. Rome was coming off of a 10-game winning streak and had lost just twice all season.
But the visiting Longhorns scored two goals in the first half and would hold on for the 2-1 upset. The loss puts Rome as the No. 4 seed from the region in the Class 5A state playoffs due to the tiebreakers between the Wolves, Villa Rica and Kell, who all finished 6-2 in region play.
Rome (14-3) was down 2-0 at halftime and came out attacking in the final 40 minutes, with Rahdriq Turner sending two shots on goal early that failed to find the back of the net.
Junior Morente finally put the Wolves on the scoreboard in the 73rd minute on a side shot that went into the goal and off a Kell player. Henry Ramirez had set up the shot with a pass to the far side of the box.
Rome frantically tried to get the equalizer over the next seven minutes of play but could not take advantage of any opportunity, including a free kick by Ramirez from about 25 yards out in the 77th minute.
The Wolves will travel for the first round of the state playoffs next week, likely to face Decatur.
BASEBALL: Jackets claim region title
Two dominating performances over Gordon Central last week allowed the Rockmart Yellow Jackets to clinch they Region 7-AA baseball championship.
The Jackets shut out the Warriors 17-0 on the road Thursday and then won 8-1 against the team the next day in Rockmart to secure the host team the No. 1 seed from the region in the state playoffs.
Rockmart (18-6, 12-0 7-AA) will wrap up the regular season this week by hosting Dade County on Tuesday and then traveling to Trenton to take on the Wolverines again on Thursday.