CONYERS -- The Rockdale football team erased an early 7-0 deficit and defeated Winder-Barrow 17-13 in the season opener for both schools Friday night at Reid Stadium. Rockdale, which is coming off a disappointing 4-6 season in 2010, led 10-7 at halftime, then got big performances on the ground from a senior and a sophomore in the second half. Running behind a youthful offensive line that includes a trio of sophomores -- Kentavius Preston, Tyler Jones and Julian McKnight -- senior Deon Holder and sophomore Demonta Graham combined for more than 200 yards on the ground in the final 24 minutes and helped salt away the season-opening victory.
The Bulldogs improved to 6-2 all-time against Winder and won their fourth consecutive game in the series. Rockdale now travels to Loganville for a week two match up with the Red Devils. Loganville defeated Rockdale 21-6 in last season's meeting at Reid Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.Newton takes advantage of General dropsTwo critical first-half Shiloh fumbles led to 14 Newton County points and propelled the visiting Rams to a 21-0 victory Friday night at Shiloh Community Stadium, spoiling the debut of Shiloh head coach Brian Montgomery.
After a scoreless first quarter, Newton caught the game's first break early in the second period. Shiloh's Donald Clark -- who returned an earlier punt for a touchdown, only to have it called back -- fumbled a punt inside his own 5. Newton County recovered on the 2-yard line and on the next play B.J. Reid rumbled over for the game's first touchdown and Newton led 7-0.
On its next possession, a second Shiloh fumble gave the Rams their second TD within a three-minute span and a 14-0 lead. After a Shiloh drive fizzled, forcing the Generals to punt, the center's snap sailed over punter Daniel Wardell's head at the Shiloh 2. Wardell fumbled attempting to recover the ball, and it was recovered by Tyrique Broan, who walked into the end zone.
"We can't win with all of those fumbles and mistakes," said Montgomery. "We've got a lot of work to do. We're in the toughest region in the state and we're a long way off from competing for the playoffs."
Newton (1-0) held Shiloh's rushing offense in check for the entire game and the Generals mounted only one serious scoring threat. After Newton's Zach Sullivan missed a 43-yard field goal attempt early in the third period, Shiloh quarterback DeVante James moved the offense efficiently down the field. The drive was highlighted by completions to wide receiver Clayton Smith for 36 yards, and a pass interference penalty gave the Generals first and goal on the 2.
But three running plays netted only a half-yard and James, attempting to run a bootleg to the right on fourth down, was sacked at the Rams' 5 to end the drive.
Newton sealed the victory on its next possession. After a 12-yard pass from quarterback Gmatreian Brown to Deshawn McKenzie gave the Rams a first down, Javonte Williams burst up the middle for an 80-yard TD run.
After completing only three of 12 passes for 26 yards in the first half, Shiloh's James finished with completing 13 of 31 for 128 yards, but also threw two late interceptions. Smith was the leading receiver, catching six passes for 69 yards and Garland Whorley led all Shiloh rushers with 20 yards on one carry.
Williams led Newton's rushing attack with 102 yards on eight carries, while Brown completed 5 of 15 passes for 39 yards.