Rome 16, Creekside 6
Despite not playing a scrimmage game, Rome opened the season as expected in its 16-6 victory over Creekside in the final game of the Corky Kell Classic triple-header at Rome’s Barron Stadium.
“We didn’t get a scrimmage and tonight, to go against guys who got one, I was concerned,” said Rome head coach John Reid. “I’m really proud of the kids and I thought we beat a really good team with great players.”
Rome led 7-0 after a short touchdown run from Chance Arthur late in the first quarter. On the next possession, the Wolves took advantage on defense, forcing a safety to take a 9-0 lead.
“A lot of the guys in the back end, the defensive guys in the back end didn’t give up any easy throws,” Reid said. “So I thought those guys played really well, even though the stats might not show it. And the defensive line probably played pretty well overall. Although I think (Creekside) started to find some things later. Their running back runs really hard.”
On defense, Alto Moore led Rome with 10 tackles and a sack with one fumble recovery off a forced fumble from Tyson Brown and Darius Smith and Martel Hight each had an interception.
Creekside scored late in the third quarter on a 9-yard pass from Vinson Berry to Krishon Lett, but the Rome defensive special teams blocked the ensuing extra-point try. With 10:43 left in the game, Javarius McDearmont scored on a 2-yard run to bring the score to its final tally.
“Hopefully I won’t have to play against as good of defensive lineman and linebackers as we played against tonight,” Reid joked about ways to improve moving forward. “We just have to work together a little better. We had first down penalties and we can’t afford to do that.”
Rome quarterback Reece Fountain was 13-of-19 passing for 113 yards. Dearmont had six carries for eight yards and a touchdown. Arthur had seven carries for five yards and a touchdown.
Kennesaw Mountain 26, Cass 25
Ty Roldan’s 35-yard field goal with 9:11 left in the game proved to be the difference for the Mustangs in the 26-25 victory over Cass in the penultimate game of the Corky Kell Classic’s triple-header at Rome’s Barron Stadium.
“Our kids battled adversity,” said Kennesaw Mountain head coach Caleb Carmean. “It was very very sloppy but they found a way to win.”
And it was sloppy. But aren’t all close games?
Kennesaw Mountain went up early on a 7-yard pass from Cayman Prangley to Cayden Lee but Cass scored minutes later on a 29-yard run from quarterback Devin Henderson to tie the game. A 19-yard pass from Henderson to Kintrell Whatley gave Cass a 13-7 lead after a blocked extra-point kick.
Prangley found Lee again on a 53-yard pass with 8:59 left in the second quarter to give Kennesaw Mountain the 14-13 lead. The Mustangs, on the benefit of a poor snap by Cass on special teams, forced a safety with 5:20 before halftime to take a 16-13 lead.
As time ran out before the half, Henderson passed to Sacovie White for a 19-yard touchdown to give the Colonels a 19-16 lead entering the locker room.
Kennesaw running back TJ Jenkins capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 41-yard touchdown run with 6:12 left in the third quarter to put the Mustangs ahead again, 23-19. Jenkins finished with 22 carries for 181 yards and the touchdown run.
“It’s just grit, man,” Carmean said of Jenkins. “That kid is determined to have success and the way he runs the ball, he runs it with determination. He had a great night tonight.”
Cass pieced together a 10-play, 47-yard drive and retook the lead on a 2-yard run from M Nelson just before the end of the third quarter. Roldan’s 35-yard field goal capped a 7-play, 47-yard drive to secure the victory.
“You have to have trust,” Carmean said. “I trust our guys. Our guys are going to go out and make that play and find a way to win the game and that’s what they did.”
Mount Pisgah 21, Fellowship Christian 18
Mount Pisgah needed a little bit of everything in its 21-18 victory over familiar foe Fellowship Christian in the first game of the Corky Kell Classic’s triple-header at Rome’s Barron Stadium Friday.
“We have played Fellowship for years,” said head coach Ryan Livezey. “And quite honestly, they had kind of moved well ahead of us in the last few years and it really had not been much of a rivalry anymore. But we have a big senior class and I think these guys got tired of being beaten by them.”
Pisgah last beat Fellowship Christian on Oct. 20, 2017 and since, the Patriots were 0-4 against the Paladins before this season.
The Patriots took the lead on a 13-yard pass from Jack Cendoya to Tyler Hunnicutt with 6:25 left in the first quarter. Fellowship took a 10-7 lead on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Caleb McMickle to Josh Millhollin and a 21-yard field goal from Nathan Chapman.
“Fellowship is just a great team,” Livezey said. “They don’t have a weakness. I think our first-year defensive coordinator had an unbelievable gameplan to slow them down. You’re not going to stop them completely.”
Pisgah’s offense turned the tide of the game on a 3-yard Cendoya run with 1:50 left in the third quarter to take a 14-10 lead. Cendoya’s 3-yard pass to Makael Carter with 8 minutes left in the game expanded the lead. Fellowship scored with 5:10 left in the game on a short run from McMickle and the 2-point conversion pass to Millhollin was completed to cut into the lead 21-18.
The Patriot defense, highlighted by a pass breakup by Carter, forced a turnover on downs on Fellowship’s final drive to secure the victory.
“Offensively, we had some good plays,” Livezey said. “But the game comes down to that final drive. If we do not get that stop on fourth down, they probably go down and score and they’re the ones celebrating.”
Cendoya was 20-of-33 passing for 273 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 16 times for 58 yards and one touchdown. Hunnicutt made 10 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown for Pisgah. McMickle was 13-of-25 passing for 204 yards and a touchdown with one rushing touchdown. Millhollin made six catches for 124 yards and a touchdown for Fellowship.