Warriors End Losing Skid with 32-0 Dismantlement of Morrow on Senior Night

Dave Quick
The Warriors offense proves strong against Morrow.

Following a strong 2-0 start to the season, North Atlanta dove into tough region play that featured tougher opponents from previous years. Although the Dubs kept the contests close against Pebblebrook and Tucker, they fell below .500 after losses to top-55 GA ranked teams Langston Hughes and Westlake. However, the Warriors showed up with a new, invigorated energy last Friday, November 15, on senior night, hoping to get their first win in their newly-set region. After opting to take the ball first, the Dubs were ready to do battle with the Morrow Mustangs in a fair-weather, late night game at an empty Grady Stadium. 

The Warriors started the game with an impressive first quarter, as O’Kelley hit sophomore Barron Walker on 3rd and long to set the Warriors up inside the 2 yard line, leading to a goal-line score. After a 4th down stop by stout Warriors defense at midfield, freshman running back Quintarion Kelley helped lead the rushing attack that allowed the Warriors to take a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was not as eventful as the first — a common theme in several Warriors games this year — as both defenses stepped up and forced a punt on every possession. Several players on the defense including senior Vance Linton and sophomore Hunter Davis made big plays to solidify a 13-0 North Atlanta lead going into the half. 

The Dubs started the half in several tough spots due to special teams errors, as a failed onside kick and a long Morrow kick return set the Mustangs in scoring position several times. Luckily, the tough Warriors defense was able to keep Morrow scoreless through both special teams crises thanks to key fourth-down stops. O’Kelley took over through the air and on the ground, as he delivered a 50-yard bomb to favorite target Ned Coleman on 3rd and 18 to set up  the Dubs inside the red zone, and picked up a massive 63 yard scramble on the next possession. The huge plays by the quarterback put the Dubs up 19-0 to end the third quarter, and they were knocking on the door-step to start the fourth as they were already inside the Morrow 20. The Warriors destroyed any possible chance of a Mustang comeback, as Quintarion Kelley cashed in on two rushing touchdowns to start the final quarter, pushing the North Atlanta lead to an astonishing 32-0. The defense secured the shut out, thanks to sacks from seniors Ned Coleman and David Howard to close out the game. 

The Dubs walked out of Grady Stadium with their first region win since the realignment with the 32-0 wallop of Morrow as the senior football players cheerleaders celebrated their final home game ending in a win. Although it was a huge senior night victory, a freshman ultimately stole the spotlight so secure the win. Quintarion Kelley has stepped up in a big way following starting running back Trevian Mason’s season-ending injury against Westlake on Oct. 6, as the freshman boasted three touchdowns as the new starter. Mason supported Kelley from the sidelines during his breakout game, and he as well as many Warrior seniors were very impressed with his performance. “This kid is going to be a big time and is going to be a 5-star athlete before his high school career is done,” said senior linebacker Armari Hodges. “He’s going to bring a lot of other students to, that’s for sure.”

Following the blowout, Warriors advanced to 3-4 on the season thanks to impressive performances on both sides of the ball. The Dubs will head south this Thursday Oct. 19 to finish out their regular season against the 7-2 Lovejoy Wildcats. Playoff aspirations still remain in the air, as a victory tomorrow against a strong Lovejoy is crucial for the squad’s chances at a second-consecutive playoff berth. The Warriors will also need some luck, as several other teams will need to lose in order to secure a spot in this year’s postseason. Although playoff hopes are slim, the Dubs still remain optimistic about their chances of reaching promised land. Go Dubs!