Nevertheless, there is still plenty on the line for the Warriors as they go on the road to play Campbell in a Region 4AAAAAA game tonight at Richard McDaniel Stadium.
With a win, North Cobb (7-2, 4-2) can secure the second seed from 4AAAAAA and home-field advantage for its first-round state playoff game next week.
A loss would at least drop the Warriors to the third or fourth seed. Some scenarios would leave North Cobb out of the playoffs altogether.
North Cobb is hoping to avoid that scenario, having gone on the road for a six-hour bus trip to lose to top-ranked Camden County 34-0 in the first round a year ago.
Needless to say, the stakes are still very high for North Cobb coach Shane Queen and his Warriors.
“Last year, we had to make that six-hour trip to Camden and that was a long trip,” Queen said. “We had to play the No. 1 team in the state. We would much rather play at home than have to make that long trip again.”
It’s been a breakthrough season for a North Cobb team that is assured of its first winning season since 2007, when the Warriors went undefeated in the regular season, but lost in their first-round postseason game.
“We have a winning record for the first time since 2007 and that’s a big accomplishment for our football team,” Queen said. “Making the state playoffs was one of the goals for our senior class and we’ve met that goal.”
For Queen, however, North Cobb’s success comes as no surprise.
“The goal of our program is to be in the state playoffs every year,” Queen said. “I did expect us to be successful. We have the players and community support to be successful, so this comes as no surprise to me.”
North Cobb will finish its regular season against a Campbell squad that has enjoyed somewhat of a breakthrough season itself.
While it’s another losing season for Campbell (3-6, 1-6), the Spartans are assured of having its most wins in a year since going 3-7 in 2008.
“Last year, we were 1-9 and I feel like we were getting beat by an average of 35 to 40 points a game,” Campbell coach Harris Rainbow said. “We’ve come a long way this season. We’re competing in football games and have had chances to win. You don’t usually go from one win to 8 or nine wins overnight — it takes time to build a program. I’m real proud of our team and how hard the kids have worked and how our senior class has stepped up.”
Getting that fourth win will be a tough challenge for Campbell, which will have to contain a high-powered North Cobb offense.
— led by quarterback Tyler Queen — that has averaged 41 points a game.
“North Cobb is as good as any team in the state,” Rainbow said. “They are where we want to be as a program. They’re a well-coached and very talented team. We’re just going to go out there and play as hard as we can and send our senior class out on a positive note.”
Queen certainly isn’t looking past Campbell and its solid ground game, featuring running back Darius Harris.
“Coach Rainbow has done a great job,” Queen said. “His team is competing every week. They put points on the board against Marietta and they scored 39 points against South Cobb, so they’re a very dangerous team. They’re a well-coached bunch. Every game in our region and this one is no different. We have to bring our “A” game (tonight).”