Warriors shock Wolves in first home game of season


Lainey Devlin

Despite the odds, the NC varsity Warriors charged onto the field valiantly excited to honor their school and their peers. The Warriors overcame the Wolves while improving their skills in the first home game of the season by winning against one of the highest-ranked teams in Georgia. “I am just really proud of our kids to come in here and play the way we did like that was very impressive. They are the winningest team in the last 20 years in the state of Georgia. They have lost 17 games in 17 years,” Queen said.

Peyton Stack, Sports Editor

The NC Warrior varsity football team (2-0) ventured into their first home game of the season against the third state-ranked Buford Wolves (0-1) on Friday, September 11 at Emory Sewell stadium. Before the gates opened to the public, the Warriors warmed up without pads and jerseys, properly preparing for the hot Georgia weather. Coming off a 48-30 win over the Sprayberry Yellow Jackets in the previous week, head coach Shane Queen and the NC Warriors looked to keep rolling in week two of the 2020 season. Heavy favorites over the Warriors, Buford entered the game as the reigning 5A state champions. When the “dust finally settled” late at night, the Warriors walked away with a 28-14 win, and their most memorable victory in recent history.

“That may be our biggest win in my time here. It ranks right up there. It was huge”, Head coach Shane Queen said.

After the kickoff, both the Warriors’ and Wolves’ defenses dominated, limiting the respective offenses to punts on their first drives. Senior Defensive lineman Dom Stevenson accounted for multiple tackles and sacks in the first quarter, setting the tone of physicality for the rest of the night. As the Warriors defense stood tall against Buford’s well respected offensive line, sophomore Quarterback Malachi Singleton and the NC offense slowly ground away against the Wolves defense. Singleton managed to toss a back-shoulder fade pass to Senior wide receiver Christain Moss, which ended up as Fox 5 News’ top play of the night. Moss finished the game with 11 catches for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the night. 

“Christian Moss is a kid that you want to see succeed because he runs every play on the scout team, even when we are not on offense because he wants to get better. He is a Division I receiver, and I hope these colleges take notice because he is special,” Queen said. 

After earning the starting job for the 2020 season, Singleton has already accounted for seven touchdowns and over 300 yards in just two games so far. The entire NC community looks forward to seeing what else Malachi will accomplish. “He’s a baller. He brings a lot to our offense, and to have two great quarterbacks in him and Lovett, the sky is the limit” Queen said.
(Lainey Devlin)

After a long drive by the Wolves that resulted in a touchdown, the Warriors instantly responded. Coach Queen and his supporting staff drew up a motion play that put senior wide receiver and backup quarterback Trevor Lovett out for a swing pass, who tossed a 31-yard rainbow down to Moss. The Warriors ran into the locker room for half-time with a 14-7 lead over the defending 5A state champions, honing in on their team saying of “win the moment”. 

Following halftime, the Warriors and Wolves battled once again on the defensive side of the ball, going scoreless in the 3rd quarter. Getting down to crunch time, Singleton ran in an 11-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, for a 21-7 lead. Singleton accounted for 137 yards on 13 of 15 passing, with 2 total touchdowns. Singleton also contributed 93 yards rushing. After a touchdown response by the Wolves that brought the score to 21-14, the Warriors punted away, leaving Buford with the game-tying drive in their hands. Almost immediately, Defensive Back Nassir Howell returned a 46-yard interception for a score, putting away any chances of a Buford comeback. Howell, who recently committed to FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) powerhouse North Dakota State, leads a heart filled defense that truly “won the moment” that night. After a few first down runs by Singleton, the offense entered victory formation, finishing with a total of 315 offensive yards. 

“Nasir Howell kind of put the nail in the coffin. Every game is going to come down to four or five plays and that and the interception returned for a touchdown were huge for us”, Queen said.

Junior defensive end Joshua Josephs, linebacker Cobe Singleton, and linebacker Montrel Jenkins also contributed impressive defensive performances. 

For a week two game in the midst of a global pandemic, the NC Warriors came to play on a humid Friday night. Despite the underdog status, the Warriors pulled out a win over a top-ranked program, which may push them into the state rankings. In the post-game team meeting, Coach Queen praised all sides of the ball for their unwavering devotion and commitment. If the Warriors continue to execute their “win the moment” saying throughout the season, the opportunities will remain endless. Make sure to catch NC as they look to improve to 3-0 on the season against the Alpharetta Raiders on September 18 at Raider stadium.