ROSWELL - Things did not start well for Hebron in Friday's game against North Cobb Christian, but an outstanding defense and a gutsy performance by quarterback Matthew Pursell allowed the Lions to prevail over the Eagles.
The matchup, technically a home game for Hebron (4-1), was played at the Fellowship Christian Academy in Roswell was one-sided at the start. North Cobb Christian (0-5) rolled to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
But that was when the Lions decided enough was enough. Pursell, one part of the Lions' two-quarterback rotation along with Paul Stinespring, led his team on a 65-yard touchdown drive in which he carried the ball seven times and converted a fourth-down conversion. His 6-yard TD run capped the march.
From there, the defense took over. After a three-and-out, the Lions' Matt Stephens blocked a punt and recovered on the 6-yard line. That allowed running back Xavier Railey to tie the game with a 6-yard score.
"(The defense) played phenomenal," Hebron head coach Brian Smith said. "Especially after giving up 14 early."
Smith's excellent defense continued to shine when Stephens had a 27-yard interception for touchdown. His defensive TD turned out to the be game-winner as the Hebron defense clamped down in the final two quarters.
Pursell rushed for 128 yards on 26 carries, Railey had 12 rushes for 62 yards and Will Treadwell caught four passes for 73 yards.
Tyler Smith led the Hebron defense with 11 tackles, while Stephens had eight tackles and a sack to go with his interception. Hunter Bagley (six tackles, sack, forced fumble) also played well, while Railey and Dutton also had interceptions.