Wolves blank Cass in powerful victory
A more balanced offense helps Rome build a 42-0 halftime lead.
A season after winning a state championship, it’s clear that the Rome Wolves have plenty of teams looking to shut down their prolific running game.
So far this season, Rome has found a way to keep opposing defenses honest.
Jamious Griffin ran for three touchdowns, Jalynn Sykes punched in two and Rome’s defense shut down Cass on Homecoming night at Barron Stadium in the Wolves’ 49-0 Region 7-5A win over the visiting Colonels.
Top-ranked Rome amassed 468 yards of offense compared to Cass’ 133 and remains undefeated.
“We’re just improving every week and see exactly where we’re at this season,” Rome defensive end Adam Anderson said. “You just have to get through the next game. We look at it as one game at a time and know that with each win you’ve got to stay humble and focused.”
Friday night saw the Wolves (7-0, 5-0 7-5A) utilize the passing game to help prime their offense against a Cass team set on finding the ball carrier.
Quarterback Knox Kadum was a perfect 11of-11 for 196 yards and a touchdown, while Xavier Roberts- Donaldson caught three passes for 103 yards.
“Early on they were trying to stop a lot of the inside run plays, the power plays,” Rome head coach John Reid said. “And with Knox throwing the ball all over the yard it really opened up, and you saw how in the second quarter the run game opened up because they were giving up a lot of pass running.”
The Colonels (0-7, 0-5) caught Sykes at the line of scrimmage on t he Wolves’ first offensive play of the game. Rome then went with three straight pass plays and Kadum completed all three, moving his team to the Cass 26.
Two handoffs to Griffin led to a 16- yard touchdown run with 9:54 to go in the opening quarter.
Emmanuel Gonzalez made his first of seven straight extra points and the Wolves went up 7-0.
The opening salvo was the start of a dominating performance that saw Rome take a 42-0 lead before halftime and send out the back-up units the entire second half with a running clock enforced as part of the mercy rule.
“I t hink after l ast week we really strived to improve,” Reid said, r eferring t o Rome’s touch-and-go start against Hiram before winning 42-13. “We went to practice, and we tried to clean up some little things and put more effort in, and be just a little more polished.”
Griffin finished with nine carries for 81 yards, while Sykes had six for 83, including a 42- yard touchdown on the third play of Rome’s first drive of the second quarter, which was set up by a 9-yard pass to Sykes and an 11-yard pass to Javard Williams.
Rome’s second unit offense and defense took over after halftime, and Cass turned the ball over on downs to end its first three possessions after the break. Meanwhile, Wolves quarterback Sevie Andrews broke free on a third-and-8 to run 27 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Rome plays the first of back-to-back road games next Friday against Villa Rica in Carroll County.
Rome High defensive linemen Jamarcus Chatman (2), Adam Anderson (19), TJ Cammack (52) and Ja’Quon Griffin (95) all target Cass’ quarterback Rett Moore during the second quarter of Friday’s Region 7-5A game.