Northside Warner Robins 27, North Cobb 24

Northside Warner Robins' title defense began inauspiciously on Friday at North Cobb, as the Eagles fell behind by double digits, but the Class AAAAA’s No. 1-ranked team scored twice in the fourth quarter to squeeze out a 27-24 victory at Emory Sewell Stadium.

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(Branden Camp / Special to AJC)

(Branden Camp / Special to AJC)
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(Branden Camp / Special to AJC)

In the opener for both teams, the Eagles found themselves trailing 24-13 with 4:51 remaining when junior defensive back Isaiah Nelson turned the game around with a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown.

“I told them at halftime we have no one to blame for the situation but ourselves,” Eagles coach Kevin Kinsler said. “And there was nobody but them (that could) get them out of it, so I just told them to do what we’ve always done. Just keep coming back, defense get some stops and offense put some points on the board.

“Thankfullly our kids didn’t lose heart. ... It would have been easy to fold the tent and quit.”

The Eagles' defense continued to make key stops, forcing punts on North Cobb’s next two possessions. The Eagles received the ball at their 40 with 1:40 remaining and no timeouts and engineered a nine-play drive. Tobias Oliver found Treyvon Willis for a 22-yard touchdown pass with 21.7 seconds remaining.

A 2-point conversion gave the score it’s final tally.

The Warriors, unranked in Class AAAAAA, converted three turnovers into 18 points to build a 24-6 lead by halftime and gave the crowd the hope of a big upset.

But North Cobb had turnover issues, fumbling on its first possession of the second half, which led to a 12-yard touchdown run by Oliver. The Warriors threw interceptions on their next two possessions, including Nelson’s touchdown return, and failed to score in the second half.

Oliver completed 11 of his 21 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns along with two interceptions. Wilson caught seven passes for 85 yards and a touchdown and Desean Dinkins rushed for 73 yards on 17 carries.

Warriors quarterback Will Lovett completed 19 of 26 passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. Drew Tejchman caught 10 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

Just before the end of the first half, Eagles senior defensive back Chris Haughton sustained a knee injury, causing a 30-minute game delay. Haughton was taken to the hospital by ambulance. There was no report on the severity of the injury.

Northside Warner Robins 6    0   7  14 – 27

North Cobb                      12 12   0   0  – 24

Northside – Marcus Jolly 15 yard pass from Tobias Oliver (kick failed)

North Cobb – CJ Cole 9 yard run (run failed)

North Cobb – Quannie Geen 35 pass from Will Lovett (run failed)

North Cobb – Drew Tejchman 18 pass from Lovett (pass failed)

North Cobb – Tejchman 13 pass from Lovett (pass failed)

Northside – Oliver 1 run (Justin Alonso kick)

Northside – Isaiah Nelson 65 INT return (pass failed)

Northside – Treyvon Willis 20 pass from Oliver (Oliver run)