There were several mistakes made by local teams Friday night. Two teams, North Cobb and Lassiter, managed to overcome their errors and come away with victories.
North Cobb totaled four fumbles and gave up two interceptions to Pebblebrook, but the Warriors still won 28-3 to maintain their position atop Region 4AAAAAA.
North Cobb won in spite of its offense because its defense turned the tables on the Falcons, forcing Pebblebrook into six turnovers, including a pair of interceptions for Latrell Gibbs. Cameron Albright also got in on the action, returning a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown.
“We talk about facing adversity all of the time,” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. “The sign of a good team is when one side (offense or defense) isn’t playing well, then the other side picks the team up and gets after it. That’s what happened to us (Friday) night.”
The same couldn’t be said for Mount Paran Christian, which turned the ball over four times and had a field goal attempt blocked against Mount Pisgah Christian, which won 28-24.
In a battle for first place in Region 6A (B), the Eagles had opportunities to distance themselves from the Patriots, but they couldn’t get over the hump. A blocked punt eventually led to a Mount Paran field goal, but Mount Pisgah Christian, which did not turn the ball over, took its only lead of the game on a game-winning touchdown with 28 seconds remaining.
An interception in the end zone near the end of the first half proved costly, and the Eagles had several interception chances slip through the hands of their defenders. Mount Paran also committed 17 penalties for 144 yards and helped extend a Patriots drive that led to a touchdown.
Hillgrove’s Bradley Chubb recovered a fourth-quarter fumble, which led to a touchdown as the Hawks defeated Harrison 40-24 in Region 4AAAAAA.
Allatoona’s defense recovered four of Hiram’s six fumbles, en route to a 44-7 Region 5AAAAA win, and Pope committed four turnovers — three interceptions and one fumble — in a 35-19 setback against Region 7AAAAA (B) foe Riverwood. The Greyhounds’ Ben Doran did provide a highlight with a 48-yard interception return for a score.
Marietta coach Scott Burton was critical of his team’s 58-46 Region 4AAAAAA victory over South Cobb, saying “both sides were sloppy with turnovers, mistakes and penalties.”
The Blue Devils lost one of their five fumbles to the Eagles and threw two interceptions. However, Lawton Ward’s 99-yard interception return for a touchdown helped cap a 30-point second-quarter effort for Marietta.
Special teams play proved big for Kennesaw Mountain, Milton and Walker.
Dennis Bell returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in Kennesaw Mountain’s 49-35 Region 4AAAAAA loss to Campbell. Chad Toliver posted a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Milton’s 28-21 Region 5AAAAAA victory over Walton.
Walker scored its only points in a 28-6 Region 6A (B) loss to Whitefield Academy off Kevin Bray’s 57-yard punt return.
The Wolverines also had two turnovers. Bradley Davidson’s blocked punt, which was recovered by Sky Dupree, led to a Wolfpack touchdown. T.J. Carter forced a fumble that was recovered by Cameron Jenkins, and that miscue also led to a touchdown.
Like North Cobb, Lassiter also overcame its mistakes and beat Wheeler 35-28 in Region 5AAAAAA. The Trojans lost three of four fumbles and threw four interceptions, but the defense recovered four Wheeler fumbles. The Wildcats’ Nate McCrary returned one of Lassiter’s fumbles for a touchdown.
“It’s frustrating to see the turnovers and have the mistakes, but that’s coaching,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “Fumbles because of lack of ball security, or interceptions at the wrong time or because of a throw to the wrong place — those are frustrating, too. Pre-snap penalties and personal foul calls are bad, too, because that just shows a lack of mental focus. It all goes back to discipline and impulse control.
“We’re dealing with 17- and 18-year-old kids, so it’s going to happen. The old coach’s saying is that the teams that make the fewest mistakes usually win. But if somebody has answers to preventing turnovers and penalties and mental mistakes, then I’d pay good money to get that formula.”