Even with Villa Rica left to play, North Paulding’s players knew they were going to the postseason because of an earlier win over South Paulding. But they still wanted to get this last win to boost their record and keep the spirit up, said first year head coach Scott Jones.
“We are in the playoffs; however, we do want to finish the regular season on a positive note,” he said.
As most teams do, according to Jones, the Wolfpack set two goals for this season — have a winning record and make it to the playoffs.
“We have accomplished both so we are excited about the rest of the season,” Jones said.
The postseason will hold some challenges as the three teams they lost to this season — Allatoona, East Paulding and Rome — will be in the playoffs as well.
Prior to the final game of the season, Jones said he felt his team would face a challenge from Villa Rica.
“Villa Rica has improved as the season has progressed. They are well coached and big. We have a challenge ahead but look forward to the contest,” said Jones.
Going into this game the Wolfpack had a group of players that were contributing greatly to the team and helping them reach this goal.
Sophomore Cornelius Collins has been a big force on offense with 764 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 412 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. Quarterback Chase Noonan had 135 completions on 216 pass attempts for 1,667 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Noonan also had 580 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. Kayden Bishop had 193 rushing yards for three touchdowns and 369 receiving yards for five touchdowns.
With these players and the rest of the team, the Wolfpack defeated Villa Rica, 37-7, and with this win, North Paulding took the fourth seed in region 5-AAAAA and finally made it into the playoff bracket.
Now that the regular season is over and North Paulding is 7-3, the team is fully focused on the playoffs and will be pleased regardless of the outcome, the coach said.
“As a first year coach at North, I am pleased with what we have accomplished,” Jones said.
The Wolfpack will travel to Flowery Branch for the first round of the postseason Friday night.