RI­VALRY BALL

Rock­mart wins in fi­nal minute over Cedar­town

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­nal.net Cedar­town quar­ter­back Taji Hudson spent as much time run­ning the ball than pass­ing against Rock­mart.

Rock­mart Yel­low Jacket fans have been wait­ing for a win for seven years, and the ta­bles fi­nally turned to­ward the east side of Polk County for brag­ging rights af­ter a 20-14 win over ri­val Cedar­town.

It came down to the fi­nal minute of the game when the Jack­ets drove to their own 43 yard line, and with just over 20 sec­onds left on the clock found quar­ter­back Dy­lan Bai­ley and re­ceiver Juke Boozer con­nect­ing to make a mem­o­rable 57-yard touch­down pass play to bring the Jack­ets back from what was about to be a one-point loss.

Head coach Biff Par­son was all smiles at the con­clu­sion of the game as fans rushed the field af­ter one last de­fen­sive stand to knock out the Bull­dogs.

“It’s great for our com­mu­nity, as you saw by the at­mos­phere,” Par­son said. “It’s great for our kids as well to fi­nally over­come that moun­tain of be­liev­ing that they can’t play with Cedar­town, who is tra­di­tion­ally a re­ally good foot­ball team.”

Rock­mart and Cedar­town’s de­fenses were the stars of the night as the Jack­ets were held to just 217 yards of of­fense over four quar­ters, and Cedar­town held to 134 yards.

Bai­ley ended his night with two in­ter­cep­tions, two touch­down passes and go­ing 12 for 21 on 155 yards of pass­ing. The Jack­ets back­field com­bined for 62 yards of rush­ing through the en­tire game.

“Of­fen­sively we just couldn’t get any­thing go­ing, but hat’s off to our de­fense,” he said. “For those two back and what they have on of­fense… our de­fense re­ally played lights out. They re­ally did.”

Cedar­town’s Taji Hudson started his ca­reer go­ing 3 of 3 in pass­ing with just 45 yards, but he along with Tony Mathis and Kobe Pryor put on 89 yards of rush­ing over­all.

The Bull­dogs and Jack­ets were tied through the lat­ter half of the first quar­ter to near the end of the half, when the Jack­ets’ Noah Hughes put up a field goal be­fore the buzzer. He added an­other boot to give Rock­mart some breath­ing room, but they came storm­ing back in the sec­ond half and al­most had the game won down to the fi­nal minute off of turnovers.

“We said com­ing in that we had to play clean foot­ball, and we had a lot of mis­takes,” Bull­dogs head coach Doyle Kel­ley said. “I’m not tak­ing any­thing away from them. They have a good foot­ball team… We didn’t ex­e­cute the way we needed to ex­e­cute. We had them backed up with 27 sec­onds left in the game, and I don’t know what it was.”

The Bull­dogs and Jack­ets are both right back in ac­tion next Fri­day night, with Cedar­town host­ing Alexan­der for their first home game of the sea­son. Rock­mart heads to Cen­tral Car­roll for their open­ing road trip.

Rock­mart’s home opener against Cedar­town was the Fox 5 Game of the Week.

/ Kevin Myrick

Juke Boozer holds up the ball one handed af­ter mak­ing a big re­cep­tion and scor­ing the first touch­down of the game against Cedar­town on Fri­day evening. He ended up with the game-win­ning catch for a sec­ond touch­down.

/ Kevin Myrick

ABOVE: Rock­mart’s of­fense had just as tough a time stop­ping the Cedar­town de­fense from dis­rupt­ing the Yel­low Jacket run­ning game.

/ Kevin Myrick

Rock­mart’s de­fense kept Cedar­town run­ning back Tony Mathis tied up all night.

LEFT: Cedar­town quar­ter­back Taji Hudson tucked the ball in and ran in­stead of pass­ing for a first down against Rock­mart on Aug. 17.

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