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Trojans still perfect

North Hall seals 7-AAA crown

POSTED: November 14, 2007 5:05 a.m.
The Chestatee fans that clogged Ledan Road, packed the school’s parking lots and jammed the stands of War Eagle Stadium wanted to see an upset.

What they saw instead Friday night was North Hall putting the final touches on its unblemished masterpiece of a regular season.

The Trojans (10-0, 4-0 7A-AAA) earned the Region 7-AAA title, a perfect regular season, a No. 1 seed in the playoffs and a win over a rival by beating Chestatee in blowout fashion, 53-6.

"Today, we were hitting on all eight (cylinders)," North Hall coach Bob Christmas said. "It wasn’t just one person. It was a lot of people. It was everybody. ... I thought it was just a great team effort."

North Hall made it clear early in the season it had designs on its second consecutive region title with three shutouts in three games.

The fact that the championship seemed like a foregone conclusion for much of the season didn’t make it any less sweet.

"I’m feeling great," senior Jackson Griffeth said. "It’s hard to expect to do so good. ... It’s totally surpassed everything we’ve thought. Now we know what we can do and we want a state championship."

For North Hall senior Hunter Wolf, the perfect season and region title are only the first two steps. He says his team has bigger plans.

"It was a good win, but we can’t get too hyped up," he said. "We’ve got another game ahead of us. ... This is where it starts."

The only part of North Hall’s game with Chestatee that was close was the coin toss. North Hall won that, too.

The Trojans’ offensive machine ran over

Chestatee repeatedly. The War Eagles only provided a few bumps in the road.

"We didn’t have a perfect game," Wolf said. "I think we are on our way (to a perfect game)."

North Hall scored 28 points in the game’s first 15 minutes and had a 40-0 lead at halftime. Were it not for a running clock in the second half, the Trojans might have repeated that score in the game’s final 24 minutes.

The only possession the Trojans did not score on was their final one, which was kneeled out inside Chestatee’s 15-yard line.

"It was very humbling," Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell said. "They are a complete football team. Every facet of the game, they are almost perfect. They played like it tonight."

North Hall senior running back Bobby Epps ran for 137 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. His 75-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the biggest play of the game.

After breaking through a gaping hole in the offensive line, Epps didn’t have to change direction once in his sprint to the end zone.

"It’s a trap play and the linemen did a great job," Epps said. "I got sprung and just started running. ... You never know with those. I just ran as hard as I could."

Each Wolf brother, Dylon and Hunter, had long runs for touchdowns.

Dylon Wolf ran for 65 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown and 17-yard touchdown, on four carries. Hunter Wolf ran for 77 yards and a 43-yard touchdown.

"They were phenomenal," Chestatee linebacker Chase Vasser said. "We were there to make the plays. ... They had some backs that can juke and their line was off the ball before I could even get off the ball. They were quick."

Senior quarterback Fabian Jackson started and ended North Hall’s scoring with two 2-yard touchdown runs. He also completed a 6-yard touchdown pass to junior Graham Duncan in the third quarter.

"I couldn’t really tell you," Christmas said when asked if the defense or offense was more impressive. "Both sides of the ball, I thought we were really clicking."

The Trojans’ defense fell 4 minutes, 26 seconds shy of ending its season with a shutout.

Chestatee managed to drive into North Hall territory three times, only once inside the 20-yard line, and scored once.

Senior running back Jo Jo Sweet ran in a 7-yard touchdown run for the final score of the game. Sweet finished the game with 94 yards on 23 carries.

"That hurt," Griffeth said. "I had Jo Jo wrapped up, pushing him back, but he kept on pushing. We did want a shut out."

The Trojans held the War Eagles to 201 total yards.

Chestatee found limited success with its running game, but not enough to keep North Hall on its heels.

"We had to spread them out and go one-back a little bit," Luttrell said. "I think we ran hard. I think we played hard."

Sophomore running back Ben Souther ran for 54 yards on six carries.

The loss, combined with White County’s 32-7 over Lumpkin County, ends Chestatee’s season without a playoff appearance.

"I think we are at a point now, we’ve grown so much," Luttrell said. "We are ready to make something happen in the future. These seven seniors have really laid the foundation to build a quality program here."

North Hall’s season continues next week when it welcomes McNair from Region 5 to the Brickyard in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.

Christmas said his team will enjoy the perfect season and region title over the weekend but will be back to business Monday.

"The kids will be ready," Christmas said. "We can prepare for people that don’t get to see us too often."

If the records and scores North Hall is putting up don’t concern the McNair Mustangs, this might: The Trojans think they are still getting better.

"I think we really have gotten better and we are going to be working really hard for state," Griffeth said.



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