ROCKMART — It took one good possession Friday for the Rome High Wolves to get their legs under them. Then it was one good quarter to square away a win to open the 2021 season.
Reece Fountain threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, Martel Hight pulled down four passes for 126 yards, and Rome’s defense kept Rockmart at bay for most of the night in a 23-7 Wolves win.
Rome (1-0) used its running game first to try and attack the host Jackets’ defense. The Wolves got down to Rockmart’s 5-yard line before a stout defensive stand kept Bryson Hill from gaining 2 yards on fourth down, forcing a turnover on downs.
Rockmart (0-1) had little luck gaining any momentum during the first half, and followed the series with a drive that ended with a punt attempt gone awry when the snap went over punter Mason Phillips’ head and out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
A 12-play, 60-yard drive early in the second quarter had Rome kick into high gear with its speedy play-calling as Hill converted a fourth-and-2 inside the red zone just before Fountain lofted a 15-yard pass over the trenches to a waiting Martavious Collins as he waltzed into the end zone.
Gary Gonzalez made his first of three extra-point attempts on the night to make it 9-0 with 7:16 left in the first half.
The AAA Jackets punted away its final two possessions of the half while Rome used two quick drives to put two more touchdowns on the board.
The first came on the third-play of a drive that had the Wolves looking at third-and-14 before Fountain lasered a pass to Hight down the field for 72 yards. The two paired up again with 32 second left in the second quarter with a 47-yard completion for a score.
Fountain was dinged up some on the final touchdown pass, which led to a 23-0 score at halftime. He was able to stand up and walk off the field on his own but did not return to the game. Hight took over behind center in the second half.
Rockmart’s lone score of the night came when Brent Washington pushed his way across the goal line late in the fourth quarter.
Rome hosts a talented 7A team after a bye week as Cherokee visits Barron Stadium on Sept. 3.