The "Battle of the Boro" between Oakland and Riverdale might have gotten more publicity Friday night, but what "The Battle of West Murfreesboro" between Blackman and Rockvale lacked in suspense, it made up for in big plays.
Unfortunately for Rockvale, the Rockets two big plays came well after any drama had ended.
Blackman racked up six plays of 25-plus yards in the first half which helped the Blaze score six touchdowns in the game's first two quarters on their way to a 48-13 victory over the Rockets.
It was the offensive breakout game that Blackman has expected all season long.
"It's just good to get off on the right foot coming out of fall break," said coach Kit Hartsfield following the game.
"It was good to get Antonio Malone back out there running the ball. Keionte Newson is really close to 100-percent. I think that's really going to provide a spark for our team. We're finally healthy."
MORE PHOTOS: Blackman versus Rockvale
Malone, the Blaze running back, had a long 39-yard scamper that set up a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Beam to wide receiver Malachi Burns on the very next play. Malone later scored two touchdowns of his own in his first game back since an injury sidelined him earlier this season.
"It was just good to get back on my legs and get moving again," said Malone.
Another huge play was turned in by a guy who plays a lot more on defense than he does offense. Senior safety Luke Hayes was ready when his number was called.
With the score already 28-0, Hayes took a Beam quick-out pass 69-yards for a touchdown with three minutes remaining in the first half.
"Coach called my number, and I was ready to go in on offense," said Hayes. "He gave me a little quick-out to see what I could do in space and I just did what I could do to get in the endzone."
With their offense seemingly back on track with the rout over Rockvale, Blackman has its sights set on continuing that success.
Hayes continued, "This win is big coming off the loss to Oakland, but we're just trying to stack up on it and get better. It helps us get back on track."
Malone added, "We're going to state. That's what we have in mind. We're just going to keep pushing for that goal."
Friday night's win brought the Blaze back to .500 at 4-4 overall. Blackman is 4-1 in district play.
Playing one of the tougher schedules in the area, Blackman has yet to win a home game this season. That's a stat that should change over the next couple of weeks, however, as the Blaze host Siegel and Cookeville at the Inferno in consecutive weeks to finish up the regular season.