No. 6 Rome and No. 3 Carrollton could be switching spots in the polls this week.
Rome went into Carrollton’s Grisham Stadium and won a crucial Region 7 game on the strength of its running game and ability to take advantage of turnovers. The Wolves broke open a 28-28 tie game with 17 unanswered points to pull away for a 45-28 victory.
Jamious Griffin rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass for Rome. Knox Kadum threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns. One of the TDs came on a 25-yard double-reverse flea flicker to Jordan Watkins, the sort of explosive play that Carrollton coach Sean Calhoun warned his team about.
Carrollton quarterback Mark Wright threw a pair touchdown passes – a 15- and 23-yarder to Jordan Bonner.
With the score tied 28-28, Rome’s Jalynn Sikes scored on a 1-yard run to give his team the lead, Griffin added a 1-yard score and Emanual Gonzalez kicked a 19-yard field goal for the Wolves.
The Rome defense was led by UGA-commitment Adam Anderson, who had three tackles behind the line. Derricus Smith led the Wolves with nine tackles.
The outcome complicates the standings in the talent-rich region. Carrollton (4-1) and Rome (3-2) each have one region loss. No. 4 Kell (5-1) is unbeaten in the league, including a win over Rome, and plays Carrollton on Oct. 21.
Kell hammered East Paulding 37-3 on Friday with 21-unanswered second-half points. Quarterback John Lampley connected with Zane Williams on a 71-yard catch-and-run and again on a 27-yard pass that set up Josiah Futral’s 1-yard run. Williams added a 53-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Starr’s Mill knocks off No. 5 Griffin: Tylan Morton threw for for a school-record 509 yards and seven touchdowns, but the Bears were taken down 52-49 by Starr’s Mill.
Starr’s Mill didn’t take its first lead until scoring on a fourth-down play to start the fourth quarter and the Panthers regained the lead for good with 3:46 remaining.
No. 1 Buford rolls past Clarke Central: Christian Turner ran for 124 of Buford’s 446 total yards in a 44-13 win over Clarke Central. But the biggest play may have been a 69-yard run by quarterback Mic Roof on fourth-and-1 that went for a score and gave the Wolves a 20-6 lead at the half.
Buford also got two touchdown runs from Anthony Grant, a touchdown from Turner and a pair of field goals from Bernardo Burgos.
Clarke scored on its first possession when Rico Arnold caught a 72-yard pass from Jack Mangel. He also threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jacorie Jordan.
No. 2 Stockbridge gets a test from Locust Grove: Stockbridge (5-0) turned away a stiff challenge from Locust Grove 21-10 on Friday. Locust Grove led 10-7 late in the first half.
Kenderick Duncan threw a 23-yard touchdown to Marquez Ezzard shortly after a Locust Grove fumble. Jordan Brown scored on a 74-yard run and Jalen Holston completed a drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Locust Grove’s Caleb Huntley rushed for 166 yards and Noah Holland scored the team’s other touchdown on a 2-yard run.
Woodland makes its case: Woodland improved to 5-1 – its only loss at Valdosta – by outlasting Ola 28-0. The Wolfpack led 7-0 on a Trigger Charles touchdown. Reid Larsen threw three touchdowns in the second half, connecting with Yusuf Corker, Shakur Brown and to Chris Gardner. Woodland gets its crack at Stockbridge on Friday.