Rockmart takes round 1 in state playoffs, Sports
The Rockmart Yellow Jackets control their own destiny through the rest of the season.
Standing undefeated at the top of the Region 7-AA pile, the Jackets have only three more games to go for the regular season and a chance to win the title in 2017. It wasn’t easy, but Rockmart overcame one of their biggest foes in 2017 in an offensive shootout against Pepperell that ended with a 56-42 win over the Dragons.
For Rockmart (5-2, 4-0 7-AA,) a cast of characters got in for scores, including ZJ Whatley with a huge 43 yard breakaway on the night for one of his four scores, and quarterback Dylan Bailey getting a 39-yard touchdown into the end zone on the night.
Bailey finished going 5 for 6 with 62 yards and his lone touchdown for the night in the air, plus one more on the ground from half a yard out. Pepperell’s loss to Rockmart puts them still in control of their playoff chances, but only if they come away with a win next week against Dade County on the road.
Head coach Biff Parson said that his offensive line stood tough, and that his team will still have some work to do on defense before the upcoming game.
However, coming out with a big win over Pepperell gives Rockmart a big advantage as they enter the final three games, facing Coosa, Gordon Central and Model to round out the regular season.
Pepperell meanwhile seeks to head off Dade County and control their playoff position.
“We got beat by a good football team not because of how good they are, but because we didn’t play very well,” Pepperell head coach Rick Hurst said.
Quarterback Trevor Thomas put up a huge night on offense, going 15 for 18 with 333 yards of passing and five touchdowns in the air, and also running one in from 55 yards out in the first half for a big night for the senior quarterback.
Running back Tae Hammond also picked up 94 yards on the ground for the night for the Dragons in their loss.
Rockmart faces Coosa at home again, with both teams coming off big wins.
“It doesn’t get easier,” Parson said. “We’ve got to lick our wounds and understand what we have to do on the defensive side on the ball, and get better on offense.”
Ant Lester runs downfield during Friday’s game against the Pepperell Dragons. The Yellow Jackets won 56-42.
Rockmart quarterback Dylan Bailey gets some protection from teammate Markus Smith when going back for a pass.