After failing to score on consecutive possessions in the second quarter and watching an early 14-3 lead turn into a 17-14 deficit, North Paulding’s rapid-fire offense picked up the tempo even more.
The Wolfpack was virtually unstoppable the rest of the night, scoring on its next seven possessions to cruise to a 62-46 victory over Allatoona in a key Region 5-AAAAA game on Friday. The only time North Paulding didn’t score the rest of the night was its final possession, when the Wolfpack took a knee at the Allatoona 37 as the game ended.
The victory leaves the Wolfpack in the driver’s seat to win the first region championship in school history. North Paulding is tied for first place with South Paulding but beat the Spartans earlier this season and can clinch the title with a victory against Villa Rica next weekend.
North Paulding finished with 660 yards of total offense. Quarterback Chase Noonan led the way, completing 16 of 24 passes for 464 yards and six touchdowns. The scoring passes covered 35, 80, 31, 93, 22 and 69 yards, and he ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 1:44 to play in the second quarter that gave the Wolfpack a 28-17 halftime lead.
Kayden Bishop, the team’s leading receiver, had 150 yards receiving and scored on passes of 80 and 31 yards. D.J. Owens also caught two touchdown passes and finished with 147 yards receiving. Corn Collins rushed for 152 yards on 19 carries and scored on runs of 1 and 11 yards. The Wolfpack finished with 196 yards rushing.
Allatoona held its own offensively, particularly in the running game. Josh Bettistea rushed for 181 yards on 36 carries and had two short touchdown runs in the second half, and Russell Halimon had 176 yards and a 30-yard touchdown on 14 carries. DJ Ezell caught two touchdown passes for the Buccaneers.
The game was delayed for about 20 minutes late in the third quarter when North Paulding’s Meshach Mays suffered a neck injury. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and left the stadium in an ambulance, but he did raise both arms into the air as he left the field.
North Paulding – 14-14-20-14 – 62
Allatoona – 10-7-7-22 – 46
N – D.J. Owens 35 pass from Chase Noonan (Adam Dixon kick)
A – Arty Wollschlager 38 field goal
N – Kayden Bishop 80 pass from Noonan (Dixon kick)
A – Conner Larson 1 run (Wollschlager kick)
A – Russell Halimon 30 run (Wollschlager kick)
N – Corn Collins 11 run (Dixon kick)
N – Noonan 3 run (Dixon kick)
A – DJ Ezell 35 pass from Larson (Wollschlager kick)
N – Kayden Bishop 31 pass from Noonan (kick failed)
N – Collins 1 run (Dixon kick)
N – Mac Seagle 93 pass from Noonan (Dixon kick)
N – Owens 22 pass from Noonan (Dixon kick)
A – Josh Bettistea 3 run (Wollschlager kick)
N – Nick Pais 69 pass from Noonan (Dixon kick)
A – Bettistea 1 run (Wollschlager kick)
A – Safety, quarterback tackled in end zone
A – Ezell 53 pass from Larson (kick failed)