FOOT­BALL

The Standard Journal - - LO­CAL SPORTS -

de­fense has got to find five big stops and we found it. That’s a very tal­ented team, and to put our de­fense in the po­si­tion the way they did and us come up was huge. They al­ways say de­fenses win state cham­pi­onships, and that’s what this is — cham­pi­onship de­fense.”

After the turnover, Rock­mart looked to have the win sealed up, but when Call­away’s Jalin Shep­hard in­ter­cepted quar­ter­back Dy­lan Bai­ley, it gave the Cava­liers (11-3) one last shot at the win. It also gave the Jack­ets’ de­fense an­other chance to shine.

After a 15-yard pass brought the Cava­liers to the Jack­ets’ 16-yard line, Rock­mart se­nior de­fen­sive back Lo­gan Burge saved the win for the Jack­ets with an in­ter­cep­tion, shut­ting down Call­away for good.

“This is a spe­cial bunch,” Par­son said. “It’s not go­ing to sink in un­til after the sea­son. We’re go­ing to en­joy this ride, and we’ve got to pre­pare to win a state cham­pi­onship.”

The Yel­low Jack­ets took a 14-10 lead into half­time, with both touch­downs by Smith, who scored on runs of 4 and 5 yards. The se­nior run­ning back fin­ished with 91 yards on 16 car­ries. Zabrion What­ley fin­ished with 67 yards on eight car­ries.

Bai­ley fin­ished with 40 yards through the air, in­clud­ing a 27-yard touch­down pass to Reed Couch that put the Jack­ets up 21-17 in the third quar­ter.

Car­tavi­ous Bigsby led the ground game for the Cava­liers with 197 yards and a touch­down on 29 car­ries. Most of Bigsby’s yards came from a 64-yard touch­down run and a 69-yard run.

/ Con­trib­uted by Shelly Cul­ver and Steven Eck­hoff

Top: Tyler Abrams got a big pick on de­fense that helped bring Call­away’s chances at com­ing back for a win to an end last week. Above: Rock­mart’s Reed Couch (47) stretches into the end zone for a touch­down dur­ing Fri­day’s 28-22 win against Call­away in the Class AA state semi­fi­nals at Rock­mart.

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