North Cobb 42, Milton 27

Eziomume has career-night, leads unranked Warriors to upset win over No. 8 Eagles
ajc.com

For the North Cobb Warriors, the plan against Milton was simple: Give the ball to David Eziomume. They did, and he came through in a big way as the Warriors beat the Eagles 42-27 at Eagles Nest on Friday in a Class 7A cross-classification game.

The win pushed the unranked Warriors of Region 5 to 3-2, and dropped the No. 8 Eagles of Region 6 to 3-2. The Warriors, who opened the season 0-2, were 20-point underdogs on the road.

Eziomume, a senior 4-star all-purpose back committed to Clemson, rushed for a career-high 325 yards on 27 carries, including touchdown runs of 28, 42, 44 and 55 yards. His 28-yard touchdown with 1:08 remaining brought the score to its final margin.

“When I saw we were 20-point underdogs, that put a chip on my shoulder,” said Eziomume, who said his previous career-high was 268 yards. “It gave us the motivation to go out there and show everybody that we really are them.”

On his long touchdown runs, Eziomume said, “They were trying to over-pursue me, so I used my vision to cut back. Everything I’ve been working on with my coaches and trainers was on the field tonight.”

Warriors coach Shane Queen said of Eziomume, “He’s 215 pounds and when he gets someone 1-on-1, he breaks the tackle and goes the distance.

The Warriors fell in a 14-0 hole and trailed by that score after the first quarter with the Eagles’ TJ Lester running for a 9-yard score and Luke Nickel scoring from 3 yards out. The Warriors went on a 14-0 run in the second quarter with a 42-yard touchdown run from Eziomume, followed by a Nick Grimstead 8-yard touchdown pass to James Roe.

Milton’s Alex Nover kicked a 31-yarder with 19 seconds left to give the Eagles a 17-14 lead going into halftime.

Eziomume, who had 96 yards and a touchdown on a 11 carries by halftime, kicked into another gear in the second half, where he totaled 222 yards and three scores on 16 carries.

The Warriors defense limited the Eagles to just 10 points in the second half.

“The difference is the game is what happened in the second half,” Queen said. “We wanted to run the ball and keep them off the field, and we did that. I attribute that to being in the weight room every day.”

Grimstead rushed for 81 yards on 11 carries and was 4 of 7 passing for 31 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles were led by Luke Nickel, who was 20 of 31 passing for 266 yards and touchdown. Debron Gatling was his leading receiver with eight catches for 89 yards, and CJ Wiley had three catches for 87 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown reception. TJ Lester had 84 yards on 17 carries.

Both teams are on bye next week before opening region play Oct. 6. North Cobb will host No. 4 Walton and Milton hosts South Forsyth.

North Cobb 0 14 21 7 — 42

Milton 14 3 7 10 — 27

M — TJ Lester 9 run (Alex Nover kick)

M — Luke Nickel 3 run (Nover kick)

N — David Eziomume 42 run (Mustafa Mohamad kick)

N — James Roe 8 pass from Nick Grimstead (Mohamad kick)

M — Nover 31 FG

N — Grimstead 27 run (Mohamad kick)

M — CJ Wiley 62 pass from Nickel (Nover kick)

N — Eziomume 55 run (Mohamad kick)

N — Eziomume 44 run (Mohamad kick)

M — Nover 41 FG

N — Eziomume 28 run (Mohamad kick)

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