Rome @ Kell: Game of the Week

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Kell beats East Coweta (photo courtesy Kell Longhorns)

It's a titanic matchup for this week's High 5 Sports Game of the Week as 5-A's number one team Rome travels to Cobb County to face the 8th-ranked Kell Longhorns. Both teams are undefeated and looking to take early control of Region 7-AAAAA.

In a week three matchup last season, Kell fought hard on the road for three quarters before the floodgates opened and the eventual state champion Wolves scored at will in a 54-33 win.

"We've reminded the kids about it," said Kell head coach Brett Sloan. "We just kind of wore down, but we were blow-for-blow with them for three quarters. The good thing is, we're used to this level of competition. Our schedule has been tough so far and that helps our guys."

The Longhorns have two impressive wins under their belt, dispensing of rival Lassiter 29-3 last week in the home opener at The Stockyard, and beating East Coweta in the Corky Kell Classic at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in week one. The top-ranked Wolves took care of Marietta in their opener, before shutting out North Clayton 35-0.

Kell's defense appears to be improved this season under new defensive coordinator Andy Szatowski. The Longhorns are led by senior safety Nicholas Ross and senior outside linebacker Roman Jones who had two sacks and several tackles for loss against Lassiter. Offensively, Kell spreads the field, but they've been relatively conservative so far in 2018, so senior quarterback Evan Conley's numbers are not eye-popping-although he's done a solid job distributing the ball to play makers Cameron Ball, Leo Delpin and Ebony Jackson in their two wins.

Sloan says his team, especially the defense, plays with a chip on its shoulder, and he never questions their effort. The question is, will that effort be enough to bring down the back-to-back state champions led by head coach John Reid, winners of 29 consecutive games? The Wolves last loss was in September of 2016 to of all teams-the Kell Longhorns.

High 5 Sports will be at The Stockyard for pregame reports during the 5 and 6 o'clock news, and Bill Hartman will wrap up all the action on the Big Show at 11. The Golden Hand is in the balance, so tune in to find out who adds to their team's trophy case.