FAIRBURN - The underdog Rockdale football team trailed just 9-3 at halftime of its game with Langston Hughes Friday. But in the second half, the Region 3-AAAAAA champion Panthers pulled way, cruising to a 37-3 victory in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.
Langston Hughes (10-1), a fourth-year school that won its first state playoff game, will host Region 4 No. 2 North Cobb, a first-round winner over Valdosta, in next week's round of 16.
Rockdale was one of the most improbable state playoff teams after a victory over Druid Hills on the final day of the regular season pushed the 3-7 Bulldogs into the postseason as a No. 4 seed. But the offensive woes that plagued the Conyers school all season (7.6 points per game coming into Friday's contest), continued against a tough Langston Hughes defense.
The Panthers extended their winning streak to eight games, a spurt that began with a 28-0 victory over Rockdale at Reid Stadium, September 28. Rockdale was playing in its first state playoff game since the 2009 team lost in the state semi finals.