Fellowship Christian scored on its first two possessions, ran for 392 yards and outmuscled North Cobb Christian for a 27-0 victory in a battle of undefeated top-10 Class A Private teams Friday night in Kennesaw.
Murphy Reeves led the way for fifth-ranked Fellowship Christian (4-0), rushing for 170 yards on 17 carries. Josh Cole ran for 90 yards on nine carries, and Lawson Haigler added 75 on eight carries. All three scored touchdowns.
Reeves has run for more than 100 yards in each of the Paladins' games and has 674 yards on 55 carries for the season.
The Paladins' defense was equally dominant, limiting North Cobb Christian’s triple-option offense to 184 yards, including just 54 rushing on 29 carries. The sixth-ranked Eagles (4-1) were averaging 39.5 points per game and about 386 yards rushing. It was Fellowship’s second consecutive shutout this season and its second straight against the Eagles, who they beat 14-0 in the second round of the 2019 playoffs.
“We defended the triple-option about as well as you can do it,” Fellowship Christian coach Al Morrell said. “It’s like I told the boys, I’m super proud of them and the effort and the game plan the coaches came up with and the execution.”
Fellowship drove 80 and 93 yards for touchdowns in the first quarter. Cole opened the scoring with a 28-yard run less than three minutes into the game. Garrett Wagner added a 5-yard touchdown run with nine seconds remaining in the quarter for a 13-0 lead. At that point, the Paladins held a 186-16 advantage in total offense.
The Paladins got deep inside Eagles territory on their two second-quarter possessions but failed to add to the lead, turning the ball over on downs at the 21- and 17-yard lines.
“We had some opportunities that we let slip away, but we executed very well all night and our kids played super hard,” Morrell said.
North Cobb Christian had its best play of the night on the first play of the second half, a 52-yard pass from Walker Ormsby to Luke Beverly that moved the ball to the Paladins' 21-yard line, but the Eagles fumbled on the next play.
After Reeves' 18-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter made it a 21-0 game, the Eagles drove to the Fellowship 17-yard line but turned the ball over on downs. The Paladins took it 83 yards from there, completing the scoring on Haigler’s 22-yard touchdown run with 8:19 remaining.
North Cobb Christian’s Caleb Cannon, the leading rusher in Cobb County with 682 yards in his first four games, finished with 10 carries for 29 yards, 23 of which came on the Eagles' third offensive play. That was the only one of the Eagles' first 10 plays that went for more than 2 yards.
North Cobb Christian, struggling to run and trailing throughout, got 130 yards from its passing game. Luke Brock was 2-for-6 for 58 yards, and Ormsby 3-for-6 for 72 yards. Five of the six completions went to Beverly, who finished with 117 yards.
“The bottom line tonight is they just came out here and out-physicaled us,” North Cobb Christian coach Mark Hollars said. “There’s no way around that. Give Fellowship credit. From the opening whistle, they were more physical than we were. That’s just the plain facts. We’re a physical football team, and tonight we got out-physicaled.”
Fellowship Christian - 13-0-8-6 - 27
North Cobb Christian - 0-0-0-0 - 0
F - Josh Cole 38 run (Matt Rodgers kick), 9:22
F - Garrett Wagner 5 run (kick failed), 0:09
F - Murphy Reeves 18 run (Cole run), 4:46
F - Lawson Haigler 22 run (kick failed), 8:19
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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC