The Warriors (4-0, 2-0) turned the ball over three times, and saw the Hoyas (3-2, 3-1) get inside of their 30-yard line four times, but the defense stood up to Harrison each and every time it needed to.
As a result, North Cobb has its first four-game win streak since 2010, when it won five straight games after losing its season opener. The Warriors’ last four-game win streak to start the season came in 2007 — a year in which they finished a perfect regular season before losing in the first round of the state playoffs.
North Cobb coach Shane Queen was quick to dismiss any comparisons between this year’s team and that one just yet.
“I don’t think we are ready to do that yet,” he said. “We’re just four games into this thing. We’ve got South Cobb next week, who is 4-0 and undefeated. We’ve got Hillgrove, McEachern and Marietta down the road. There’s a lot of great football in this region, and we’ve got to take it one game at a time.
“The way we played (Friday), we’re not that much better than anyone. On any given night, somebody can come in here and beat us. We have to fix some things with our team, like some special teams issues. We’re going to have to come in and work on it starting on Monday.”
The win also gave North Cobb its first consecutive victories in the history of the “Top of the Rock” trophy, given to the winner of a series that dates back to Harrison’s inception in 1992.
“I think (Harrison has) won 16 out of 20 in the series (coming into Friday night), and this is the first time we’ve won two in a row,” Queen said. “That just goes to show you how much they have dominated the series. I’m just proud of our seniors and how well they bounced back.”
As a result of North Cobb’s quick start to the season, there has been a huge boost in morale for the team and an increased interest in the Warriors’ football program as a whole, something the seniors have taken stock in at the start of the season.
“We came out and we beat Walton, and that really got the morale up around the school,” wide receiver Nick Miller said. “Everybody is really involved in football, which is something we haven’t really had in the school, honestly, since I’ve been here.
“It’s different — a different feeling.”
Miller was Friday’s most dynamic player, as he finished with three total touchdowns — two receiving and one rushing. He caught nine passes for 104 yards and carried the ball eight times for 113 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown run down the far sideline in the fourth quarter.
On the ground, North Cobb outgained Harrison 329-199, and J’Vonte Herod led the Warriors in rushing with 16 carries for 136 yards and a score.
Defensively, North Cobb forced five turnovers including three interceptions and two fumbles.
“They’ve got a good team,” Harrison coach Marty Galbraith said of the Warriors. “I sound like a broken record, but we ran 44 plays in the first half. We turned the ball over. We let them get a couple of big plays on defense. (On one play), we intercepted the ball, then fumbled it back to them. You just can’t turn the ball over against good people.
“But you can’t take anything away from them. They played a good game and beat us soundly.”
The Hoyas finished with 18 first downs — three more than North Cobb had for the game — but they couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone when it mattered, as both of their touchdowns were scored after they had fallen behind by more than four touchdowns.
“That’s great, but you’ve got to get the ball in the end zone,” Galbraith said. “We just have to find a way to get a little bit better. So, we’ll go back to the drawing board on Monday. We’ve got a lot of games left — a lot of games left — and we’re not even halfway through the season. It’s one game — it was a big game — but it’s just one game, and we just have to put it behind us.”