Roswell 46, North Cobb 43

Roswell quarterback Robbie Roper (5) carries the ball into the endzone to score the Hornet’s game winning touchdown in the final minutes of the game Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 at North Cobb High School. (Daniel Varnado/ For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Roswell quarterback Robbie Roper (5) carries the ball into the endzone to score the Hornet’s game winning touchdown in the final minutes of the game Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 at North Cobb High School. (Daniel Varnado/ For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Roswell quarterback Robbie Roper ran for two touchdowns in the final minute of the game, including a 7-yarder on the last play, as the Hornets stunned second-ranked North Cobb 46-43 in the second round of the Class 7A football playoffs Friday night in Kennesaw.

No. 10 Roswell (10-2), the No. 2 seed from Region 5, advances to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016. The Hornets will be at home next Friday to face defending state champion Grayson, which eliminated Region 6 champion Denmark 35-21. North Cobb, the Region 3 champion, was stopped short of its first quarterfinal appearance since 2016 and finished the year 10-2.

North Cobb seemed to have the game in hand when Malachi Singleton’s 9-yard touchdown run gave the Warriors a 43-34 lead with 3:04 remaining, and even more so when DeNylon Morrissette intercepted a Roper pass at the North Cobb 13 with less than two minutes left.

On the third play of the ensuing possession, however, North Cobb lost a fumble that Roswell recovered at the 12-yard line. Roper followed with a 12-yard touchdown run that cut the lead to 43-40 with 48 seconds left (the Hornets missed the extra-point attempt).

Roswell then recovered the onside kick near midfield and quickly moved into scoring position with an 11-yard pass to Shaun Spence and a 34-yarder to Christopher Elko that got the ball down to the 7. After three incomplete passes, and facing fourth down with just 4.3 seconds left, Roper went back to pass, rolled to his left and went into the end zone untouched, crossing the goal line as the final buzzer sounded.

“We just needed to make a play or two here or there, and luckily we were able to get that done,” Roswell coach Chris Prewett said. “The thing I was so proud of was our kids kept playing. That game could have gone 15 different ways, and they kept fighting.”

The late rally put the finishing touches on an outstanding performance by Roper, a two-star senior prospect with reported offers from Morehead State, Morgan State and Western Carolina. He completed all 13 of his pass attempts in the first half and finished 26-of-35 for 285 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 54 yards and two scores.

“He may not have the recruiting and stuff like that, but I’d follow that dude anywhere,” Prewett said. “He’s doing so well. Somebody’s going to be lucky to have him, whether that’s a lower level or a higher level. They’re going to be so lucky to have him because that dude is a gamer.”

Elko also put up big numbers, catching five passes for 111 yards and a touchdown to go along with three short rushing touchdowns. Spence had 93 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions.

Singleton accounted for 340 of North Cobb’s 387 total yards, rushing for 167 yards and three touchdowns and completing 16 of 17 pass attempts for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Morrissette had 105 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions.

Both quarterbacks were so good, in fact, that neither team was able to stop the other all night, other than the exchange of turnovers in the final two minutes. North Cobb had the ball seven times, scoring on the first six and fumbling on the seventh. Roswell scored on its first five possessions, threw the interception on the sixth, and then scored on its final two.

Roswell - 6-15-6-19 - 46

North Cobb - 7-14-8-14 - 43

First quarter

R - Christopher Elko 5 run (kick failed), 5:26

N - Malachi Singleton 1 run (Javier Morales kick), 1:39

Second quarter

R - Shaun Spence 18 pass from Robbie Roper (Ian Matthews kick), 7:42

N - Singleton 1 run (Morales kick), 5:17

R - Elko 30 pass from Roper (Zeke Moore pass from Roper), 0:19

N - Sam Mbake 3 pass from Singleton (Morales kick), 0:00

Third quarter

N - Reggie Givhan 2 pass from Singleton (Singleton run), 7:53

R - Elko 1 run (pass failed), 1:58

Fourth quarter

N - DeNylon Morrissette 4 pass from Singleton (Morales kick), 10:39

R - Elko 1 run (Matthews kick), 8:45

N - Singleton 9 run (Morales kick), 3:04

R - Roper 12 run (kick failed), 0:48

R - Roper 7 run, 0:00

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