The Rockdale County Bulldogs defeated the Titans of Charles Drew 42-21 Friday night at Robert Reid Stadium to remain undefeated through three games.
Following a pair of victories over in-county rivals Salem and Heritage that propelled the team to its first 2-0 start since 2008, the Bulldogs looked to capitalize on their early momentum against the Titans.
"My boys really fought all night and showed me that their hard work in practice was paying off," Rockdale head coach Vinson Elder said. "I liked the fact that we responded when (Drew) got back into the game."
Following a turnover-on-downs by the Titans on their first possession, Rockdale marched down the field 73 yards, scoring a touchdown on a Zuri Minnified 28-yard pass to Robert McRae. The score gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead that they would not reliunquish.
After a handful of back-and-forth possessions, the Bulldogs' defense put two points on the board with a safety, pushing the team's lead to 9-0 with 8:15 to go in the first quarter.
Minnifield again found one of his receivers for the Bulldogs' third score of the game, finding Akwesa Mintah in the endzone to push Rockdale's lead to 15-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was much of the same for Minnifield and the Bulldogs' offense. Minnifield hit Terrell McLaughlin on a 54-yard scoring bomb, extending Rockdale's lead to a comfortable 22-0 advantage with 11:28in the second.
Despite the fast start for the Bulldogs, Drew made the game close again before the halftime break. Titan's junior quarterback Brandon Pearson threw a pair of touchdowns before the half, the first one on a 27-yard pass to Damarco Smith, and the second on a 41-yard pass to Joseph Newman. The two scores cut the Bulldogs' lead to 22-14 heading into the break.
Out of halftime, Rockdale scored on both of its first two possessions of the second half, netting a pair of field goals from kicker Devon Dawkins. Dawkins connected on kicks of 35- and 29-yards to double up the Titans 28-14.
Drew responded at the start of the first quarter, as Pearson again connected with Newman, this time on a 67-yard catch-and-run, to cut the Bulldogs' lead to seven with 11:12 left in the contest.
A pair of plays from Tajee Steele sealed the game for the Bulldogs. Steele intercepted a Pearson pass with 9:04 left in the game that led to a Keijine Thomas touchdown run in the fourth quarter and Steele scored on a touchdown run for the Bulldogs' final touchdown with 2:45 to go to hand the Bulldogs a 42-21 victory.
Rockdale returns to action next Friday on the road at Hughes for a 7:30 p.m. contest.