Untimely penalties and turnovers, however, stalled far too many Colonel drives.
"We needed to make plays and we didn't. We had some (illegal) motion plays at critical times," Cass coach Rick Casko said. "We had 5-yard penalties that hurt us, one interception inside the red zone and a fumble inside the 25-yard line. ... Rome played very well. They didn't make many mistakes, and the mistakes we made really cost us."
"We had every chance to win the football game and our mistakes cost us," Casko continued. "Those are things that we addressed. The kids know it; we definitely had a chance to win the football game and didn't live up to (our expectations)."
The Colonels (1-1, 1-1) will test whether they are better in the mistake-making department when they welcome second-year school Johns Creek (1-1, 1-1) -- a north Fulton high school in its first year playing varsity football -- to Earl Cunningham Stadium.
The Gladiators, who have also lost to the Wolves (10-0), picked up their first varsity win, 24-21, at home last week against Sequoyah.
"(It was) very exciting (for) the players, the coaches, the fans -- everybody," said Johns Creek coach Mike Cloy, whose team went 6-4 last season playing junior varsity teams. "A great deal of excitement, it was a great night."
"What a big win two games into the year," Casko said. "They're going to be flying high. They've got nothing to lose. ... Expectations aren't real high so they can play loosely."
The Gladiators face a Cass team that has averaged 27.5 points in its first two games.
"Cass is the first team that that we've played that has truly been in the spread offense," Cloy said. "It's going to be a challenge. ... They have a number of (athletes) that are a threat to score at anytime."
Colonels junior quarterback Elijah Windom leads his team's offensive attack. Windom is 28 of 54 for 391 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions this season, including last week's 22-completion, 209-yard game.
He had two touchdown tosses, including a 15-yarder to Tarris Batiste in the third quarter to bring Cass within 13-7 before Rome scored quickly and added another TD to go up 27-7.
"Elijah really wants to be good," Casko said of his emerging QB, who has just a few starts under his belt. "He's getting better all the time and he wants to (get better). He's got some raw talent, he's growing. ... As he improves each week, we're gonna get better and better on offense."
Windom's top target has been senior wide receiver Jay Stephens, who caught 3 passes for 146 yards and three TDs in the Colonels' 42-12, season-opening win at Woodland.
Batiste, who has been dangerous as a return man, provides Windom with another pass-catching option. He has caught six balls on the year for 55 yards and one score, grabbing four catches against the Wolves.
"We've got our hands full," Cloy reiterated. "We're still young and undersized."
The Gladiator coach said his team could still stand to improve at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
Cass can still expect to face a tough-minded team Friday, though.
"Even though we are young and we are undersized, we do have good kids, and we have some aggressive football players," Cloy said. "We're just getting better. It's going to be a weekly thing."
"(They're a) well-coached bunch," Casko said. "They don't have a lot of depth. ... They read things well on defense. Offensively, they're coming along. ... They're definitely something to reckon with."
Johns Creek, which has five seniors, scored a surprising win over a Chiefs team that went 6-4 last year and had high hopes for this season.
Sophomore QB Sky Overton (6-for-10, 41 yards, TD; 11 rushes, 83 yards, two TDs) threw a game-winning TD to senior receiver Jay Barden (three catches, 28 yards) on the Gladiators final drive of the game to beat Sequoyah.
Overton (5-foot-10, 155) and Barden (5-foot-11, 178), who also plays outside linebacker, are some leaders on the Johns Creek team, Cloy said, along with junior LB/fullback Grant Brown (6-foot, 165) and LB Tommy Welch ( 5-foot-11, 160).
The game between the Gladiators and Colonels kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cass.