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Football Player of the Week: North Hall's T.J. Tate
Trojans running back had 4 touchdowns in win over Johnson
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Honor roll

Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Had 305 total yards of offense and passed for three touchdowns in a win against Buford.

Jay Gaudlock, Gainesville: Had two touchdown catches in a win against Buford.

Taylor Mitchell, Buford: Passed for 148 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Gainesville.

Cedric Harris, Johnson: Carried the ball 26 times for 117 yards in a loss to North Hall.

Andrew Smith, North Hall: Ran three times for 103 yards and a pair of touchdown runs (35, 57 yards) and returned an interception for a score in a win against Johnson.

Quan Clark, Chestatee: Carried the ball 19 times for 114 yards in a win against West Hall.

Will Brock, White County: Warriors quarterback combined for 206 yards of offense and three touchdowns in a win against Lumpkin County.

John Cox, Lakeview Academy: Forced a fumble, had a fumble recovery and intercepted a pass in a win against Hebron Christian.

Wesley Simonton, Jefferson: Had 14 tackles and four sacks in a win against Jackson County.

Sammy Williams, Jefferson: Rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown against Jackson County.

Chris Sayler, Dawson County: Had two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a loss to North Forsyth.

Drew Whitfield, Commerce: Rushed for 97 yards and two scores in a win against East Jackson.

Terrick Ramsey, Commerce: Had 80 receiving yards and scored on a 65-yard run for the Tigers.

Jamal Browner, Commerce: Had 20 carries totaling 98 yards for the Tigers.

T Bentley, Union County: Threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns and had 74 yards rushing in a win against Fannin County.

Cruz Shook, Towns County: Scored twice for the Indians in a loss to Fellowship Christian.

Compiled by Bill Murphy

T.J. Tate’s second-quarter catch last Friday against Johnson was just the icing on the cake. After three rushing touchdowns in the opening quarter for North Hall, the 5-foot-8, 165-pound Tate was the intended target of a pass from quarterback Bradley Brown, when a Knights defender got a hand on the ball while it was in the air.

That didn’t rattle Tate’s focus.

Tate, a senior, adjusted as the ball fluttered a bit in the air, had the presence of mind to come back and make the catch and run free for a 32-yard touchdown. Trojans coach Bob Christmas said that’s just one of the ways that Tate is able to make something out of nothing.

“T.J. is a very elusive back,” Christmas said. “He’s got good vision and ability to make big plays.”

When it was all done in the Trojans’ 55-7 win, Tate had 81 rushing yards and three rushing scores to go along with his pass reception for another score. For his effort, Tate is The Times Football Player of the Week.

Tate was able to get North Hall (2-0) out to a big lead with all three rushing scores in the first quarter, helping North Hall take a 20-0 lead. His first touchdown run came from 21 yards with 8:12 left to play in the quarter, while the next two scores were from 10 yards, the second of those on the final play of the first period.

Tate feels like his best run on the game was the first touchdown, when he spun off a defender to make it into the end zone.

Tate’s effort was a big part of the Trojans’ 258-yard rushing night last week, but even with Tate’s fast start, Christmas says it will work out that his top three running backs will all have about the same number of carries by the time the season is complete in North Hall’s newly-implemented wishbone offense.

Through two games, Tate leads North Hall this season with 197 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

Having used the wishbone as the foundation to win two state titles in Virginia in the 1990s, Christmas said that shifting to the new offense has broken the monotony that he feels running the same wing-T scheme for so many years produced.

“I second guessed the change some at first,” Christmas said. “We had the spring and summer to instill the wishbone and it’s now starting to click.”

Having played in multiple offenses before moving back to North Hall for his senior season, Tate says that the wishbone is his favorite of them all.

“It’s just hard-nosed football,” Tate said. “We know we have multiple backs that can all get the job done.”

And with the wishbone, it’s crucial to have more than one running back to carry the ball. Also last Friday, junior quarterback Andrew Smith had a big night, scoring a touchdown on all three carries for a total of 100 yards.

Christmas says that the wishbone is a more suitable fit for his team this season with linemen that are in the range of 6-foot-3 and 240-280 pounds.

“We have some big, strong linemen this season,” Christmas said.

Another pleasing aspect for North Hall’s coach is the execution of the entire unit during the second game. In the Trojans’ opener, they had to come back to secure a 32-20 win.

On Friday, North Hall plays host to Jefferson at The Brickyard.

“I just want to do my part to help the team win,” Tate said.

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