By SHADDI ABUSAID
KENNESAW, Ga. — Kennesaw Mountain High School lost for the second week in a row Friday as junior quarterback Tyler Queen and the North Cobb Warriors defeated the Mustangs 55-13 in the first football game ever played at Kennesaw State University’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
Queen, who is committed to Auburn, had six touchdowns – three rushing and three passing. He scored the game’s first points just 30 seconds into the first quarter as he ran the ball in from 18 yards out on a quarterback draw. This set the tone for the rest of the game as the Warriors (2-1) picked apart the Mustangs’ defense, scoring at will.
The Warriors caught the Mustangs (1-2) off-guard on their second play of the game when wide receiver Cam Albright picked up the ball on a reverse and heaved it 32 yards downfield to a wide open Torrance McGee to set up Queen’s first score.
“I don’t think they were expecting it at all, really,” Queen said after the game. “We practiced it all week and it was just fun to come out here and do something different for the first play.”
Queen, who is the son of North Cobb’s head coach, had an incredible 52-yard touchdown pass on North Cobb’s second drive when he found a wide open McGee to put the Warriors up 14-0 less than four minutes into the game.
North Cobb’s quarterback threw what appeared to be a fourth down, 43-yard touchdown seven minutes into the first quarter but the play was called back due to an ineligible man downfield. Queen, who is also the team’s kicker, was forced to punt and ended up pinning the Mustangs on their own 10-yard line.
Kennesaw Mountain chose to stick with the run for the majority of the game. The Mustangs attempted to move the chains by pounding the ball for 3 and 4-yard gains, but struggled to find gaps in North Cobb’s defensive line. They moved the chains well early on but couldn’t seem to find their way into the red zone.
“North Cobb played extremely well,” Kennesaw Mountain Head Coach Andy Scott said after the game. “They’re very well-coached and they did a great job. They executed a lot better than we did, no question about it.”
Kennesaw Mountain’s senior running back Jamari Carter split carries with quarterback Nigel Hayes for the majority of the game and the duo had one rushing touchdown apiece for the Mustangs’ only scores.
““We’re a run-first team,” Scott said. “Obviously we were trying to stay on the field and keep them off the field as much as possible.”
North Cobb certainly didn’t stay on the field very long, but that is only because they scored their touchdowns so quickly. The Mustangs turned the ball over on downs in the third quarter and Queen broke a 53-yard run on the first play of the drive to score his sixth and final touchdown during a possession that lasted exactly 12 seconds.
The Auburn-bound quarterback sat out the entire fourth quarter, a quarter in which the game clock never stopped counting down. The “continuous clock rule” serves to bring high school contests to a timely end if the game is a blowout.
“I felt like I played pretty well but the score has nothing to with me,” Queen said modestly. “It was just an all-around great team effort.”