North Cobb Moves On With Help of Defense
11/21/2016 9:00 AM

Courtesy of MDJ Online. Zac Diodati, Author Originally published November 19, 2016

SUWANEE — North Cobb is headed into the quarterfinal round of the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs, and it was the defense that helped the Warriors achieve it.

North Cobb forced three turnovers, recorded six sacks and a safety and allowed just one touchdown in a 35-7 win at Lambert on Friday.

In the quarterfinals for only the third time of their 59-year existence, the Warriors (10-2) will travel to unbeaten Roswell (12-0) next week.

“To make it to the third round and play a team like (Roswell), we’re very blessed,” said coach Shane Queen, who led North Cobb into the semifinals in 2012. “I’ll be honest. We haven’t even looked at (Roswell’s) film yet because we didn’t want to overlook Lambert. I know they have a very talented lineup, and we’ve got to play better than we did (Friday) in order to compete with them.”

Lambert (7-5) scored first on a 29-yard pass from Richie Kenney to Bobby Gabriel, but North Cobb’s 35 unanswered points started with a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown by Drew Tejchman, pulling the Warriors within one point immediately after Lambert’s touchdown.

“Our defense played well (Friday), and our offense made enough plays to make it a 35-7 ballgame,” Queen said. “The thing about this is, we didn’t play our best football, and we still won 35-7. Hopefully, that’s the sign of a good team.”

Lambert tried to answer the North Cobb special teams score with a touchdown drive, but after 13 plays, Kenney was intercepted by North Cobb’s Delshaun Harris.

The Warriors capitalized on the turnover, taking the lead on an 11-play, 74-yard drive capped by a 1-yard scoring run by Jai Erwin. The play put North Cobb ahead 13-7 just seconds into the second quarter, and it dominated the rest of the game.

Christian Singleton extended the lead for the Warriors, running to the end zone from 2 yards out with 28 seconds left before halftime, putting North Cobb ahead 19-7 at the break. The score was part of an eight-carry, 38-yard night for Singleton.

North Cobb was led on the ground by C.J. Cole, and he got on the scoresheet early in the third quarter with a 38-yard scoring run. He broke through the defensive line and easily ran to the end zone through a wide-open secondary, putting North Cobb ahead 26-7.

Cole finished the game with 140 yards on 17 carries.

North Cobb’s defense continued it high-pressure play through the second half, getting another interception from Trey Urquhart and forcing incompletions on 17 of Kenney’s last 20 pass attempts. The defense got on the scoreboard when it sacked Kenney in the end zone for a safety on the first play of the fourth quarter, taking a 28-7 lead.

Quarterback Will Lovett finished the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run to take the 35-7 lead with 6:26 left in the game. Lovett finished the night 8-of-17 passing for 100 yards.

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