The Rome Wolves came back down three separate times, senior placekicker Fernando Lopez-Romero kicked a 38-yard game-winning field goal, and have now won four in a row after defeating Douglas County Tigers 16-15 Friday in Douglasville.
“We got a big road victory in the region against a really good team,” Wolves head coach John Reid said in a phone interview. “I thought our kids just found a way.”
Rome fell behind 15-13 on a 25-yard field goal by Austin Lewis, but Lopez-Romero would get the final hoorah with 12.2 second remaining in the fourth quarter.
“He missed one about a couple minutes earlier,” Reid said. “They tried to ice him (at the end) and I just told him, ‘Just pound this thing.’ We work on it all the time at practice and they did a good job of blocking and he hit it really well, right down the middle.”
Douglas County led 6-0 at halftime, but Rome finally broke through when freshman quarterback Reece Fountain found senior receiver Jay Wise from 11 yards out for a touchdown to take a 7-6 edge.
Douglas County responded with a touchdown of its own as Jimmy Inman located Kobe Harris from 17 yards away. The PAT was no good, so the Tigers led 12-7.
Ninety seconds into the fourth quarter, Fountain once again hooked up with top target Wise for another TD, this one from 4 yards. The PAT was no good, so Rome once again held a one-point lead at 13-12.
“We’re getting better on offense as the year goes on,” Reid said. “It just went back-and-forth. We really used our timeouts well at the end and got (Douglas County) to a three-and-out, got good field position and moved the ball.”
Reid described the contest as a physical battle.
“They knew it was a really good opponent,” Reid said. “Really proud of them. We had a freshman quarterback, freshmen running backs, freshmen receivers, freshmen linebackers, freshman noseguard. Not many people get to play that well and win a region game on the road with that many youngsters.”
Rome remains in the race for the Region 5-AAAAAA crown because the Carrollton Trojans, previously undefeated in the region, fell by one point at Alexander 23-22. Last Friday, Rome defeated Alexander 31-14.
With both the Wolves and Trojans at 5-1 in region competition, Carrollton must win at home against Douglas County to take Region 5-AAAAAA.
Should Rome defeat Paulding County at Barron Stadium and Carrollton lose versus Douglas County next Friday, the Wolves will be region champions for the fourth time in five years.
“You can only take care of what you can take care of,” Reid said. “Regardless, we’ve got a tough opponent. Any region game is going to be tough and we’ve got to prepare and take care of business at home next week.”