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Defense, running attack spark North Hall's 38-0 win
Big plays, stiff defense lift Trojans to third victory
White County running back Ashley Lowery runs into North Hall's Nathan Jones for a short gain during the first half of Friday night's game at The Brickyard.


North Hall coach Bob Christmas talks about his team's win against White County

When the play call came in from the sideline Friday night, North Hall’s Trevor Ross was immediately thinking about scoring a touchdown.

As it turns out, his initial impression wasn’t too far off.

Ross was on the receiving end of a long pass from Trojans quarterback Nathan Jones with only seconds remaining in the first half after taking over possession at their own 35. Leading 9-0 at the time, North Hall scored only four plays later and defeated White County 38-0 at The Brickyard.

"It was a play we’ve worked on in practice and as soon as I heard the call, I was thinking touchdown," Ross said.

The play itself was a play-action pass called in from Trojans (3-2, 2-0 Region 7A-AAA) coach Bob Christmas to try and get downfield quick. They already were in good field position after White County (3-2, 0-1) opted to punt short and cut down on the probability for a long return going into halftime.

That play call worked out extremely well for the Trojans. Ross slid wide open down the middle of the field for a 44-yard gain on a strike from Jones. Four plays later, and with only 9 seconds left in the opening half, North Hall running back Peyton Wilhoite scored from the 2 to extend North Hall’s lead to 16-0.

"We were just going to try that play-action pass once and see if we could get in scoring position and we did," Christmas said. "So we just jumped into our two-minute offense after that."

With the win, North Hall has 17 consecutive wins in the subregion and 16 consecutive wins against the Warriors.

The Trojans won behind a balanced offensive attack. North Hall rushed for 129 yards and four touchdowns. The Trojans also passed for 108 yards, including a 40-yard reception by Ben Booth on the second drive of the game, which set up a 42-yard field goal from Shane Doster.

North Hall also played particularly well against White County’s spread offense. The Trojans held the Warriors’ quarterback tandem of Tyler Dotson and Cole Segraves to a combined 3-for-20 passing for only 14 yards.

North Hall’s coverage was solid all night on defense, highlighted by a pair of interceptions from Nathan Jones and one from Mark Fuller.

"Our defensive coaches had a great game plan and I though our kids played lights out on defense," Christmas said. "People said that they’d hurt us in the air but we didn’t let them complete many.

"Our defense just played fantastic."

North Hall also scored a defensive touchdown when Randy Olson recovered a snap over the quarterback’s head and returned it 26 yards for the score. The Trojans held White County to only 94 rushing yards, led by Dotson’s 45 yards.

"We just flew to the football all night and tried to play punishing defense," said Wilhoite, a linebacker.

Success in the subregion home opener was set into motion from last week’s 45-21 win at Creekview. The win put the Trojans back on track after losses to a pair of No. 1’s earlier in the season (Buford in Class AA, Gainesville in Class AAA).

Against White County, the Trojans wasted little time getting on the board. North Hall put together a nine-play drive that included long runs from Jones and Booth and ended with Wilhoite’s touchdown run from the 7.

In the second half, Humphrey scored both of North Hall’s offensive touchdowns (4-and 5-yards) and also ran it in on a two-point conversion.

Booth was North Hall’s leading rusher with five carries for 51 yards. Humphrey carried 12 times for 43 yards for the Trojans.

North Hall plays host to Flowery Branch and White County plays host to Creekview next Friday.

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