High School Sports

Demons eager for future on heels of stellar season

Highlights of championship game between Rome and Warner Robins

Rome High School defeated Warner Robins high Friday night, Dec. 15, to win the GHSA 5A football championship.
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Rome High School defeated Warner Robins high Friday night, Dec. 15, to win the GHSA 5A football championship.

With the GHSA Class 5A state title game shifted to Warner Robins on Friday, the scene was set for the Demons to claim their first state championship since 2004.

Trouble was, a Rome squad was standing in the way, and the Wolves proved to be as good as advertised. Rome, led by its mammoth defensive front, did what no team had been able to do all year long. Rome not only beat Warner Robins 38-0 to hand the Demons their first loss of the season, but helped them to a season-low in points with the shutout.

“We didn’t play real good (Friday) but our guys had an incredible season. 14-0 coming into tonight...that’s something to be real proud of,” Warner Robins head coach Mike Chastain said. “They batted hard all year long, this game doesn’t define their season.”

Rome simply had too much speed and power up front for the Demons to establish much offensively. Warner Robins ground game was slowed to a crawl, and quarterback Dylan Fromm was pressured time after time. It all amounted to the Demons not gaining 100 yards of offense until late in the game with affairs well out of reach.

Warner Robins finished with at 14-1 record after going 3-8 last year.

Offensive miscues on the offensive side of the ball didn’t help the Demons, either. Against a team on the level of Rome, teams can afford few mistakes. Warner Robins had its fair share by way of four turnovers on Friday, one being a Dylan Fromm interception earlier in the second quarter that was run back 80 yards by Trai Hodges for the game’s first score. The play got the Wolves going after the Demons defense dug in to begin the game, turning back three Rome scoring drives inside the Demons 30-yard line.

“They’re a really good football team, you’ve got to play better than we did (Friday),” Chastain said. “We turned the ball over and when you turn the ball over, you’re not going to win games.”

The season over, a magical one that returned the Demons to the state’s elite programs, Warner Robins now turns its focus to building not only its success this season led by 35 seniors but the support built up throughout the community. Friday’s overflow crowd was large enough that fans were seated on the elevated berms, a throwback to fan turnouts in previous championship seasons in The International City or games between the Demons and Northside prior to the opening of Houston County High School and Veterans.

“It was a great environment, that’s what Warner Robins football is all about, playing in these environments,” Chastain said. “We’ve got to get back to work and get back in this moment again. We have some young guys coming up and we’ll get back at it in the weight room.”

Friday’s Other GHSA Championship Games

7A: North Gwinnett 19, Colquitt County 17

6A: Lee County 28, Coffee 21

4A: Blessed Trinity 16, Marist 7

2A: Hapeville Charter 45, Rabun County 23

1A Public: Clinch County 21, Irwin County 12