Rockdale handles Morrow, Lovejoy next

JONESBORO — Rockdale bounced back nicely from its first loss of the season, and in the process got its region schedule off on the right foot. The Bulldogs got touchdowns from four different players and the defense pitched a shut out until early in the fourth quarter in a 30-6 victory over Morrow in the Region 2-AAAAAA opener for both schools.

Rockdale (4-1, 1-0), which was coming off a 34-0 loss to Langston Hughes, allowed its fewest points since winning 9-0 against the same Morrow team last September. The host Mustangs fell to 1-4 overall.

“We’re supposed to win that game and we didn’t play down, so we’re pleased we were able to get the victory and get out of there without any injuries,” said second-year Rockdale coach Venson Elder.

The Bulldogs built a 28-0 lead thanks to a 40-yard touchdown catch by Terrell McLaughlin, and touchdown runs by T.J. Warren (30 yards), Ermari Ferguson (5) and Tajee Steele (25).

Now that Rockdale is off to its best start since the 1999 team also started 4-1 in going 10-2 and reaching the second round of the state playoffs, its on to bigger and better things next weekend. The Bulldogs will host defending region champion and state finalist Lovejoy in a match up of teams looking to start the league slate 2-0.

“Got a big game next week against Lovejoy. We got to get used to playing against good teams and beating them, that’s what this team needs to learn to do,” Elder said. “They need to believe they can win the big games, and we got to stay on them until we do.”

Tigers ruin Lions homecoming

LOCUST GROVE — Alcovy’s offense found the endzone five times to put a damper on Luella’s homecoming festivites with a 34-31 win in their Region 2-AAAAAA opener on Friday.

After taking a 14-0 lead, the Tigers (4-1, 1-0) let the Lions (2-3, 0-1) stay within striking distance scoring two touchdowns of their own to end the first half in a 14-14 tie.

Luella drove the ball down the field before Alcovy’s defense stood their ground forcing the Lions to settle for a field goal to take the lead. The Tigers rose to the challenge with Tristen Payne scoring less than two minutes left in the opening half taking a 20-17 lead.

Payne continued to move the ball for the Tigers in the third quarter getting into the endzone from one-yard out to put Alcovy up by 10. Alcovy’s Okon Godwin ended a 72-yard drive with a one-yard dive giving the Tigers a 17-point lead.

The Lions tried to come back scoring two touchdowns in the final quarter closing the gap but not scoring enough to overtake Alcovy.

Alcovy will be in Homer Sharp Stadium on Friday taking on region and county rival Newton.

Seminoles trounced in Hall County

FLOWERY BRANCH — The new high-scoring era of Salem football lasted just one week. Seven days after scoring the third-most points in school history in a win over Winder-Barrow, Salem fell to Flowery Branch 38-7 in Region 8-AAAAA play.

Salem (2-3, 1-2), which won 60-37 at Winder in week four, has lost to Flowery Branch in four consecutive seasons by an average margin of 30 points.

Flowery Branch (3-2, 3-0) has scored 125 points in winning its first three region games.

Newton falls hard against Hughes

FAIRBURN — A big third quarter by Langston Hughes crushed Newton’s hopes of a come-from-behind with a 44-7 win on Friday.

After trailing 14-0, Newton (1-3) quarterback Romario Johnson made it a seven-point game at the half with a touchdown pass in the second quarter.

But the Panthers (4-1) adjusted to what the Newton defense was doing scoring 30-unanswered points in the thiord period.

Hughes’ Kerion Davis played a big part in the win scoring two rushing touchdowns while being on the other side of a touchdown pass.