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White County defense stops Trojans, 21-7

POSTED: October 18, 2013 11:50 p.m.
NAT GURLEY/The Times

North Hall's Zac Little escapes White County defenders for a touchdown run in the first half of Friday night's game in Cleveland.

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CLEVELAND — White County just proved it can play with the big boys in Region 7-AAA.

A.J. Vandiver had just the right touch on his passes when White County needed it most on Friday. And the Warriors' defense made plenty of big hits to slow North Hall’s wishbone offense in Cleveland.

And with a 21-7 win, White County (5-2, 3-1) delivered the first upset to the top of the region standings and greatly helped its playoff chances.

It marked White County’s first win against North Hall since 2010.

“It feels great to beat North Hall, but we can’t get too high about it because we still have some very good teams left to play,” said White County running back Dalton Whitfield, who rushed for 100 yards and had a touchdown grab in the first half.

White County coach Bill Ballard says that he added a linebacker to give a 5-3 defensive look to match North Hall’s physical style of offensive play. Now at 3-1 in region play, the Warriors turn their attention to Dawson County on Friday as they hope to finish strong and get a homefield playoff spot at season’s end.

“This is a big win for us, but now we have to focus on Dawson County and then we have to play West Hall after that,” Ballard said.

Zac Little led fourth-ranked North Hall (6-1, 3-1) with 113 yards on the ground and a long first-quarter touchdown run. The Trojans finished the game with 285 yards on the ground and 335 yards of total offense.

However, Vandiver’s perfectly-placed touchdown passes were clearly the difference in the game. He connected on touchdown throws to Whitfield in the first half, then Tucker Cook early in the third quarter that made the difference.

After eluding a sack deep in the backfield as he roamed to his left, Vandiver connected with Cook on a 5-yard touchdown in the early minutes of the third quarter to grab a 21-7 lead. Vandiver’s first big touchdown pass for the Warriors was late in the second quarter with a 9-yard pass to a leaping Whitfield in the end zone. Whitfield made the grab between three North Hall defenders.

White County’s defense matched the effort of the offense. Despite some productive drives by the North Hall offense, the Warriors defense stood strong and stopped the Trojans on all five of their fourth-down attempts. With six minutes left to play in the game, White County’s defense stopped North Hall quarterback Andrew Smith just shy of the yardage he needed on fourth and 2 at the Warriors’ 11.

“I think the difference in the game was that we came out very flat in the first half,” North Hall coach Bob Christmas said. “When you play White County, you’re going to have to play well all 48 minutes.”

White County made big plays in the first half that have been hard to come by to this stage in the season against a strong Trojans' defense. Whitfield’s 9-yard touchdown grad on a jump ball in the end zone between a trio of North Hall defenders gave White County the 14-7 edge going into halftime.

The Warriors’ also were first to strike in the game. Coley Loudermilk slipped through the line midway through the first quarter for an 80-yard touchdown run for White County. Little answered less than two minutes later with a 61-yard scoring run for the Trojans, which rushed for 151 in the opening half.

Tied 7-all early in the second quarter, North Hall started to string a drive together. Smith hit Nolan Tucker along the sideline for a 28-yard gain, and then Bennett carried for 6 yards into Warriors territory.

Despite the progress, the drive stalled for North Hall.

Smith had an elusive 32-yard run on third-and-6 on North Hall’s next drive, trailing 14-7 at this point, before the Warriors defense stopped the Trojans on a fourth-down run attempt.

White County finished the game with 300 yards of offense, 225 on the ground.

On Friday, North Hall hosts West Hall at The Brickyard; White County hosts Dawson County in Cleveland.

 


Comments

9 comments
TheConfessor: October 19, 2013 10:13 a.m.

pdk if you're out there here's a report for you...

The ol' Confessor chose to forgo watching my Wolves emasculate Dawson County, so a buddy and I headed north to Cleveland to see what I thought would be a good game. Now let me say I was dead wrong about this game in this week's Confessors Conquered.

Last week I watched as my Wolves beat the Warriors and I saw something in this White County team I have not seen in any of our opponents this season including Big Red: reckless regard and no fear. I was hesitant to pick North Hall over the Warriors but I'm a Bob Christmas fan and I felt the Trojans would be better prepared.

Boy was I wrong...

The Warriors started off in high gear and never let off the gas. Both White County and North Hall employ an option based offense. WC the Flexbone & North Hall the Wishbone. Although both schemes are similar, WC uses finesse to move the ball & NH pure brute force. If you know anything about Triple-Option football you know if a team establishes the "Dive" play they will be pretty hard to stop. WC established the dive with their big Fullback Whitfield & never stopped. WC threw a different look on occasion at NH (I-Formation w/ wing & unbalanced line) & it seemed to me NH's Defensive Coaches never adjusted. That formation racked up the yardage. Also, NH is very shaky in pass coverage & WC used it to their advantage.

In a nutshell: WC was prepared, motivated and executed. NH, came out flat, unmotivated and in my opinion overconfident and it costs them the game and possibly second seed in 7 AAA. They didn't look like the typical Bob Christmas team.

I predict a rough week of practice for the Men from Troy.


lakeman: October 19, 2013 11:07 a.m.

I am as tired of watching the same NH players play every play, as those select players are of playing. We will never know if we have any other talent on our team. 85% of the team uniforms still have yet to see a grass stain. Ridiculous! They are tired, it shows. Let some others play!

And now, I'll get blunt and to the point.

1. Our quarterback can NOT see over the line to guage a good array of open receivers.
2. It is unbelievable and ridiculous that our quarterback plays 3 or 4 different positions including, incredibly, punt returner.
3. Our quarterback must execute plays in a split second with no time to allow holes to open up.
4. Guess what play will be run when the line bunches all up together? A RUN PLAY! You guessed it! So does the other team.

Lastly, somebody rewind the game tapes to see exactly where the ball was on 1st down, NH possession, after WC 4th down and out, down on the 20, 4th quarter, about 6 minutes to go. Did we get a 1st down on that 4th and 1? Or did the chain gain and officials mess up the measurement that gave WC the ball back? Look at the tapes.


oldwrench: October 19, 2013 12:59 p.m.

Lakeman, I've asked some of the same questions for years. With the number of players we have, why can't we run a 2 platoon system? I know we have enough linemen and fullbacks/linebackers, so why not?

If our qb was 6 inches taller and 50 lbs heavier every college in the world would be after him. That being said, if he was he couldn't win the games by himself.

WC had 9-11 defensive players in the box all night. When we did throw and was successful we gave up on passing and went right back to no yards up the middle?

That 4th down at the 10 was noticed by the radio commentators too. Seems the chain gang and official added a yard when they went out to measure.

No excuse for 3 other trips into the redzone and no points.

Game's over, move on. Hope WC loses at least 1 and we beat Buford. Yeah, right!


pdk: October 19, 2013 4:32 p.m.

Hey Confessor. Yeah, I knew you had reservations about picking North Hall before the game. I thought the game would be close for the first half but I thought NH would wear them down in the second half to win by 3 TD's. I was wrong as well. I have not watched White Co. play this year but it is obvious that they are a solid team. Congrats to WC for a great game. I guess they just kicked in the door to get the #2 seed out of 7-AAA.

Lakeman - I agree with you that North Hall needs to use more players. I feel bad for Andrew Smith sometimes because he plays non stop. That kid might be the most conditioned athlete in Hall Co. Buford plays a lot of players both ways but Buford subs others in a lot to give their players a rest. I know the NH team rarely subs. This is going to hurt NH in the playoffs.

I was surprised by the Chestatee vs Lanier game. Grats to Chestatee!
Buford and North Gwinette really played soft games this weekend. It was nice of them to take it easy on overmatched teams.
Flowery Branch better play good aginst Clarke Central. The Gladiators were actually pretty good.


TheConfessor: October 19, 2013 4:40 p.m.

Gentlemen We're spoiled down at Buford because we do have a lot of depth. But both of you make a point. As I watched the game it did appear that NH had very few substitutions with at least 85% of the starters going both ways. Their poor QB #14 seldom left the field. As an option QB he's going to take a lot of hits without playing defense and that weighs on a kid. Surely NH has someone who can spell him on defense. Christmas plays Triple-Option because he has very few athletes and the Triple-Option is a good equalizer. That being said NH needs to develop more 2nd & 3rd stringers because their starters are getting worn out, and that's going to lead to injuries.


TheConfessor: October 19, 2013 4:50 p.m.

pdk I'll tell you WC impressed me both against us and NH. Even though we beat them pretty handily, they wouldn't quit and finally got it in the end zone. If they can get by West Hall, they will go 8-2. I do not see Dawson County or Banks County giving them much trouble. NH, on the other hand, might ought to be worried. They play West Hall next week and us at the end of the year. West Hall isn't that bad. North Hall's weakness is lack of depth and a secondary that is very suspect and that won't bode well in the Playoffs. If WC gets by West Hall, I can see them winning at least 2 playoff games.


myview: October 19, 2013 4:56 p.m.

Hey guys, this is high school. For goodness sakes!!!


lakeman: October 19, 2013 7:52 p.m.

Christmas either doesn't get it, or he doesn't want to do it. Either way, Christmas must substitute players or we need new direction. We simply can't win with the big boys if we play less than 20 players. Nobody wins the big games without fresh players. Christmas?


lakeman: October 19, 2013 7:55 p.m.

And has anyone watched the tapes on our last 4th down to see if the officials missed it? I think NH had first and goal on our last drive.



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