Warriors fall in a heartbreaking loss to Vikings


Lainey Devlin

Sophomore Malachi Singleton wrapped up a great season filled with impressive plays. His remarkable season put him on the radar of a lot of colleges looking for recruits. The quarterback achieved an impressive #15 ranking in the state of Georgia and will continue to grow in his next two years at NC.

Peyton Stack, Sports Editor

The NC Warrior varsity football team (10-2, 5-0) looked to defend their home turf against the fourth state-ranked Lowndes Vikings (9-1, 2-1)in the second round of the 7A GHSA State championship. Following a first-round win over Pebblebrooke last week, the Warriors set out to defeat the odds and take an additional step in reaching the 7A State Finals. Although the Warriors outplayed the Vikings in almost every aspect of the game, NC committed countless penalties and crucial turnovers that led to a 21-13 loss on Friday, December 4 at Emory Sewell Stadium.

“[Lowndes] just got the biggest Christmas present they’ve ever received, because I don’t feel like they won the football game, I feel like we gave it away to them. Hats off to them because they finished at the end, but it was because of our mistakes and not something they did. That hurts,” NC head coach Shane Queen said. 

After a scoreless first quarter by both teams, NC got things rolling when sophomore quarterback Malachi Singleton connected with senior wide receiver Christian Moss on a 48-yard touchdown pass to put the Warriors up 7-0. The Warriors’ defense remained impressive throughout the night, especially when holding Lowndes to a three-and-out on the ensuing possession. NC then began their night of mistakes when they mishandled a punt, allowing Lowndes to recover and later score on a touchdown run by Lowndes junior quarterback Jacurri Brown, bringing the score to 7-7 at halftime.

NC maintained control for much of the night but became plagued by several mistakes. An interception, a missed extra point, countless penalties, and two muffed punts leading to opposing touchdowns created the downfall for the Warriors. 

Despite losing the Lowndes match-up, the NC Varsity Warriors went farther than they ever expected to. The team ended the season ranked #15 in the state, impressive considering their reputation years prior. While beating many of their rivals from years prior, NC ascended into the second round of playoffs and hopes to go even farther next year. (Lainey Devlin)


The second half saw NC senior quarterback Trevor Lovett score on a 15-yard run, putting the Warriors ahead 13-7. That lead did not last long though when another muffed punt led to a Viking score, and an additional touchdown later in the fourth quarter, bringing the scoreboard to a 21-13 Viking lead. With over a minute left in the second half, NC managed to drive downfield and get to the Lowndes 15-yard line, knocking at a potential scoring opportunity. After four unsuccessful attempts to the endzone, the Warriors officially fell to the Vikings.

“You walk out here and you see that we shouldn’t even have a dog in this fight, but our kids battled every play, and I’m proud of that,” Queen said. 

Singleton rushed for 164 yards on 28 carries and while tallying 166 yards on 14-of-16, with one touchdown through the air. Moss added seven catches for 98 yards and a receiving touchdown. 

Lowndes will continue their playoff journey on the road next week after Region 5 state champion Milton won their second-round matchup against Archer. As for the Warriors, fans and community members could see the sadness across each and every player and coaches’ face following the devastating loss. NC will pack up their regular season, and start on recruiting season for current seniors after the start of next semester. Make sure to catch Shane Queen and the Warriors at Guston’s Grille for the Coach’s show on Monday, December 6.