Read previews of all the area high school football games here:
East Hall at Jackson County
Gainesville vs. Apalachee
Johnson at Pickens
North Hall vs. Carrollton
Riverside Military vs. Rabun County
West Hall vs. North Oconee
Buford at White County
Banks County at North Cobb Christian
Lumpkin County vs. Our Lady of Mercy
Habersham Central at West Forsyth
BYE WEEK: Chestatee, Lakeview Academy, Dawson County, Jefferson
Consistency is sought after by many coaches in nearly every sport.
For North Hall coach David Bishop, it’s a key for his players as they line up this week against Carrollton.
“We’re playing a very talented Carrollton football team. They have a lot of history and they’re a very disciplined team,” Bishop said. “It’s going to take another consistent effort from our kids playing as intense and fast as they possibly can and playing for each other.”
North Hall (1-1) will line up against the Trojans from Carrollton (0-3) at The Brickyard at 7:30 tonight, following an inspiring 24-10 victory over West Hall last week.
That win, though, is now an afterthought for Bishop.
“One thing we try to teach our kids is Friday was Friday, just like the week before was Jefferson. We’ve got to put that behind us,” he said. “It’s the same thing with this one. We talked about it (Monday). As fun as it was and enjoyable as it was, it’s time to forget about that one and look forward to Carrollton.”
In two previous meetings between the teams, Carrollton won both games.
“Last year was last year with our kids and we’re a different football team,” Bishop said. “We still have a long way to go. History doesn’t affect me. I’m just looking forward.”
Junior running back Kyle Bacus is also letting go of the past and looking forward to this week’s matchup after delivering a 129-yard, three-score performance against West Hall.
“A game is a game,” Bacus said. “We’ve just got to go out there and compete and let that go in the past. We’ve just got to go to out there and give it all we’ve got and whatever happens, happens.”
Looking forward to tonight’s game is exactly what they’ve done.
“They’re (Carrollton’s) an extremely fast team and they’ve got some big linemen too,” said senior linebacker Nathan Kinney. “We’ve got to focus on containing that speed and not let them burn us with it on the outside. Our defensive line has to just keep fighting with those big boys.”
North Hall’s defense will be tasked with corralling Carrollton’s running backs. The visitors have four running backs with over 100 yards, including senior Jarvis Terrell, who is averaging 8.6 yards per carry and leads the team with 198 yards.
Offensively, Bacus said North Hall will need to tighten up its blocking up front. That’s a spot Bishop also said needed to be worked on.
“The offensive line has to get a little bit better at what we do,” Bishop said. “They did a great job at times Friday night (against West Hall) and I expect to see them a whole lot better this week.”
North Hall’s offensive line will have to contend with Carrollton’s Michael Boykin, a 6-foot-6, 255-pound defensive end. Boykin, a Louisville commit, will be the main threat against North Hall quarterback Jackson Madonna.
“Our kids just don’t need to look at how tall he is and be concerned about that,” Bishop said. “What we do offensively is really different from what most folks do, so it’s not what they’re used to seeing either.”
Bishop also said Carrollton’s defense, as a whole, will be tough due to the size, speed and experience of its players.
“They play well,” he said. “They’re big and fast. They’ve got a lot of their defense back, so defensively they should be a little more solid than they were last year.”
North Hall will use its discipline to take care of playing the athletes on Carrollton’s roster.
“We just need to be extremely disciplined and focused on our assignments to make sure we’re prepared on the mental side of the game to combat their athleticism,” Kinney said.
Bishop said his team needs to take advantage of any mistakes Carrollton makes in the game.
So far this season, Carrollton has given up three interceptions and lost five of their six fumbles.
With Carrollton coming in fighting for its first win, Bishop said his team will play on the same idea it played with in the second half against West Hall.
“They’re 0-3, looking to get that first win and they’re going to be giving us everything they have early,” Bishop said. “I look at things and know if you can get on top of some people and play them close, they start putting question marks in their head, especially with the way they’ve started out.”
To Bacus, the team just needs to go out and take care of itself.
“Like always, we’re going to go out there and try to beat them with our smaller guys, but with more discipline,” he said. “We’ve got to stay focused, remember our assignments and go out there and do what we do.”