NC hounds the Danes in first-round playoff game


Gregory Buranich

NC Warriors (5-0) blew out the Denmark Danes (2-3) 42-10 during the first round of the 2022 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) playoffs. The win advanced NC into the sweet 16, the top 16 teams left in playoffs, held November 18 at the Emory Sewell Stadium. If the Warriors win, they will advance and play against the winner of the Westlake Lions (3-1) v. Parkview Panthers (3-2) game November 18.

Giovanna Talone, Sports Editor

The NC varsity football team walked the field Saturday, November 12 after a victorious senior night against the Osborne Cardinals (0-5) November 4. NC’s field and stands filled with energy after a perfect region score (5-0) placed NC in the first round of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) 2022 playoffs against the Denmark Danes (2-3).

The game begins with the Danes kicking off to NC, but they earned possession back and scored a field goal gaining a lead against the Warriors (0-3). Junior wide receiver Tj Smith (10) scored a 73-yard touchdown from sophomore quarterback Nick Grimstead (15) which placed NC in the lead 6-3. Junior middle linebacker (MLB) Grayson Hodges (44) sacked the Danes’ quarterback 10 yards to the 20-yard line with senior MLB Andrew Trellis (54) also sacking Denmark’s quarterback, marking the fourth down. Upon earning the ball back, Grimstead ran for a 30-yard touchdown scoring the second touchdown of the night. Senior running back David Mbadinga (6) ran for an extra 2-point conversion (14-3).

The second quarter began and NC maintained a strong defense, shutting down Denmark within the same 10 yards. With NC earning possession, Mbadinga and senior running back Benjamin Hall (7) inch up close to the endzone. Mbadinga fumbled at the three-yard line before almost scoring. Despite the fumble, NC earned the ball back and a double pass from Smith to junior wide receiver Eljah Lee (23) earned a 35-yard touchdown (20-3). Senior kicker Javier Morales (93) gained an extra point ending the first half 21-3.

In the third quarter, a fumble recovered by NC provided the Warriors possession. Continuing to gain yardage, Mbadinga jukes out Denmark and slips into the endzone for the fourth touchdown of the night (28-3). 

Junior all-purpose wide receiver David Eziomume (2) scored a 70-yard touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter (35-3). Minutes later, Eziomume scored another touchdown, running 90 yards to the endzone (42-3). With two minutes left on the clock, Denmark managed to score their first touchdown of the night, ending the game 42-10. 

“Everyday we are at practice trying to just ease on into the next week. How you practice is how you play and Saturday showed that. It was a fun game and it was a great experience. It’s been a while since I showed out, so it felt good. It’s a great confidence booster for this week’s game,” Eziomume said.

The win advances the Warriors into the next round of GHSA playoffs, the sweet sixteen, the remaining 16 teams in the running for the state championship title. They prepare to play the Mill Creek Hawks (4-1) November 18 at the Emory Sewell Stadium.

                “It’s a great confidence booster going into round 2 of playoffs. I think we’re more than prepared to go out there and handle business. We are all excited and ready to make plays and win Friday‘s game,” Hall said.