Warriors close out the regular season with 12-7 win over North Paulding


NC Warriors O-line

Sophomore athlete David Eziomume (18) takes a handoff as senior offensive lineman Joshua Bagley (60) and junior offensive lineman Marselle Felton (63) block. Eziomume received the start at quarterback for this week’s game against North Paulding. Eziomume took the offense the length of the field on the opening drive, but did not score as the Wolfpack stopped the Warriors at the two-yard line. The Warriors ended up winning 12-7 with great efforts by Eziomume and freshman quarterback Nick Grimstead.

Peyton Stack, Copy Editor

The NC Warrior varsity football team (9-1, 5-0) finished the 2021 regular season with a hard-fought win over the North Paulding Wolfpack (4-6, 1-4). After clinching the region championship a week prior, NC entered Friday night’s game with considerable momentum, but struggled against an underrated Wolfpack team. Despite facing major setbacks, NC witnessed notable performances out of senior wide receiver De’Nylon Morrissette and the entire Warrior defense. 

“Our defense is getting better every week. We know, if they’re on the field, we have a chance [to win.] They had a great game plan, kept everything in front of them, and didn’t give up the big play. Every time they had to go out and get a stop, they did,” head coach Shane Queen said. 

The Warriors utilized a trio of young quarterbacks against the Wolfpack: sophomores David Eziomume and TJ Smith along with freshman quarterback Nick Grimstead. Grimstead, who won a state championship in middle school, saw his first varsity action in his career and received the majority of playing time under center. On the opening drive though, Eziomume received the start and took the Warriors inside the Wolfpack five-yard line. After four straight rushes, the Wolfpack stopped the Warriors and stunted their rhythm. The rest of the ball game featured back and forth punts until North Paulding found the endzone before halftime, taking a 7-0 lead. 

Coming out of the locker room, senior slot receiver Reggie Givhan took the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown, supplying the Warriors’ first score of the game. After a missed extra point from kicker Javier Morales, the Warrior defense prevented the Wolfpack from additional scoring opportunities. Despite the Wolfpack starting from inside the Warrior 25-yard line twice, NC’s defensive front looked stout. Grimstead then hit Morrissette on an 8-yard touchdown pass to take the lead 12-7 on the night (missed two point conversion). The Warriors then sealed their ninth victory of the season after stopping the Wolfpack on a fourth-and-two play.

Morrisette finished the night with nine receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown. Grimstead completed 11 of 16 passes for 108 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Senior cornerback Marquis Groves-Killebrew sustained an injury to his lower extremities and saw senior cornerback Langford Parker take his place for the night.

We were able to score enough points to get the win, and any time you do that, I think that’s a successful football game. Guys had to step up tonight and make plays. We scored just enough points to get the win, but, at the same time, we have to get ready for the playoffs next week,” Queen said. 

The Warriors enter the 7A state playoffs next week as they take on the Camden County Wildcats (4-6, 0-3) on Friday, November 12 at Emory Sewell stadium.