After the opening coin toss, Hebron Christian drove 71 yards in 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Unfortunately for North Cobb Christian, things didn't get any better after the opening drive by the Lions.
Hebron Christian's Xavier Railey intercepted a North Cobb pass and raced 78 yards for a touchdown on the Eagles' first possession en route to a 41-7 victory by the Lions.
Hebron Christian, which improved to 3-5 with the win, scored early and often and had a commanding 41-0 lead at the half. North Cobb Christian finally scored midway through the fourth quarter on a 10-yard pass from backup quarterback Rabon Martin to Alex Ho-On, but it was too late.
"What can you say?" asked North Cobb coach Harry Miles, whose team fell to 1-8 with the loss. "They did a great job of moving the ball down the field early and the turnovers were the difference in the game (Friday). I just hope that our kids learn two things from the game tonight - that we want them to never give up and that we are playing for a higher purpose than just a football game."
Hebron Christian held North Cobb Christian to 88 yards of total offense in the first half while it racked up 265 yards. In addition to his long interception return for a touchdown, Railey also rushed for 115 yards on 13 carries in the first half for the Lions. Teammate Tyler Smith gained 119 yards in the first half to back Railey.
Although football coaches are known for planning, Hebron Christian Academy's head coach Sal Battaglia scrapped his team's gameplan just before the game on a hunch.
"We had a gameplan in place for North Cobb Christian that we had prepared for all week, but about five minutes before the game, I decided to change the plan," Battaglia said after the game. "I decided to try something that had worked for me before when I was at North Oconee, and it really worked."
In addition to throwing four interceptions (two by Ho-On and two by Martin), North Cobb Christian couldn't get its running game going against the Lions.
Hebron Christian held the Eagles to 27 yards rushing in the first half and three yards on the ground in the second half, for a total of 30 yards for the game.
North Cobb Christian switched from Ho-On at quarterback in the first half to Martin in the second. Though he threw the two interceptions, Martin completed six passes for 61 yards and the touchdown in the second half.