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No title, but a great ride for Trojans and their fans
North Hall faithful enjoy journey to Dome
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ATLANTA -- This season, North Hall's football team beat Elephants, War Eagles, Knights and Warriors on its way to school history.

But the Trojans only loss and ultimate demise came in the form of the Syrupmakers.

After 13 straight wins and a Region 7-AAA championship, North Hall's season came to an end Saturday in the Class AAA state semifinals in the Georgia Dome, losing to Cairo 42-21.

"I can't explain it," North Hall senior Scotty Crawford said with a blank expression on his face. "It has been a lot of fun and we are going out with a bang."

It was North Hall's first time playing in the Georgia Dome, but the Syrupmakers made sure the Trojans (13-1) left with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Ahead 14-7 at halftime, North Hall gave up 35 unanswered points in the second half, losing any notion of momentum. An 80-yard touchdown run by Cairo running back Reginald Bryant on the first play from scrimmage in the second half that tied the game 14 made sure of that.

"I thought we had the momentum after the first half," North Hall coach Bob Christmas said. "We just let it get away from us."

The Syrupmakers took it and ran. Cairo put the clamps down on the Trojans after that, giving the North Hall faithful very little to cheer about.

A fan base not used to losing spent much of the second half with dazed looks, heads held in their hands.

"It was very hard," senior cheerleader Julie Bohannon said. "People kind of lost hope."

Still, down by 28 points with minutes quickly rolling off the season, senior lineman Adam McDaniel jumped up and down across the North Hall sideline, urging the Trojans' fans to give his team one last cheer.

Those fans were rewarded with a 9-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Hunter Wolf with 2:05 left, the final points North Hall scored in the 2007 season.

Walking off the field for the last time, the Trojans crossed in front of the North Hall student section on their way off the field. The students gave their team one last round of applause before it faded into the gray tunnel at the corner of the stadium.

"I think it is just going to make us better," Crawford said after the game. "Now we will know what it takes to win in this place."

In North Hall's locker room, Christmas did his best to console his heartbroken players, telling them that they shouldn't let Saturday's loss take away from what has been a historic season.

The Trojans fans feel the same way. "It doesn't take anything away," senior Cory Gearin said of the loss. "It is awesome that we even made it here. It's been amazing. ... I'm never going to forget it."
Bohannon agreed, adding that it is better to have been at the Dome and lost then to never have been there at all.

"Just to experience the Dome is enough for me," she said.