Roswell ran away from North Cobb late in its Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals game to win 42-14 at home. Roswell quarterback Malik Willis accounted for five of the Hornets’ six touchdowns, completing 14 of 24 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns to go with 12 carries, 130 yards rushing and two scores on the ground.
Willis put his team up 21-0 in the course of a few minutes in the late first quarter and early second. In the first quarter, he threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Corey Reed, set up by a LeAnthony Williams interception, and a 10-yard pass to Jayden Comma, after a Sam DiRoberto strip and Koby Cumberlander fumble recovery.
Then in the second quarter, Willis put Roswell up 21-0 on a 24-yard touchdown run, which was made possible by perhaps the play of the game. Roswell safety Xavier McKinney cleanly stripped a North Cobb receiver running with the ball during a promising Warriors possession, taking the ball away at the Roswell 33-yard line and setting up that scoring drive.
The Hornets survived a mid-game lull during which the North Cobb defense tightened and the Warriors passing game came alive. North Cobb cut the Roswell lead to 21-14 heading into the fourth quarter after quarterback Will Lovett found receiver Drew Tejchman for touchdown passes of 82 and 17 yards, the second set up by a Christian Albright recovery of a Willis fumble.
But Roswell put the game away in the fourth quarter with three touchdowns. The first was a 7-yard touchdown run from Sheldon Evans to make it 35-14. North Cobb responded quickly with a long touchdown pass from Lovett to Imad Strozier and a recovery of an onside kick with under five minutes to play. But a 51-yard scoring pass from Willis to Christian Ford and an explosive 72-yard run from Willis closed out the game.
Roswell moves on to play upset-winner Westlake in next Friday’s semifinals.