After 10 regular-season victories and three home playoff wins, the North Hall High football team is ready to take its act on the road.
All the way to Atlanta.
North Hall (13-0) took one step closer to a state title Friday night by beating Perry 12-10 in the Class AAA quarterfinals. The Trojans will play Cairo at 3 p.m. next Saturday in the semifinals at the Georgia Dome.
"It's unbelievable," said Harold Daniels, North Hall's athletic director. "The kids worked so hard and it paid off with a trip to the Dome. I don't know if my heart is beating or not."
The win provided enough drama to cause any heart wearing green to skip.
Trailing 12-3 for most of the game, Perry scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to make it 12-10. The Panthers drove deep into North Hall territory on their final possession to set up a 37-yard field goal attempt for the win.
The kick sailed wide to the right and bedlam erupted in the home stands at The Brickyard. When North Hall quarterback Fabian Jackson took the final knee, fans stormed the field.
Elizabeth Jernigan, a North Hall cheerleader, couldn't help but cry as she shared hugs with players and fans.
"Half of us couldn't watch," she said of the final field goal attempt. "I'm just so happy. We are so pumped."
"It's crazy," said Jonny Heidkamp, a junior at North Hall High who was wearing more paint than clothing. "It was awesome. We're going to the Dome!"
"The Trojans are going to the top," said Danielle Berry, 12, a North Hall Middle student.