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Rockdale drops fifth straight

Rockdale County lost its fifth straight Friday night by a final score of 34-21 to Apalachee, in a battle of teams with one win coming in.

On the game's first offensive play, Apalachee's Clint Ashe found Stanley Williams open over the middle and the sophomore running back raced 53 yards to the Rockdale County 13-yard line. Williams finished off the touchdown drive on the next play with a 13-yard run as Rockdale found itself playing from behind once again.

The Bulldogs (1-5) started from their own 10 on the next possession, but senior running back James Baker broke loose for 25 yards on the first play to get Rockdale County out of the hole. The Bulldogs moved the ball across midfield, but Apalachee (2-4) linebacker Chris Morris picked up a fumble and took it into the end zone. Kiante Allen blocked the extra point attempt, but Apalachee now led 13-0 with 6:47 left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats mounted a 12-play drive that covered 65 yards and culminated with a 2-yard touchdown carry by Ashe in the second quarter. They picked up the two-point conversion for a 21-0 lead.

After another Apalachee TD on a drive following a fake punt, Rockdale found itself down 28-0 at half. The Bulldogs answered with a big play as Daron Scott returned the second half kickoff 97 yards for the TD.

Trailing by three touchdowns, the Bulldogs needed the ball back, but instead the Wildcats mounted another long drive highlighted by a 40-yard run by Williams. The Rockdale defense stiffened inside the 10, but Vasquez kicked a field goal, and the Wildcats used up five precious minutes in the process. Vasquez added another field goal - a 37-yarder - early in the fourth quarter to put Apalachee on top by four scores again.

The Bulldogs' offense was finally able to get on track midway through the fourth period, and D.J. Hardister capped off a 55-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run with 6:52 to play.

The Bulldogs tried an onside kick and it nearly backfired. Apalachee's Jeremy Lofts picked up the bouncing ball and returned it to the Rockdale County 43.

Inexplicably, the Wildcats went for broke on the first play, and Nick Coggins picked off an Ashe pass to give the Bulldogs the ball, which is what they wanted to do with the onside kick. A few plays later the Bulldogs got more of what they wanted when Crafton took raced around the right side on a reverse and scored from 49-yards out, but it wasn't enough.