Rockmart continues perfect into postseason
“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.
The Jackets special teams also got big hits against Model runners on returns.
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.
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.