North Cobb running back J’Vonte Herrod scored five touchdowns in leading the Warriors over Langston Hughes 42-14 Friday night in Fairburn.
The junior’s third rushing touchdown came with 16 seconds left in the third quarter, when he sprinted past the Panther defense from 38 yards out to put his team ahead 35-14. He caught a 15-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Queen earlier in the quarter to go along with two rushing scores in the first half.
“We thought he could do that all along,” North Cobb head coach Shane Queen said. “In the last few games he’s really grown up. His potential is sky high.”
His fourth rushing touchdown, a 3-yard plunge, came with 9:22 to play. Herrod finished 158 yards rushing on 21 carries and helped the Warriors (10-2) reach the state quarterfinals in football for the first time since 1979.
“This is great for the school and the community,” Queen said. “We pulled up tonight and 200 fans were waiting on us. That fired the kids up.”
North Cobb took the opening kickoff and drove 76 yards on 10 plays to go ahead after Herrod scored from three yards away. On the ensuing kickoff, Langston Hughes returner Keion Davis was met by the North Cobb kickoff team at the 25 and fumbled, where it was picked up by Latrell Gibbs and returned for a touchdown.
Hughes pulled with 14-7 when Davis took a swing pass from quarterback Kenny Moxey and broke two tackles before going 62 yards for a score.
Moxey threw a second touchdown pass to Bingo Morton early in the second quarter, tying the score at 14. The 35-yard strike completed a 75-yard drive for the Panthers kept alive by a North Cobb pass interference penalty on third down.
North Cobb retook the lead on the next drive behind Herrod’s second touchdown run, from two yards out. Herrod accounted for the last 35 yards on the nine-play drive.
Moxey finished the game 6-for-13 passing for 131 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 89 yards. Hughes (10-2) played host to the school’s first-ever second-round playoff game after eliminating Rockdale County last week.
NC – 14 – 7 – 14 – 7 – 42
LH – 7 – 7 – 0 – 0 – 14
NC – J’Vonte Herrod 3 run (A.J. Borduin kick)
NC – Latrell Gibbs 25 kick fum return (Borduin kick)
LH – Kenny Moxey 62 pass to Keion Davis (Stefan Whitehead kick)
LH – Moxey 35 pass to Bingo Morton (Whitehead kick)
NC – Herrod 2 run (Borduin kick)
NC – Tyler Queen 15 pass to Herrod (Borduin kick)
NC – Herrod 38 run (Borduin kick)
NC – Herrod 3 run (Borduin kick)