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Trojans will win in even matchup

POSTED: December 16, 2007 5:03 a.m.

I'm called upon to go ahead and make my prediction for Saturday's North Hall/Cairo game at the Dome.

Everyone at North Hall waits for me to pick the Trojans each Friday (and it has worked each and every time this season.) Everyone else in Hall County is waiting for anybody besides the Trojans to be predicted to win.

But I can't decide, it's too close to predict. There's got to be an easy way to predict this thing. Ahh, for the good old days predicting games against Gilmer and Pickens.

I could always use a dart board to make my pick, but I left it behind in my college years. By the way, if anyone finds that thing floating around a yard sale in Athens, let me know, I would love to have that thing back.

Perfect, I just found a quarter in my pocket. That's got to be the most scientific way to predict the outcome of a high school football game between 16- and 17-year-olds in an 80,000 seat stadium. If it's good enough for the GHSA to determine home field advantage, it's definitely good enough for our purposes here.

Wait a minute everybody, coach Christmas is trying to tell me something. Tails never fails? Alright I can't argue with a coach that has led the Trojans to the state quarterfinals three of the last four seasons.

And wouldn't you know it, tails it is. Good call coach Christmas!

I knew it all along that North Hall would win this game. And here's why.

I think North Hall will turn this game into a home field situation. Just look at the map. From Gainesville, it's only 60 miles south to the Georgia Dome. The Trojans will carry thousands of fans for this milestone game in the school's football history. On the other hand, it's about 250 miles and 13 back highways from Cairo to the ATL.

It's important for North Hall to keep this environment as similar to The Brickyard as possible, to ease the nerves it what could be a high pressure environment. Now I'm sure that Syrupmakers fans are going to travel quite well, but the distance between two points makes it easy to see why North Hall will have quite a few more fans.

Now on the field, I also feel like the Trojans have a slim advantage. First of all, North Hall is actually going to be the bigger team on the field for a change. Looking at film Sunday with North Hall's coaches, I had to rub my eyes a couple times at how modestly sized the Syrupmakers' players are. It looked like even I was big enough to play middle linebacker at Cairo, except for the fact I'm pretty sure I couldn't deliver quite as hard of a hit.

I also feel North Hall is the most disciplined football team. Coming into this game, the Trojans have a turnover ratio in the neighborhood of plus 25. That means the Trojans had 25 more takeaways than turnovers. A big part of flattering ratio is the unison in which North Hall's offense operates. It all starts with the offensive line, and their precision and translates into playmaking opportunities for quarterback Fabian Jackson, fullback Bobby Epps and half back Hunter Wolf.

I like what I saw on film of Cairo's offense. It will be a change of pace for North Hall's defense, but I'll bank on the fact that the Trojans' defense will continue to make it tough to score on the opponent.

It's going to be a great high school football game.

Prediction: North Hall 21, Cairo 17



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