The Warriors scored 42 points in their season opener against 2010 Class AAAA state finalist Starr’s Mill in its season opener. They added 49 more against reigning Class AAAAA state finalist Walton and chalked up 52 more in their Region 4AAAAAA opener against Kennesaw Mountain last week.
That’s an average of 47.6 points a game.
After scoring 24.1 points per game last season, North Cobb has improved through its first three games, and are on track to increase their offensive output from last season.
North Cobb coach Shane Queen, who oversaw an explosive North Cobb team to an undefeated regular season in 2007, said more than the team’s ability just to put points on the board, the Warriors are having success in all three phases of the game.
“I think there (are) a lot of intangibles,” Queen said. “Our kicking game has been doing very well. Kicking it into the end zone gives opponents a long field. Our defense has played well in the first three games and it gives our offense more chances. It comes down to opportunities, and it’s been a team effort.”
The Warriors’ special teams has created instant offense, as Xavier Borishade ran the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Walton and returned a punt for a touchdown against Kennesaw Mountain.
North Cobb’s defense is surrendering an average of nine points per game going into Friday’s game at home against Harrison. On top of holding opponents to single digits in two of the last three games, the defense is putting points on the board as well.
Romelo Lewis had an interception return against Walton, and Cameron Albright scooped up a lost fumble and ran it 72 yards for a touchdown against Kennesaw Mountain.
From an offensive standpoint, North Cobb is more mature than it was a year ago. The Warriors aren’t turning the ball over at crucial times like they have in the recent past — they only have two in three games played — and they’re cutting down on penalties and negative plays.
North Cobb has lost some close games in recent years where one mistake ended up being the difference.
“We haven’t had a lot of negative plays and we’ve had very few penalties,” Queen said. “People think you’re calling different plays (offensively), but it’s really more about not beating ourselves.”
It also helps to have a mature quarterback, though he is only a sophomore.
Tyler Queen, Shane’s son, was thrown in the fire early his freshman year when the two quarterbacks in front of him both suffered injuries and were forced to miss time. After leading the Warriors to the playoffs down the stretch last season, he already has 664 yards passing and seven touchdowns.
Another bonus is having running back J’Vonte Herrod getting his footing on the varsity level after playing JV last year. He and returning running back Quentin James are shaping up to be a solid backfield tandem. Herrod rushed for 63 yards and scored twice against the Mustangs and will likely rotate with Quentin James in the backfield.
Though maturity has been a key component of North Cobb’s improvement offensively, some of the Warriors have taken to pregame rituals as a way to increase focus. Borishade has his own way of getting ready for Friday nights.
“I have a ritual and it helps me think of what I have to do,” said Borishade, who is leading Cobb County with 393 receiving yards and six touchdowns. “I like to watch videos of my favorite receivers.
“Sometimes, I look up and see teammates sitting in the locker room with their eyes closed. They get into a zone, and whatever helps them, it also helps the team.”
While Borishade has gotten the most attention at receiver early in the season, Nick Miller is another who can put up the numbers. He had 128 yards and a touchdown against Kennesaw Mountain.