Queen also rushed for 83 yards and three scores on nine carries.
“Things are easier when your offensive line is giving you time and other guys are making plays” said the junior signal-caller. “Even on a wet, cold night, our skill players did a great job making plays, and our coaches did a great job putting us in position to succeed.”
The 60-point game was North Cobb’s first since scoring 61 against Osborne in 2001. It was the third-highest total in team history, with a 64-point game against Lithia Springs — also in ’01 — serving as the highwater mark.
Things went North Cobb’s way from the early stages of the game, and Queen’s only passing touchdown of the night was the first score of the game.
After the North Cobb defense recovered a Luella fumble at the 13-yard line, Queen found receiver Deon Dodd in the corner of the end zone three plays later for an 8-yard score, putting the Warriors (9-2) up 7-0 with 6:31 remaining in the first quarter.
Dodd led all receivers with five catches for 102 yards.
On Luella’s next possession, frustration was evident as wide receiver Markel Greene was ejected for a personal foul after he made a reception. The drive stalled, and North Cobb extended its lead on their next drive.
Queen scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns when he pulled an option-read handoff and rumbled into the end zone from 6 yards out, putting North Cobb ahead 14-0 with 3:32 left in the opening period.
Tailbacks Torrance McGee and J’Vonte Herrod added touchdown runs of 4 and 14 yards, respectively, in the second quarter, and North Cobb led 28-0 before Luella (5-6) could find any reason to be hopeful. However, on the ensuing kickoff, senior Steve Osondu returned the ball 86 yards to end zone to cut the lead to 28-6 heading into halftime.
“We need to work on some things in special teams” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said, “but our offensive coordinator always puts our guys in position to make plays, though. And to score 60 on a playoff team? We played about as well a game as we could play.”
The third quarter ended in wild fashion, with four touchdowns scored in the final 90 seconds, but when the dust settled, North Cobb held a commanding 48-12 lead heading into the final frame.
With 2:54 remaining in the third, Tyler Queen juked his way through the Luella defense on his way to a 28-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 35-6. On the following kickoff, Osondu once again took the ball to the end zone with a 70-yard return, cutting the score to 35-12 after a failed 2-point conversion.
North Cobb only needed three plays to score on its next possession, this time on a 10-yard run by Queen for a 42-12 lead.
Rubbing salt in Luella’s wounds, North Cobb defensive back Cam Albright picked off quarterback Matthew Gibson on the next play from scrimmage, returning the ball 41 yards to the end zone for a 36-point Warrior lead.
The play was one of two defensive touchdowns for the Warriors. The other was a fumble recovery in the end zone by linebacker Jay Barrino as time expired.
The North Cobb defense forced four turnovers in an impressive performance overshadowed by their team’s offensive output.
“We take pride in playing defense” linebacker Chad McClannahan said. “We want to maintain the fact that we’re the No. 1 defense in our region. It’s going to be an even tougher challenge next week against Colquitt County. They’re one of the best teams in the state, if not the county, and we need to tighten things up.”
North Cobb will return to Emory Sewell Stadium next Friday to host Colquitt, the No. 2 seed from powerhouse Region 1AAAAAA. The Packers are 9-2, with their losses coming to Camden County and Alabama power Hoover.
“We need to prepare like it’s a championship game” Tyler Queen said. “We’re going to play hard for these seniors and, hopefully, we’re going to take this thing all the way to the Dome (for the state championship).”