Kenny Moxey threw touchdown passes to Keion Davis (three catches for 102 yards) and Bingo Morton in the Panthers’ first loss in nine games.
“We just didn’t get into a groove offensively the entire game,” Langston Hughes coach Willie Cannon said. “Defensively, it got to a point where the kids just played a lot of snaps and the ball never bounced our way. We were never able to get any momentum.”
J’Vonte Herrod rushed for 153 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries and caught another TD for the Warriors (10-2), who advanced to play Mill Creek in the quarterfinals this Friday.
In the first half, the Panthers proved they could overcome a two-touchdown deficit, which was a result of North Cobb’s effective hurry-up offense and a lost fumble that was converted into a touchdown on the second kickoff of the game.
“I give a lot of credit to North Cobb,” Cannon said. “They did something that night that they really hadn’t done a lot of which was the no huddle. All the credit to their coaches and their kids fed off all of the momentum of them winning a big game the previous week against Valdosta.”
On their first possession from scrimmage, the Panthers cut into the Warriors lead when Moxey lobbed a screen pass to Davis, who broke a tackle and raced down the sideline for a 62-yard score with 5:02 left in the first quarter.
Then before the midway point of the second quarter, the Panthers would pull even when Moxey zipped a pass over the middle to Morton for a 35-yard score and a 14-14 tie.
But that would be all the scoring for Langston Hughes.
With 3:43 left in the frame, Herrod would push his way into the end zone from 2 yards and give the Warriors a lead they would never relinquish.
“They got a great football team,” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. “They are young. I would hate to play them in two years. They’re loaded with sophomores. Coach Cannon is doing a great job with this program and my hat’s off to them.”
“We didn’t finish where we wanted to in the end as state champions but we have done something in South Fulton that has never been done before—win a region championship in the highest classification,” Cannon said. “The seniors really set a bookmark to where all the future kids who come through Langston Hughes have to try to follow and top now. I’m proud of my kids.”