Buccaneers continue to roll
by Michael Foster
MDJ Sports Correspondent
September 14, 2013 02:14 AM | 1725 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Allatoona’s Josh Bettistea rushed for 216 yards and four touchdowns as the Buccaneers routed Rome 45-14 in a Region 5AAAAA contest Friday. In three games, Allatoona has outscored its opponents 134-14.
Allatoona’s Josh Bettistea rushed for 216 yards and four touchdowns as the Buccaneers routed Rome 45-14 in a Region 5AAAAA contest Friday. In three games, Allatoona has outscored its opponents 134-14.
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ROME — Allatoona passed its first road test of the season Friday night, as the No. 8 Buccaneers’ offense grew stronger as the game went on, en route to a 45-14 win against Rome at Barron Stadium.

Josh Bettistea led the way for the Buccaneers (3-0), carrying 25 times for 216 yards and four touchdowns, while Russell Halimon helped with 65 yards on nine carries and a score of his own.

Allatoona’s pro-style offense was too much for the Wolves’ defense to handle.

“Anybody who runs the ball, it’s a team thing,” Allatoona coach Gary Varner said. “The running backs who have the ball in their hands are going to get all of the credit, but without the offensive line it doesn’t happen.”

Bettistea had the same sentinments. Still catching his breath after the game, his first comment told the story.

“Honestly, I just want to thank my line and receivers,” he said. “One of the things we pride ourselves on is smashmouth football. We play physical from the first quarter to the second to the third.”

The game was close at the end of the first half. Following a touchdown run by Bettistea to open the scoring, the Buccaneers’ defense surrendered its first touchdown of the season when Rome’s Frank Griffin took a sweep and ran 80 yards down the right sideline.

Griffin’s big play would account for a huge chunk of the overall offense for the Wolves, as Allatoona’s defense strengthened in the second half.

Leading 14-7 at halftime, Allatoona scored on its first play of the third quarter, as Bettistea went untouched from 43-yards out, to begin the rout.

“The assistant coaches all made some good adjustments at halftime on little things we weren’t seeing,” Varner said. “The defense played great. They gave up one big play on one drive. Other than that, I thought they did a great job.”

Allatoona’s defense was opportunistic, as it forced and recovered three fumbles, and blocked a punt.

Quarterback Conor Larson finished 6-of-13 passing for 64 yards and a touchdown. Larson missed on a potential touchdown throw to receiver Kameron Bowen. Later in the quarter, the Bucs called the same play and Larson would not miss it twice.

“(Larson) struggled early, but he made some good checks for us and had that touchdown pass to give him some confidence,” Varner said. “We went back to it. We told him we were going to go back to it.”

Allatoona has now outscored its opponents 134-14.

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