The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

Warriors mount their dominance in dramatic homecoming classic

Nathaniel Jordan
The Warriors (5-3) found themselves in a remarkable scenario for their homecoming matchup. They entered the game winless at their home stadium, but two key players remained doubtful due to injuries. Meanwhile, NC squared off for head coach Shane Queen’s 200th game against a longtime rival in the “Civil War Classic.” The Big Orange squared off behind the lead of sophomore quarterback Kaleb Narcisse (4) in only his second game to fight a highly anticipated battle.

For 2023’s homecoming game, the 18-ranked Warriors (5-3) faced off against the Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs (1-7) in the 19th annual “Civil War Classic”. Every year, the two programs face off for the game’s traveling trophy, the “Big Cannon.” The last time the teams met, the Mustangs brought trouble, forcing NC to a last-minute touchdown in a 22-19 victory for the Warriors. With a dire thirst for a homecoming victory, NC stepped into the game 0-3 at Emory Sewell Stadium for the first time since 2011. The deep-rooted rivalry game also hit another major landmark for the storied program: head coach Shane Queen’s 200th career game.

“It’s amazing the support we have, and that’s why I’ve been here so long. The administration gives us everything we need to be successful. I love this school, and I love being a Warrior. I have no other place I’d rather be right now. I’m speechless really. I didn’t know it was my 200th game until today,” Queen said.

Prior to the game, questions floated around campus concerning the injuries of junior quarterback Nick Grimstead (15) and 4-star Clemson commit and senior running back David Eziomume (2) after their absences in the 62-27 blowout against the Wheeler Wildcats. Second-string sophomore quarterback Kaleb Narcisse (4) filled in for Grimstead and led the Warrior offense to their largest scoring effort under Coach Queen’s tenure. Runningbacks junior Jamauri Major (6) and senior Josiah Alexander (21) held the fort down in the bloodbath against the Wildcats. In his first career game at running back, Major scored four touchdowns on the ground and connected with Narcisse for a touchdown reception.

The Major-Narcisse duo returned for the rivalry match in place of the usual starters and combined for two touchdowns. Narcisse set up the offense early with a 2-yard touchdown at the seven-minute mark in the first quarter. Major scored NC’s final touchdown in the fourth quarter to tighten the bolts on the blowout victory. Averaging nearly 10 yards per rush, Major tore through the Mustangs’ defense alongside sophomore running back Arquevious Echols’s (34) 7.4 yards per carry.

NC’s defense heated up early as Kennesaw Mountain failed to reach the first down marker on their first five drives. Junior defensive lineman Orlando Wilson (92) recovered a fumble in the first quarter to set up Narcisse’s touchdown five minutes into the game, putting NC up 7-0. The defense shut down the Mustangs, allowing zero offensive scores. The only touchdown for the Mustangs came off a 34-yard fumble return.

Senior wide receiver TJ Smith (3) played a stellar game, scoring two touchdowns, including a 42-yard score in the first half and a 25-yard catch to take a 24-7 lead on the second play of the third quarter. Smith powered through an onslaught of Kennesaw Mountain defenders to capitalize on a 50-yard kickoff return from senior kick returner Philip Gladney (5).

After Major’s explosive 20-yard touchdown, NC managed to shut down the Kennesaw Mountain passing game and finished the defensive performance with a game-sealing interception from junior defensive back Miles Butler (16). The Mustangs finished with a mere 65 passing yards for the night.

The Warrior offense controlled the ground and ran for a combined 162 yards with 342 yards in total offense. The defensive front forced 14 third downs and 11 fourth downs. Narcisse handled tough pressure from the opposing rushers, nearly doubling his passing yards from the week prior with a 180-yard effort in his second career start.

“Anytime you win at home it’s a great thing our kids deserve it. They played a tough schedule. Our kids and our coaches know that we have two weeks before playoffs start… We’ve got to get better,” Queen said.

NC lined up the offense in victory formation with two minutes left in the game to cap off NC’s 18th victory in the one-sided rivalry. Queen continues his historic reign as head coach, bringing fans their first home win of the season and clinching a playoff berth for the 12th time in 13 years. The Warriors keep the Big Cannon at Emory Sewell for the 14th year in a row and prepare for a favorable region game against 1-7 Cherokee.

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About the Contributor
Nathaniel Jordan
Nathaniel Jordan, Reporter
Nathaniel Jordan, a senior magnet student and cadet in NC’s NJROTC program,  begins his first year on the school newspaper. Jordan's deep passion for writing and research led him to his aspirations of journalism as a future career path. Outside the classroom, Jordan has played for NC’s baseball team, participated on three competitive teams in JROTC and is employed as a head instructor at Choi Kwang Do martial arts. His creative mind extends his wide range of talents into painting, skateboarding and photography. Jordan consistently constructs compelling and thought-provoking poems and is currently working on his first poetry book poetry. Jordan volunteers every Sunday at his church working in the daycare, and strives to be active in school and in his community. With his strenuous efforts to demonstrate great leadership, Jordan attained positions as assistant operations officer, platoon commander, and class leader in JROTC. Jordan also served as a magnet ambassador. Jordan’s goals on The Chant are to grow the NC community and to bring knowledge to social events, breaking news and spreading his passion and knowledge to all readers. Reaching the tail end of his high school career, Jordan hopes his variety of articles on The Chant can help grow the spirit of Warrior Nation, and ensure that nobody is uninformed.

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