Rock­mart dom­i­nates in opener over Cedar­town

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­nal.com

The an­nual ri­valry between Rock­mart and Cedar­town was re­newed in the 2019 edi­tion of the Bat­tle of Polk County on Fri­day, and the Yel­low Jack­ets ex­tended their streak to two games in a 31-12 win.

Head coach Biff Par­son said it was an op­por­tu­nity to show­case a Rock­mart foot­ball pro­gram that seeks to make big waves in the weeks to come and make it back to the top of the heap in the state.

“It was to­tal dom­i­nance,” Par­son said. “We hold them ac­count­able that they had to play for four quar­ters, and that’s a group that played four quar­ters.”

Javin What­ley was the man in charge of Rock­mart’s dom­i­nance on of­fense through most of the game, mainly on the ground af­ter he put up four touch­downs on the night, with three coming in the last quar­ter of play alone.

Rock­mart put up 278 yards of of­fense — a lot of that cred­ited to What­ley — in­clud­ing 54 pass­ing yards from the ju­nior quarterbac­k, who went 7 of 12 on the night.

The Jack­ets ate up more than nine min­utes of time in the first quar­ter alone, get­ting down to the Cedar­town 1-yard line be­fore they were forced to turn it over on a Bull­dogs goal-line stand. What­ley was re­spon­si­ble for much of the for­ward move­ment on the 90-plus yard drive.

Rock­mart fi­nally scored on a sec­ond Bull­dogs’ de­fen­sive stand, putting up a 30-yard field goal off the leg of Cooper Yanzetich. What­ley later punched in a 1-yard score late in the sec­ond quar­ter to put the Jack­ets up 10-0 at the half. He also put up touch­downs of 3, 4 and 5-yards on the night.

“He (What­ley) brings a whole new di­men­sion to the of­fense, and that forces them to play 11 on 11,” Par­son said.

Cedar­town fans got see some flash from run­ning back Kobe Pryor when he punched in a third-quar­ter touch­down from 21 yards out af­ter be­ing de­nied a 92-yard re­turned blocked field goal at­tempt that was erased by penalty flags ear­lier in the game.

The Bull­dogs ended up putting on 165 yards of of­fense on the night, much of that on the ground and split between Pryor, CJ Washington, quarterbac­k Taji Hudson and oth­ers who pushed for­ward the ground game.

Right be­fore Pryor put the Bull­dogs on the board, Cedar­town saw one of their big tal­ents get knocked out of the game. Quarterbac­k Taji Hudson was hit in the torso just un­der his pads by a hel­met, and was pulled from play and sent off to Floyd Polk Med­i­cal Cen­ter for testing.

Head coach Doyle Kelley did not have in­for­ma­tion on his con­di­tion im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the game. Hudson was able to climb into an am­bu­lance un­der his own power be­fore leav­ing the sta­dium. Later post­ings on so­cial me­dia in­di­cated he might have suf­fered in­ter­nal in­juries from the hit, and he was trans­ported to a Chat­tanooga hos­pi­tal for fur­ther treat­ment.

His re­place­ment, MJ Hol­l­i­day, was able to con­nect in a fourth-quar­ter touch­down play with Chadriq Neal on a 69-yard pass, but the Bull­dogs were un­able to con­vert on the ex­tra­point at­tempt.

Kelley said that he was dis­ap­pointed with the out­come of the game, and that his team would do bet­ter in the coming days when they hit the road for the next four games, in­clud­ing their re­gion opener against Cartersvil­le.

Next Fri­day, Cedar­town (0-1) heads off to play Alexan­der, while Rock­mart (1-0) hosts Cen­tralCar­roll for their sec­ond game of the sea­son in non-re­gion play.

Con­trib­uted by Gail Con­ner

Cedar­town’s of­fense runs out to setup a play against Rock­mart dur­ing their an­nual ri­valry show­down on Au­gust 23.

Cedar­town quarterbac­k Taji Hudson looked for open run­ning room in the first half against ri­val Rock­mart. Kevin Myrick

Con­trib­uted

Rock­mart cheer­lead­ers watched along with the rest of the packed sta­dium as the Jack­ets looked to score dur­ing the first half against Cedar­town.

kevin Myrick

Rock­mart quarterbac­k Javin What­ley runs the ball up the middle through Cedar­town’s de­fense dur­ing the Yel­low Jack­ets’ 31-12 win Fri­day against their cross-county ri­vals in Cedar­town.

Con­trib­uted by gail Con­ner

Rock­mart quarterbac­k Javin What­ley played cen­ter stage with four touch­downs against Cedar­town in a 31-12 win to open the foot­ball sea­son.

Con­trib­uted by gail Con­ner

Rock­mart trav­eled to Cedar­town to play the an­nual Bat­tle of Polk County game to start the reg­u­lar sea­son on Au­gust 23.

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