CANTON — North Hall certainly isn’t going to win all of its football games. But the Trojans certainly find a way to win the ones that count.
The Trojans (2-2, 1-0 Region 7A-AAA) rushed for 326 yards in the first half and finished the game with 542 yards of offense Friday as they opened the subregion push for the playoffs with a 45-21 win over Class AAA’s No. 7-ranked Creekview at Grizzlies Stadium.
Six of North Hall’s final seven regular season games are against teams in the subregion and will determine qualifying for the playoffs.
"I’m very happy about this win," North Hall coach Bob Christmas said. "I’m very proud of our effort because we were sound from start to finish."
With the win, the Trojans are now a perfect 17-0 in subregion games since the region divided in 2006. North Hall’s win was also soothing for its program after falling to top-ranked Gainesville 55-12 last week.
"I think this just shows that we can still be a dominant team on this side of the subregion," Trojans running back Peyton Wilhoite said.
North Hall found immediate success running the football against Creekview (3-1, 0-1). Jordan Chaffin scored on a 29-yard touchdown on the Trojans’ first series, an eight-play, 80-yard drive consisting of all running plays. Wilhoite had a 20-yard run for North Hall on the opening drive and scored on an 18-yard run on the team’s next series.
"We worked so hard this week on trying to hit the hole and that made us so much faster," Wilhoite added.
Chaffin finished the game with a team-high 127 rushing and two touchdowns. Wilhoite had 114 rushing yards and a touchdown.
North Hall scored five touchdowns in the first half, four of which came on running plays. After shaking off a lone defender at midfield, Chaffin’s 85-yard touchdown on North Hall’s first offensive play in the second quarter gave the Trojans a 21-0 lead.
Equally impressive was Robert Humphrey’s 23-yard touchdown score after managing to shake free off three defenders, extending North Hall’s lead to 28-7.
North Hall’s lone passing score in the opening half was a 31-yard play action pass from quarterback Kanler Coker to senior Ben Booth.
Creekview’s offense was without its main running threat after junior running back Eric Smith broke his arm last week against West Forsyth. The Grizzlies only time-consuming drive in the opening half was on the game’s first drive, but was derailed after a clipping penalty inside the North Hall 20.
Hunter Livingston scored a pair of rushing touchdowns for Creekview in the third quarter (65 and 3 yards). He finished the game with a game-high 158 yards rushing.