The Warriors know that small factors contributed to their 27-26 loss to the Eagles — costly penalties, turnovers, not running the ball well — but they also realize they must get the ball into the hands of their top two playmakers.
Xavier Borishade has 22 catches for 514 yards and seven touchdowns on the year after five games. Nick Miller has 20 catches for 302 yards and three scores and filled in as the shifty running back with 21 yards on seven carries.
Although Borishade finished with 114 receiving yards and a touchdown against South Cobb, he was held to one catch for 18 yards in the second against a strong South Cobb secondary. Miller was also quiet on the receiving end with just four catches for 8 yards.
Borishade put himself on the radar in North Cobb’s one-sided 49-17 win over Walton on Sept. 15, when he scored four touchdowns against the Raiders, with one score on a 97-yard kickoff return. He also finished with eight catches for 174 and capped North Cobb’s scoring with a 48-yard touchdown catch.
During North Cobb’s four wins to begin this season Borishade and Miller each made big plays on offense and helped their team score more than 40 points in each game. The Warriors must find ways to make the two of them explosive again it goes up against Hillgrove.
“They are our two playmakers on offense,” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. “We have to get the ball into their hands. Bottom line, we have to run the football to set our screens.”
The Warriors struggled on the ground against South Cobb with an uncharacteristic 49 yards between four players who touched the ball, and they’re looking for more productivity from their offensive line, as well as J’Vonte Herrod, who has been their catalyst as of late.
Hillgrove’s secondary players haven’t allowed a ball to slip through their hands in three weeks. The Hawks are coming off dominant shutout victories over Campbell and Pebblebrook to begin Region 4AAAAAA play and are aware of what they’re about to face when they go up against North Cobb’s receiving duo.
Georgia Tech commitment Tolando Cleveland leads the group at cornerback and will likely match up with Borishade. Eric Jackson is also having a solid year at safety.
“North Cobb scores a lot of points and have been explosive offensively,” Hillgrove coach Phil Ironside said. “We have to make them drive the field and not give up the big play. Our secondary has had some ups and downs during our season and has played well the last couple of weeks.”
Ironside is also counting on his defensive line, led by Jimontay Witherow and Jaylan Reid, to help apply pressure on quarterback Tyler Queen, who didn’t have his most productive outing against South Cobb. He completed 12 of 16 passes for 150 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
“I don’t think the defensive line gets enough credit,” Ironside said. “They make the secondary look good and when the defensive line does good, everyone blames the DBs.”