The second-ranked Bulldogs (1-1) were coming off a grueling 52-49 win over then-No. 1 McEachern in last Saturday’s finale of the Corky Kell Classic.
Meanwhile, North Cobb (1-1) lost 38-20 at Northside-Warner Robins, a part of an early-season gauntlet of non-region games that continues with Cartersville next week at Emory Sewell Stadium.
North Cobb quarterback Tyler Queen put the finishing touches on Friday’s game, scoring a 2-yard touchdown with just 35 seconds remaining to give the Warriors their first lead since scoring the game-opening touchdown.
North Cobb coach Shane Queen said the focus following last Friday’s loss was not about results — just self-improvement for the young team.
“We didn’t talk about winning or losing,” Shane Queen said. “We talked about us getting better. We still made a lot of mistakes, but I guarantee, there’s no question that our kids will battle for 48 minutes every night.”
Leading that battle for the Warriors was Tyler Queen, who accounted 412 total yards and five touchdowns in the win.
After getting banged up in the season opener, Queen returned to the field in strong fashion, keeping North Cobb alive with his constant scrambles and tough throws.
Queen was 23-of-33 for 308 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 104 yards on the ground on 23 carries, in an all-encompassing performance for the senior quarterback committed to Auburn.
The Warriors’ offensive effort was no one-man show, however. Eight different receivers caught a pass for North Cobb, with Quannie Green’s 76 yards leading the way.
Queen’s quarterback counterpart, North Gwinnett’s John Urzua, was 15-of-27 for 188 yards, but much of that yardage came in the first half, when both teams raced out with 499 yards of total offense between them.
North Gwinnett also had a similar spread between playmakers, but the Bulldogs also used some trickery, with four different players throwing a pass on the night. Coach Bob Sphire’s team actually ran three different variations of the reverse, with one resulting in backup quarterback Ayinde Russell catching a touchdown pass.
North Gwinnett’s lead grew to as high as 16 by halftime, but the Warriors continued to battle, with the most crucial of North Cobb’s drives coming with the Warriors backed up inside their own 1-yard line.
Instead of resigning themselves to a quick possession and a punt, North Cobb began a 12-play, 99-yard drive that saw them level the score for the first time since the opening kickoff.
After recording a defensive stop on the following drive, the Warriors followed that up with another 12-play drive — this one being the 82-yard game-winning possession.
Because of North Gwinnett’s previous success on explosive and trick plays, North Cobb wasn’t exactly comfortable with the last-minute lead, but the Warriors’ prevent defense made it work. The Bulldogs’ final pass from the 20-yard fell incomplete after the clock had run out, leaving North Cobb’s young and relieved team to celebrate the comeback win in front of their visiting crowd.
“It came down to the final play,” Shane Queen said. “What an awesome high school football game.”