North Hall needed a little bit of time to get Class AAA’s leading offense going, but once it did the Trojans scored six consecutive touchdowns, winning 42-7 over the White County Warriors at Homecoming at The Brickyard on Friday.
The Trojans (6-1, 4-0 Region 7-AAA) came into the game leading all of Class AAA in scoring and were ranked fourth in the entire state with 46.3 points per game.
As strong as North Hall’s offense has been, the Warriors (4-3, 2-2) had an answer for it in the first quarter: Keep the ball away from the Trojans’ offense.
After forcing a North Hall missed field goal, White County drove 80 yards for the first score of the game in a methodical 20-play drive that ate up nearly 10 minutes of game time.
The drive was capped off by Will Brock’s 17-yard quarterback draw on third-and-10, which left 8:13 in the first half.
It only took North Hall five plays to respond in the form of an 18-yard run from Andrew Smith. Only one play prior, Smith converted a fourth-and-seven with an 18-yard run.
The score was the first of 42 unanswered points put up by the Trojans.
North Hall then prevented the Warriors from converting on a fourth-down attempt on the Trojan 31-yard line and drove the ball down the field for another score.
This score came from T.J. Tate on a 28-yard scamper and put North Hall up by seven at halftime.
Four second half touchdowns from Zac Little, David Epps, Kevin Christmas and Bradley Brown proved too much for the White County defense.
“We feel like we have up to six guys who could take the starter role for us this season,” North Hall coach Bob Christmas said. “That allows us to keep their legs fresh and to finish strong.”
Kevin Christmas finished as the game’s leading rusher with 89 yards on nine carries.
“After the first quarter we started to make adjustments,” Kevin Christmas said. “We didn’t have any audibles set up at the beginning of the game, but when we went into halftime the coaches set some up, which made the difference.
“They came in at the beginning very aggressive and playing hard, but they just didn’t have the depth to keep it up for the whole game,” Kevin Christmas added.
The second half saw more of the same, as the Trojan defense allowed only 99 yards rushing from the White County offense. On the other side of the ball, North Hall compiled 398 yards on 42 carries from eight different rushers on the night.
“We are not using this as an excuse but we have eight sophomores playing on defense,” White County coach Bill Ballard said. “And they played tough for most of the first half, but we didn’t have the depth to keep up with them for the entire game.
“No matter how much we got down, they didn’t quit, which, as a coach, is something you want to see,” Ballard added. “We were able to force a fumble when they were driving in our territory and we were down 35-7.”
Looking forward, both North Hall and White County have crucial region games over the next three weeks.
The Trojans, who now sit atop the region standings with undefeated Buford, could play a de facto region championship if both schools are able to maneuver through their schedules with wins in the next two weeks. North Hall will travel to West Hall next Friday and host Banks County on Nov. 2.
“That game with Buford could be big, but we have to just keep playing hard from week-to-week and playing good defense,” Bob Christmas said. “We just have to do what we’ve been doing.”
White County plays Dawson County next week, and will be fighting with the Tigers for a potential third or fourth spot of the allotted four teams who make it to the state playoffs from the region.
A loss to Dawson County next week could mean the Warriors would have to win the remaining games on their schedule to remain in contention for a playoff berth. A win would put White County in line to take the No. 3 seed.