Wolves Make It 28 Straight Wins As Rome Defeats Marietta 51-41In Corky Kell
In game two of the opening night of the 27th Annual Corky Kell Classic the defending Georgia High School Association Class 5A state champions, the Rome Wolves took to the field on their own home turf to face the Marietta Blue Devils. The Blue Devils would not take long to get on the scoreboard as the Harrison Bailey led offense would score just 1:16 into the opening quarter after Bailey connected with Ramel Keyton for a 61 yard touchdown pass. On the ensuing possession, the Wolves’ offense had a few positive plays but things did not look so good when they decided to go for it on fourth down and fumbled the ball with the Blue Devils recovering. As Marietta took over possession, it would not last long as a Bailey pass to Arik Gilbert would end in with Gilbert fumbling and the Wolves recovering.
On their second possession, the Wolves drive would be plagued with penalties and result in Rome being forced to punt but the Wolves offense would get another crack at it after their defense would force the Blue Devils to punt. On their third possession after a trick play by the Wolves would see Knox Kadum rushing to the 12 yard line, which led to a fake option reverse would have Xavier Roberts break through three tackles as he raced down the sideline into the end zone and Rome would tie the game 7-7. As time would wind down in the first quarter, the Wolves defense would force another Marietta turnover as Bailey would throw his first interception of the game. In the second quarter on the ensuing possession for the Wolves Jamious Griffin would rush for a 12 yard touchdown to take a 14-7 lead.
Later in the quarter, despite two offensive penalties, the Wolves would strike again after a Kadum touchdown pass to Griffin and just like that Rome would take a 21-6 lead. The Blue Devils would finally answer back on a Bailey to Keyton touchdown connection but a missed extra point would have the Blue Devils trailing 21-13. During the Marietta scoring drive, Marietta running back Kimani Vidal would appear to have suffered an injury to his foot but would return to action later in the quarter but would not return in the second half. As the quarter continued, the Wolves would tack on 16 more points including another Kadum touchdown pass to Roberts and a rushing touchdown by Griffin and Rome would go up 37-13.
Before the first half came to an end, the Blue Devils would manage to score as Bailey connected with Taji Johnson on a 35 yard touchdown pass as the clock ticked zero and the Blue Devils would trail 37-21 at the half thanks to a two point conversion. In the second half, almost half of the third quarter would go by before either team would score, but it would the Blue Devils, as Bailey and Keyton connected once more. A failed two point conversion would have the Blue Devils trailing 37-27 with 6:37 to go in the third quarter but Kadum and Roberts would connect for a 47 yard touchdown to give Rome a 44-27 lead. The Wolves would go on to win by a final score of 51-41 for their 28th consecutive win.