©Dale Zanine 2019_07_26 00663.JPG

Rockdale County's Darnell Stephens

McDONOUGH - Rockdale County used 13 fourth-quarter points to rumble past Eagle's Landing on the road Friday night with a 23-12 come-from-behind victory. 

After grabbing a 17-12 lead with 8:45 remaining in the game, a 24-yard touchdown pass was the driving nail as Rockdale County quarterback Chandler Peters heaved the ball downfield to Darnell Stephens.

The first score of the season for Eagle's Landing came quickly with a 12-second kickoff return to pay dirt with an 89-yard return. But things became pedestrian for both sides, the Bulldogs struggled to gain yards against the energetic Golden Eagle defense.

The same could be said for the Golden Eagles who, outside of a 45-yard pass from Jeremy Adams to Kam Troutman in the first quarter.

Rockdale found their success in the second quarter behind a big play and four different penalties, the Bulldogs reached the red zone with an opportunity to score. Rockdale's offense didn't score through the air or the ground but had to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Cole Nangle to close the deficit, 6-3. 

Eagle's Landing would do nothing with the ball but Rockdale threatened to score again against Eagle's Landing. The defense locked down the red zone again which forced the Bulldogs to try for the field goal but this time Nangle and company couldn't score.

Once Eagle's Landing had the ball back in their possession in the final minutes of the second quarter, an untimely interception from Adams led to another intense situation for the Golden Eagles.

Rockdale bared down for another score in the final seconds of the quarter but a timely interception for Javar Reese helped the Golden Eagles preserve their lead into halftime.

The second half of the game led to a simple three-and-out by Rockdale but the punt was sent back low and led to an interesting drive for Eagle's Landing.

With good field position in their pocket in the red zone, Eagle's Landing had a good opportunity, but couldn't stay out of their own way through the first part of the drive that led to six. The ball snapped over Adams' head rolled 20-yards back but the quarterback fell on it and took the sack smartly.

A third-down rush from Adams kept the drive alive and just four plays later, Kam Troutman carried the ball in for a fourth-down score. Unfortunately, the breathing room the Golden Eagles built up, was quickly erased as Rockdale scored on a three-yard rush in the third from Jarius Whitehead. 

That's when the game turned upside down.

Rockdale used another long drive in the fourth quarter with a quarterback sneak from Chandler Peters to pick up the lead and the ensuing kick return spelled disaster. Eagle's Landing touched the ball on their 10-yard line and Rockdale caught the ball making their next trip to pay dirt easy.

Eagle's Landing fell 23-12 as their 2019 campaign started with a loss. Rockdale moves to 1-0 and has now won back-to-back games dating back to last season.

Box Score

RHS 0 3 7 13 23

ELHS 6 0 6 0 12

First Quarter

ELHS: Johnson 89 return, (11:48, PAT blocked, 6-0)

Second Quarter

RHS: Nangle 26 field goal, (5:32, 6-3)

Third Quarter

ELHS: Troutman 9 rush (8:59, 2-point no good, 12-3)

RHS: Jarius Whitehead 3 rush (6:32, PAT good, 12-10)

Fourth Quarter

RHS: Chandler Peters 3 rush (8:45, Nangle PAT, 17-12)

RHS: Peters 24 pass to Darnell Stephens (5:10, 2-PT convert fail, 23-12)

Sports Editor

A 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia, Colin joined the Rockdale/Newton Citizen in March of 2018 as the papers' full-time sports editor. A 2013 graduate of Jackson County High School, Colin received a golf scholarship to Andrew College.