RINGGOLD — After an unexpected break the week before, Rockmart’s football team came out quick against Ringgold and wrapped up the regular season with a 35-12 victory Friday night.

Jacket quarterback Javin Whatley scored twice on the ground and then punctuated his night by lofting a 42-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Dennis Sims in the third quarter to put Rockmart up 28-6 in the Region 6-3A contest.

The win gives the Jackets a perfect record against region foes for the fourth season in a row.

Whatley had led all players with 12 carries for 78 yards, scoring on runs of 7 and 3 yards, and was 5-of-10 passing for 100 yards. Sims finished with four catches for 92 yards.

It was the first game for the Jackets in two weeks after their game against LaFayette was canceled when the Ramblers had players quarantined for COVID-19. The game will be considered a forfeit for Rockmart, who clinched the region title last week.

Friday’s road trip once again put the Jackets defense on display as they continuously put pressure on an outmatched Ringgold squad, especially during the first half. The Tigers had negative-2 yards rushing in the first two quarters and finished with just 73 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Mason Parker was 22-of-36 passing for 184 yards and got Ringgold on the board in the second quarter with a 46-yard pass to Malachi Hill to make it 21-6 with 3:02 to play in the first half. The kick by Landon Eaker was no good.

Rockmart (9-1, 8-0 6-3A) wouldn’t give up another play as long the rest of the game. Ringgold (5-5, 4-4) would had two drives in the third quarter that allowed them to find some consistency, but one ended with an interception by the Jackets’ Brent Washington and the other ended with a punt after Parker was sacked by Kulan Stocks for an 8-yard loss on third-and-8.

Washington came in at running back in the fourth quarter and had seven carries for 69 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown.

Ringgold’s last score came at the end of a nine-play, 66-yard drive in the fourth quarter as Kori Dumas was able to push his way through the Jacket interior line and get in from 9 yards out. A false start on the extra point attempt pushed the Tigers back 5 yards before Dumas’ pass for a two-point conversion was intercepted by Omarian Garrett.

Rockmart will host White County, the No. 4 seed from Region 7-3A, Friday at The Rock for the first round of the GHSA state football playoffs.

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