Warriors Start 2020 Football Season with 13-7 Win over Maynard Jackson

Dave Quick
Senior running back Tre Mason scampers for yardage among Maynard Jackson defenders.

North Atlanta finally began its football season over the weekend, matching up with the Maynard Jackson Jaguars in front of an empty crowd at Grady stadium. It was the first chance for the Dubs to prove themselves as a formidable football team after losing its starting quarterback, star running back, and head coach in the offseason. Newly promoted head coach James Aull had his first chance to lead the Warriors and prove that he could fill the shoes of fan favorite Sean O’Sullivan.

The beginning of the game was characterized by slow-moving offenses and gaffes on the front lines. Maynard Jackson fumbled the snap on their opening drive, and then North Atlanta did the same thing, but it was negated by a penalty. The Warriors defense did a great job of containing the Jaguars offense, save for some big third down runs from speedy quarterback Jeremiah Rowe. For the most part, however, North Atlanta was stuffing the run game in the first half, and Maynard Jackson finished the first half with a zero on the scoreboard.

The Warriors offense also started slow, but some big runs from Tre’ Mason, who this season is the team’s go-to running back after playing slot receiver in prior season for the Dubs. An impressive first-quarter run on his part put North Atlanta in the red zone, and then Mason punched it in from the one for North Atlanta’s first points of the year and the game. At the end of the first half the Warriors led 7 to 0. In the second half, sloppy play and bad penalties continued to define the game, with false start after false start being called on both teams. On the first drive of the second half, Maynard Jackson intercepted an errant Jack O’Kelley screen pass and walked it in for a game tying touchdown. However, the Warriors offense was undeterred, and a furious run from Tre’ Mason and a deep bomb to Syre Stewart put North Atlanta back in the red zone, and Mason scored again to put the Dubs up 13-7.

The Maynard Jackson offense started to come to life in the fourth quarter, but the momentum was again stopped dead when defensive back Tony Moore jumped on a huge red zone fumble to give it back to the Warriors. After some stalling by both teams, the Jaguars made a tough stop to have one last gasp with under a minute to go. An overthrown deep bomb that would’ve given Maynard Jackson the lead fell incomplete, but a tough catch from Raveon Moore put the ball at the 25 with 5 seconds left and the clock winding down. However, the Jaguars failed to spike the ball in time and the game ended 13 to 7, North Atlanta.

The Warriors offense looked pretty solid, using O’Kelley and Mason primarily in a zone read system, and the defense was stifling all game and made some massive stops. The Warriors start off 1-0, and this weekend will face hated rival Grady and hope to carry this momentum from the win forward. But on this season-opening Friday night in Grady Stadium, the North Atlanta rebuild got off to a resoundingly strong start.