And for a time it looked like the slaying might get done, as the Lions recovered a Rome fumble and took an early lead.
But ultimately the two-headed giant, led by Rome wingbacks Myron Washington and Frank Griffin, was too powerful as the Wolves downed Lithia Springs 35-14 at Barron Stadium last night.
Avonte Boyd, coming off a 200-yard performance last week, ran the ball 32 times for 166 yards and both of Lithia’s touchdowns and caught another two receptions from QB Tikal Petty for 37 yards giving Boyd 203 yards of total offense.
Griffin led Rome’s ground attack with eight carries for 145 yards, including a 95 yard touchdown run with 6:59 left in the third quarter to make it 28-7.
Rome (6-2, 6-2 Region 5-AAAAA) turned the ball over three times on offense and Lithia gave it away twice. Each team also turned the ball over once apiece on special teams.
The Lions (1-7, 1-7 Region 5-AAAAA) cashed in on a turnover by Rome’s punt team early.
Lithia got the opening kickoff and drove to the Rome 38 before the drive seemed to stall when Petty’s pass on third-and-16 fell incomplete.
But punter Jack Dow’s kick bounced off a Rome player and the Lions recovered the ball at the Rome 8-yard line. Three plays later, Boyd ran it in from a yard out and Dow’s PAT put the Lions up 7-0 with 6:02 left in the first quarter.
Washington ran the ensuing kickoff back 80 yards for a touchdown to tie it at 7-7. After the Lions went three-and-out on their second possession, Rome got the ball at midfield and Washington capped the three-minute drive with a 5-yard score that put the Wolves up 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Lithia’s Tony Watkins recovered a fumble by Wolves QB Bo Tucker midway through the second quarter. But the Lions’ offense couldn’t convert and Dow’s punt pinned the Wolves at their 16.
To their credit, Rome’s offense moved the ball 84 yards on 10 plays; Tucker finished off the drive with a 31-yard pass to Antarius Finley with 32.5 seconds left in the half to put the Wolves ahead 21-7.
Lithia’s Kendall McDowell recovered an onside kick at the Rome 44 to start the second half and the Lions moved the ball inside Rome 5-yard line only to see the momentum drift away on a Lithia fumble at the 2 that the Wolves fell on.
Two plays later, Griffin took off on his 95-yard run for paydirt to put the Wolves up 28-7.
On the ensuing kickoff, Rome recovered the onside kick and Tucker finished off a seven-play drive with a 1-yard keeper for a score with 3:45 left in the third to make it 35-7.
Lithia added its final TD on a 28-yard run by Boyd at the end of the third quarter.
Tucker fumbled for the second time early in the fourth and Lithia’s Julian Morgan recovered. But the Lions gave it back on their first offensive play and Rome coasted from there.