Ultimately, the Warriors lost 38-20, but coach Shane Queen wasn’t disappointed by the effort.
“I’m proud of the way we fought,” Queen said. “Our kids battled from the first kickoff to the last whistle.”
Northside’s long, punishing drives became something of a recurring theme, as North Cobb was ultimately unable to find an answer for the Eagles’ ground-and-pound offense.
Willie Jordan led the way for Northside, punching in a pair of 1-yard runs to cap off the first two drives, and breaking free for a 67-yard touchdown run on the third.
Jordan finished the day with 17 carries for 137 yards in the first half alone before leaving the game with an injury at the start of the third quarter.
Meanwhile, North Cobb used big plays and Auburn-bound quarterback Tyler Queen’s arm to keep the first half close, with Queen connecting with both Jordan McCray and Quannie Green on bombs of more than 50 yards. The Warriors, though, failed to find the end zone again until the final seconds of the game.
Queen missed the third quarter after injuring his sternum on a punt, but he returned to start the fourth. He was never able to establish any rhythm with his receivers following the injury, completing only six of 16 passes in the second half.
“It took him a while to catch his breath. He was having trouble breathing,” Shane Queen said, adding that he doesn’t expect the injury to affect his son and quarterback next week at North Gwinnett. “He’s just got to get some rest. We wouldn’t have put him out there if he was in jeopardy of getting hurt again. I expect him to play next week.”
Many of Tyler Queen’s incompletions were throws that could have been caught, with balls bouncing in and out of the hands of several North Cobb receivers.
Penalties also plagued the Warriors, who were docked more than 70 yards, including one unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty that stalled a promising drive at the start of the third quarter.
“We’re a young football team, and we made some young football team mistakes,” Shane Queen said. “That’s something we’ve got to do, as coaches, to fix next week, but I like the way they battled. They didn’t give up, and I can go to war with anybody like that.”