One of the craziest plays you’ll ever see occurred last Friday in a game between North Cobb Christian and Wesleyan. The Eagles were down 13-15 with just 10 seconds left in the game and had 66 yards to go for a score.
The prospect of victory looked bleak, especially for a team who makes their hay on the ground, but what happened next is nothing short of a sports miracle. We talked with defensive coordinator PJ Hughes, who broke down a lot of the action.
“Matty Go threw the pass to Jacob Cruz initially. Cruz lateraled to Skyler Parker. Parker to Trey Priester. Priester back to Cruz. Cruz back to Parker. Then Parker threw across the field to Jadin Coates for the score, with a big block out front by Brayden Williby,” Hughes said.
Chaos ensued immediately after Coates crossed the goal line with the student section rushing onto the field to celebrate in what will certainly go down as one of the top plays for the 2022 season in the state. In that moment, Hughes was more of a bystander than a coach.
“Me personally, I was simply in shock. We felt like we were deserving of a win with how we played the whole game. Executed our game plan. But we made key mistakes at the end, and so it was just fulfilling to see our kids find a way to make up for those mistakes. It was really cool to see the atmosphere of the student section rushing the endzone to celebrate with our players,” he said.
The play ended up making our weekly top plays and eventually took the #1 spot in the state of Georgia for Week 3. It couldn’t have turned out better for North Cobb Christian, but what’s even more surprising was they had just implemented that play in practice earlier in the week.
“We put the initial pass and lateral in last week and practiced it 4 times, but the kids made the other plays on their own,” Hughes said.
That is truly amazing and says a lot about the seniors at North Cobb Christian and their never-quit attitude. Many who follow recruiting in the state have heard of P5 prospects in Jacob Cruz (Georgia Tech commit) and Gabe Fortson (undecided), but Hughes believes several more seniors are overlooked from this class of 2023 and listed a few off the top of his head.
“We really do have a lot of good players in that senior class. We think really highly of Brayden Williby, Trey Priester, and Skyler Parker.”
Hughes then talked about each senior and what they bring to the table.
Brayden Williby – “Williby is a 6’3 205 lb. OLB and slot who plays fast and physical. He does a lot on both sides of the ball for us, and also helps in the return game. Truly believe he will catch on late, because he has size, speed, and mentality.”
Trey Priester – “Priester is a 5’10 195 lb. RB who gets better as the game goes on. He has great quickness and power and always finds a way to fall forward.”
Skyler Parker – “Parker is a 6’2 200 lb. WR with elite explosiveness. The former gymnast has an almost 40” vert and great hands to have only played football for 3 years. Very good speed as well, he will be a hidden gem for someone.”
Typically, we extensively break down recruits in these weekly features, but coach Hughes has done a great job of summarizing each senior, so we have attached each of their Hudl profiles before each comment. We do have a few short thoughts on the seniors who participated in the crazy game-winning score.
Williby is a 6’3″ 205 lbs. edge defender who is very active with his hands and shows good explosiveness at the point of attack. He is a versatile and tough football player with D1 caliber size. Parker is a 6’2″ 200 lbs. receiver who had 50 yards receiving and two touchdowns the other night against Wesleyan. He is a fluid athlete who shows excellent body control going up for grabs while showcasing an excellent motor on defense. Priester has been getting reps at running back since his sophomore year and is a steady contributor. He has good balance and is a determined runner who consistently fights for extra yardage. The last senior in the North Cobb Christian miracle was Jadin Coates who sped down the right sideline for the decisive score. At 6′ and 205 lbs. the senior can hit his top speed quickly and is proficient at breaking arm tackles or just making defenders flat out miss in space.
There is little doubt in our mind that North Cobb Christian is a team to watch out for in 2A. They have a strong senior class and the resolve to never give up even when the chips are down. Getting over previous mistakes and pulling together to win is a hallmark of a winning program, which says a lot about the leadership of the coaching staff and players themselves.
North Cobb Christian should be a fun team to watch the remainder of the season, so be sure to follow @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to hear the latest on the Eagles and the many athletes across the state of Georgia.