Rockmart shuts out Murray County

Jeremy Stewart/Polk County Standard Journal

Murray County quarterback Justice Knotts pitches the ball back during a play in the second quarter of Friday's game at Rockmart.

ROCKMART -- Some changes for the Rockmart Yellow Jackets only seemed to increase their offensive prowess Friday night as Javin Whatley settled into his former running back role and continued to excel in his senior season.

Whatley ran for 120 yards on 11 carries and scored three touchdowns in Rockmart's 49-0 shutout of Region 6-3A foe Murray County at The Rock. The visiting Indians barely threatened to get into Rockmart territory all night, totaling just 108 yards of offense in the game.

Whatley, who has been the Jackets' starting quarterback since the start of last season, got to settle back into his former role of running back as freshman JD Davis got the call to lead Rockmart's offense.

Both had successful outings as Whatley scored on runs of 14, 5 and 13 yards, while Davis was 4-of-8 for 43 yards and no interceptions, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Sims in the second quarter. Davis also had four carries for 25 yards, three of which gave Rockmart first downs as the Jackets finished with 367 yards on offense.

Rockmart (6-1, 5-0 Region 6-3A) methodically marched down the field on the first drive of the game down to the Murray County 9-yard line when a fumble on the handoff put the ball on the ground and the Indians' Erick Chamul landed on it to get the turnover and cut the Jackets' scoring attempt short.

Four plays later, Murray County was set up to punt from its end zone when Drew Johnson's kick went straight down and was scooped up by Rockmart's Daquan Banks, who easily took it in for a touchdown. Murray County finished the first half with just one first down and 25 yards of offense while behind 28-0 on the scoreboard.

Murray County (3-5, 2-4 Region 6-3A) tried to change its fortunes to start the second half, getting the opening kickoff and moving the ball with a 23-yard pass from Justice Knotts to Davis Redwine on the first play from scrimmage to get to midfield. But a fumble two plays later was recovered by Rockmart's Terrion Webb and the Jackets capped off the ensuing drive with a 5-yard touchdown run from Whatley.

Knotts finished 6-of-16 passing for 70 yards, while Redwine led the Indians' ground game with nine carries for 22 yards.

The Indians would finally get into Jacket territory in the fourth quarter but couldn't produce any points as time became fleeting, especially with a running clock following Rockmart's last touchdown which came with 6:32 left to play when Tyshaun Johnson punched the ball into the end zone from 7 yards out.

Murray County makes the short trek to North Murray next Friday, while Rockmart will take its six-game winning streak on the road to face Adairsville.

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