Rome comes out on top in battle with Carrollton, 65-51
For more than three and a half hours, No. 1 Rome and No. 4 Carrollton took one swing after another as each team’s offense fought to be the one to throw the knockout punch.
And with the one-two combination of Jamious Griffin and Xavier Roberts-Donaldson, the Wolves were able to deliver what became the ultimate blow in the fourth quarter of a 65-51 win for Rome at Barron Stadium.
Griffin had another explosive game, running for 285 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries, an average of 10.2 yards per attempt. Senior receiver Roberts-Donaldson had 11 catches for 248 yards and four scores, including two catches in the final quarter that led to long touchdowns.
The game was the second top-ten matchup in a row for the Wolves, who topped then No. 8-ranked Kell 35-6 last Friday, and the victory over the Trojans extends Rome’s state-best winning streak to 31 games while giving the Wolves a 2-0 mark in Region 7-5A.
Rome (4-0) and Carrollton combined for 1,259 yards of offense on top of the 116 points scored in the game. Wolves quarterback Knox Kadum went 13 of 24 for 287 yards and the four touchdowns to RobertsDonaldson while throwing no interceptions. The senior also rushed for 73 yards and another score.
Rome held a cautious 35-29 lead at halftime but got some breathing room after opening the second half with a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a secondchance run by Griffin covering 41 yards.
Alonzo Rodriguez made the extra point, one of six on the night for the junior, who also made a 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to give Rome a 45-29 lead.
Carrollton (3-1) got within eight of Rome just more than three minutes into the fourth as Trojan quarterback Kashif Taylor connected on a 4-yard quick pass to Isaiah Lancaster, the second of three on the night. The successful two-point pass made it 45-37 Rome.
The Wolves starting the ensuing drive on their 20 after a touchback on the kickoff, and Kadum hit Roberts-Donaldson on a screen pass to the right on the first play from scrimmage. The receiver bobbled the ball but quickly gained control, splitting the defenders and racing 80-yards for the touchdown.
Carrollton answered right back, as they had done throughout the first half, with the final Taylor-Lancaster TD, but Rome wasted little time on the rebuttal.
On the following drive, Kadum hooked up with Roberts-Donaldson on nearly the same screen pass on the second play from scrimmage. This time Roberts-Donaldson clutched the ball tightly, did a spin move to shake off a defender and took it 58 yards to the end zone with 5:48 left to play.
The Trojans were held to a four-and-out on their next possession after they were unable to convert on a fourth-and-10 and Rome took over on Carrollton’s 22. Griffin ran for 9 yards before completing the short-field possession with a 13-yard scoring run to give Rome a 65-44 lead.
The Wolves are back at home this week for their homecoming game as they host region foe Cass at Barron Stadium.
Rome High’s Xavier Roberts-Donaldson (7) carries the ball for a 20-yard gain as Carrollton’s Reid Dedman comes up behind him during Friday’s Region 7-5A game.