Sometimes assessing a football team's first six games is as easy as looking at the numbers. Such is the case for Rockdale, as it limps into its week 7 home game against Apalachee. After last week's 27-14 loss to crosstown rival Salem, the Bulldogs sit at 1-5, having lost five consecutive games. Since squeaking by Winder-Barrow in the season opener, Rockdale has scored just 31 points in being beaten by an average margin of nearly 30 points.
Despite the season-long struggles, the Bulldogs showed life against Salem. Trailing 6-0 early, Rockdale got an eight-yard touchdown run from D.J. Ardister to go up 7-6 early in the second quarter, Rockdale's first lead since the Winder game more than a month previous.
The Bulldogs got to within 13 points midway through the final quarter when Aalim Dansby exploded for a 37-yard touchdown. These are baby steps for a program that has now lost seven of its last eight games dating back to Oct. 2010.
The next test for the rebuilding Bulldogs is another team with an ugly record in Apalachee, fresh off its first win of the season, 45-9 over Madison County. The Wildcats' record is deceiving though, as three of the Winder school's four losses have been by a combined 15 points.
Job number one for Rockdale will be stopping Apalachee's lightning-quick tailback Stanley Williams. Just a sophomore, Williams collected 188 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns -- three rushing, one on a 59-yard punt return -- in the win over Madison.
The Wildcats, in just their 12th season as a program, have won all three meetings with Rockdale, including last year's 31-14 win in Winder.