Rock­mart con­tin­ues per­fect into postseason

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - By Kevin Myrick kmyrick@polk­stan­dard­jour­

“What they’ve done is wrote their names in the book of be­ing leg­ends at Rock­mart,” were the words of Head Coach Biff Par­son last Fri­day night as the Jack­ets fin­ished a 10-o per­fect reg­u­lar sea­son, and re­mained un­de­feated in re­gion 7-AA with a 61-6 fin­ish over Model.

The state-ranked No. 2 Jack­ets scored four touch­downs in the first half unan­swered against the Blue Devils on the road, and then added five more on the board with one of those com­ing dur­ing a run­ning clock late in the fourth quar­ter in Fri­day’s win.

Par­son said the team stepped up af­ter they re­ceived a bit of a shock against Gor­don Cen­tral last week in the first half, and didn’t want to ex­pe­ri­ence it again.

“What a learn­ing les­son we had last week of our prepa­ra­tion as a whole pro­gram, and it’s a credit to our coaches and our kids to reel them back in and fo­cus,” Par­son said. “Our goal was to start fast and fin­ish fast.”

Rock­mart quar­ter­back Dy­lan Bai­ley got right to work, com­plet­ing a 60-yard touch­down pass to Zabrion What­ley for a touch­down only 18 sec­onds into the game. Bai­ley threw two more passes to What­ley for 53 yards and a third to Juke Boozer for 36 yards in quick suc­ces­sion in the first quar­ter.

Af­ter a touch­down run in by Rock­mart’s Javin What­ley from 24 yards out, the Blue Devils fi­nally got their shot af­ter a big kick­off re­turn by Kwalic Dublin setup a four yard run into the end zone by Jabari Burge.

Burge was un­der cen­ter through the rest of the game af­ter Sam Sil­ver took a hard hit from the Rock­mart de­fense.

That was only a por­tion of a long 55-6 first half for the Jack­ets. They also saw Markus Smith run for a 52-yard touch­down, and Zabrion What­ley for a 68-yard run. On the fol­low­ing pos­ses­sion, the Jack­ets blocked a punt and the spe­cial teams re­cov­ered the ball in the end zone for an­other touch­down.

Javin What­ley scored a fi­nal time in a run­ning clock fourth quar­ter with a 42-yard touch­down run as well.

The Jack­ets of­fense com­bined on the night for 496 yards, with Bai­ley serv­ing in up four touch­downs, went 6 of 7 in the first half for 214 yards.

Model’s of­fense com­bined for 67 yards to­tal.

The Blue Devils fin­ished their sea­son at 2-8 on the year, and fin­ished the re­gion at 2-4.

The Jack­ets host their first round of the play­offs this com­ing Fri­day, and are ex­pected to play South At­lanta af­ter they won over KIPP At­lanta Char­ter 43-10.

Par­son said the team cel­e­brated their per­fect reg­u­lar sea­son on Satur­day, then shifted their fo­cus start­ing over the week­end to “a whole new sea­son.”

The Jack­ets last year went to the postseason with a sim­i­lar strong ef­fort af­ter a re­gion cham­pi­onship, and made it past the first round against Mon­ti­cello in a 47-7 win, but fell in the sec­ond on a road trip to Call­away in a 40-35 loss.

/ Kevin Myrick

The Jack­ets spe­cial teams also got big hits against Model run­ners on re­turns.

/ Kevin Myrick

Quar­ter­back Dy­lan Bai­ley gives Head Coach Biff Par­son a hug af­ter a cooler bath on the side­lines as their 61-6 win over Model came to a close.

/ Kevin Myrick

Left: Ei­ther on the run or grab­bing a pass, Rock­mart’s Zabrion What­ley scored at will against the Model de­fense on Nov. 2. Right: Rock­mart’s spe­cial teams came up with a blocked punt re­cov­ery in the end zone for a ninth touch­down of the night be­fore half­time to make it a 55-7 score at Model.

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