What to expect from North Paulding


Danielle Osakwe

Michael predicts how the Warriors will fare against the other time under the Friday night lights.

Michael Smith, Photographer, Reporter

NC comes off its bye-week hungry for a win in the first of its final two regular season games, looking to host the first round of the playoffs. Last season, NC defeated North Paulding 49-14 in a Halloween senior night game played through sleet and freezing rain. This season, the 2-7 Wolfpack hold on to a dwindling playoff dream that would require a win over NC and Harrison losses to McEachern and Marietta.

North Paulding's defense will set up at 3-4 and focus on eliminating the running attack from NC's playbook.
Michael Smith
North Paulding’s defense will set up at 3-4 and focus on eliminating the running attack from NC’s playbook.

The biggest change for either team during the offseason occurred when NC defensive coordinator Chad McGehee joined the North Paulding program in order to coach his sons. Coach McGehee and his 3-4 defense will play fast and violent, screaming through gaps along the offensive line and hunting down ball carriers. The defense will prioritize stopping the Warrior run game,, hoping to make NC a one dimensional offense. The defense will base its pass coverage around three and four deep zones, as well as all out “man-free” blitzes, which defends each receiver with one defender and expects blitzers to sack the quarterback before he can throw it deep.

On offense, the Wolfpack aim to play and move the ball as quickly and efficiently as possible. The offense relies on a variety of quick screens and one back runs, employing both pulling linemen and zone blocking schemes, as well as inclusion of a mobile quarterback. The offense also heavily utilizes motion and regularly involves backs and receivers running into and out of the backfield.

On offense, look for NC to throw the ball around to its superior receivers and expect them to make their own yards of quick throws. Also expect some big pickups from Warrior running backs juniors CJ Cole and Jai Erwin when North Paulding only puts five defenders close to the line of scrimmage.  

All told, North Paulding presents few glaring challenges for NC in the Warriors quest to host a playoff game. With better weather expected than last season, and NC’s deep and talented receiving corps, expect a high scoring explosion from the Warrior offense.  

The Chant’s Staff Prediction: NC 42, North Paulding 20.