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Challenge awaits White County linemen
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White County coach Gregg Segraves discusses his defensive line and the Warriors' upcoming game against North Hall .

They’re 1,030 pounds of protection. That’s how much weight an offense faces when they line up against the White County’s defensive line.

The line consists of junior defensive ends Tyler Hamilton (275-pounds) and Dylan Lewis (235) along with tackles C.J. McDonald (245) and Tasi Suaava (275). Together the four linemen give the Warriors (2-2) one of the biggest defensive lines in Region 7-AAA.

Their size has provided White County (2-2) with a terrific run-stopping defense that has limited opponents to only 3.7 rushing yards per carry this season.

Whether or not the Warriors’ size gives them an upper hand against a run-oriented Wing-T offense of North Hall will be tested when they face North Hall on Friday in Cleveland.

The Trojans (2-2, 1-0 Region 7A-AAA) feature two running backs consistently. It will be the first time this season that White County has faced a team with this scheme, says Warriors coach Gregg Segraves. The closest White County came previously to an offense of this nature was Franklin County in the season opener.

“This game will be a challenge for our guys up front,” Segraves said. “They have two good running backs, and not only that, they also have a quarterback that can run and throw the ball. That’s what makes them so dangerous.”

With so many rushing plays going in different directions, Segraves’ biggest concern is that his line may get tired from the constant run-stopping, which is why the team has taken extra caution to ensure that every player is conditioned well enough to play a full four quarters without getting tired. Segraves feels the drop off in the second half was an issue against Gainesville and West Hall.

“The line tiring has been an issue in the last two games,” Segraves said. “But we feel like our kids are in good shape, and they’re going to be ready to go.

“We even did a fitness test to make sure our kids were in shape.”

North Hall’s speed has been its greatest upside, and will be most important in order to escape the mammoth White County linemen. Their offense rests on the production of seniors Avery Nix, Graham Duncan, Matt Christmas and junior Peyton Wilhoite.

Should the Warriors’ line be too much to break, running around them could be another option.

“We’re a sideline-to-sideline offense,” Trojans coach Bob Christmas said. “We have to keep them off balance with the outside game and the option.”

White County isn’t the first team North Hall has faced this year that has a large defensive line. The Trojans faced Class AA’s top-ranked Buford on Sept. 5, and faced 300-pound tackle Dallas Lee and 250-pounder Trevor Warbington.

But the Trojans lost the game 45-14, and look to avoid the same result against a White County defensive line similar in size to the Wolves.

“When you play a team like Buford, you expose your weaknesses,” Christmas said. “White County has a big defensive line, but we aren’t changing anything.”

While the Warriors may bring have size not commonly found in the region, North Hall isn’t overly outsized. Their offensive line consists of Cody Lowe and Ross Biggers, both well over 200 pounds, and their biggest lineman, Daniel Blitch, who weighs in a 330 pounds — 55 pounds bigger than Suaava and Hamilton.

“We have some big people, but we want to be hard-nosed,” Christmas said. “We have to get angles on them (White County defense).”

Put the two lines against each other, along with The Trojan’s complex running game, and the making for a interesting subregion game is made.

“It’s a been 21 years since White County beat North Hall and our kids are hungry,” Segraves said. “It’s going to be a great night of football.”

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