Photos by Rome City Schools
Rome High School’s faithful fans packed the stands at Barron Stadium on Friday, August 31st, to cheer the Wolves on to a 35-0 victory as they wrapped up a non-region play against the North Clayton Eagles.
Clad in black jerseys and gold pants, the Wolves did not take long to start lighting up the scoreboard. Fourteen seconds into the game, the Wolves had already posted the first touchdown of the night after Xavier Roberts-Donaldson returned the opening kickoff 86 yards, leaving only four more yards to cover for the Rome offense to score. Jamious Griffin took care of the remaining yardage, running behind a dominant offensive line, and from that point on, the Wolves never looked back.
Coming off of the huge win against Marietta in the Corky Kell Classic, and having two critical region games looming over the next two weeks against Kell and Carrollton, fans may have been forgiving if the Wolves had come out a little flat… But that’s not how this pack handles their business.
Clearly harnessing John Reid’s ‘one game at a time’ ethos, his pack showed the laser sharp focus fans have become accustomed to in-route to a 35-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
“We still need to get some things cleaned up, and worked on,” said Reid. “Every Friday, we expect our guys to go out there and win every down. Getting out in front early allowed us to focus on some things defensively. We gave up more big plays than I would have liked, but we also gave a lot of kids who haven’t played much varsity ball, some much needed snaps.”
The quick-striking offense certainly allowed plenty of wiggle room to get those players on the field, as many starters called it a night before halftime. After the opening barrage of points, the Wolves did not score again, but thanks to a shutout effort by the defense, they did not need to.
The North Clayton Eagles never reached the RedZone. In fact, the Eagles found success on a screen pass or slant route here or there, but never sustained a threatening drive. It was an impressive effort on both sides of the ball for Rome High, even if the scoring stopped before halftime.
Now the Wolves turn their attention to next week’s opponent, which happens to be the last team that defeated them, the Kell Longhorns. Twenty-nine straight wins later, they return to the scene of the crime, and with Friday night’s victory behind the Wolves, they can focus solely on their Region rival.
“It’s a really tough environment to play in,” explained Reid. “Kell has a great following and great support in their program, but I know our fans will travel well to support us. We are going to get to work immediately preparing our guys to get a win on the road.”
It was all smiles beneath the lights at Barron Stadium on Friday night, but these Wolves are still hungry… and longhorn is on the menu.