Game: Roswell (9-2) at North Cobb (10-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Roswell 42, North Cobb 21 (Nov. 25, 2016)
All-time series: North Cobb leads 4-3
Prediction: North Cobb 39, Roswell 21
Having made it to the second round for the second year in a row, North Cobb will now try to take the next step forward in its bid for a state championship when it hosts Roswell in a Class AAAAAAA playoff game at Emory Sewell Stadium.
A win would put the second-ranked Warriors in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016, when they lost to eventual Class AAAAAAA runner-up Roswell 42-21. The winner faces either defending state champion Grayson or Denmark in the final eight.
North Cobb got things off to a strong start with a convincing 44-6 win over Camden County in a first-round game last Friday.
“We played a complete game,” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. “We’ve got to clean some stuff up. We had too many penalties, too many self-inflicted mistakes and we’ve got to do a better job of cleaning that up this week. Besides that, I thought we played very hard. It was a physical, hard-fought game. Anytime you play a team from south Georgia and hold them to six points and score 44 points, you obviously played very well. Happy with the end result, but we’ve got to clean some stuff up for this week.”
The Warriors were sparked by quarterback Malachi Singleton, who completed 14 of 19 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns as well as rushing for 111 yards on seven carries and two more scores.
Wide receiver De’Nylon Morrisette caught both of Singleton’s touchdown passes as he garnered five receptions for 104 yards, while Reggie Givhan contributed a 97-yard kickoff return for a score as well as a scoring pass.
The game will feature a battle of two of the top quarterbacks in the state, with North Cobb’s Singleton pitted against Roswell standout Robbie Roper, who has thrown for 2,437 yards and 32 touchdowns this season.
Roper completed 8 of 13 passes for 162 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Hornets to a 52-8 win over Meadowcreek in their first-round game last week.
“He’s obviously had a great year,” Queen said. “He’s thrown for 32 touchdowns. We’ve got to do a good job putting pressure on him and making him move around in the pocket when he gets his feet set. He’s one of the top quarterbacks in the state, obviously. We’ve got to do a great job with our secondary — mixing up our coverages, giving him some different looks. Hopefully, we can get pressure on him and that will be key to the game.”
Roper leads a Roswell team that is ranked eighth in the state.
“They’re a very physical, well-coached football team,” Queen said. “They played in a tough region, just like we did. They’ve been 9-2 and obviously had a great season and could have very easily won their region. It ought to be a great matchup.”