There’s nothing vanilla about North Hall’s dominating style in Region 7-AAA this season.
The Trojans (8-0, 3-0 Region 7A-AAA) continue to find more wrinkles and variations to throw into their game plan, as evidenced by their 56-9 win against Lumpkin County (5-3, 2-1) on senior night Friday at the Brickyard. The latest in North Hall’s bag of tricks was a double handoff between twin brothers and running backs Hunter Wolf and Dylon Wolf that accounted for a second quarter touchdown.
It helped the Trojans break the game wide open in the second quarter after leading only 7-6 after the first. And North Hall never looked back.
"That’s the first time we ran that play this season," North Hall coach Bob Christmas said. "We haven’t used it the past couple of seasons because it’s too risky. ... It’s a play we used a lot when T.J. Pitts was here."
North Hall’s success running the football continues to be the staple as it finished with 441 yards on the ground and 529 yards total offense against the Indians.
"I thought that was the best we’ve executed in all phases of the game this season," Christmas said. "I like the fact that our guys came out and played so hard for 48 minutes."
With the win, North Hall is two wins away from the Region 7-AAA championship and a perfect regular season. The Trojans, ranked No. 3 in Class AAA, are on the road for their final two regular season games, heading to East Hall next week and at Chestatee the week after.
And North Hall’s large senior class wants nothing more than to set the mark as the most successful program in the school’s 50-year history.
"I’ve never had so much fun," North Hall senior Colin Alford said. "We work so hard all week, and when we get to Friday night it’s like we’re a well-oiled machine."
This win marked the third time this season that the Trojans have topped the 50-point plateau. And its the fourth time this season that North Hall has put up more than 400 yards rushing in a single game.
After last week’s school record 68 points against Gilmer, the Trojans jumped two spots in the state polls thanks to losses by LaGrange and Carrollton. North Hall could jump another spot this week with a win by LaGrange over top-ranked Carver-Columbus tonight.
But North Hall doesn’t get caught up in worrying about the polls and rankings. It’s all about getting better each week heading into the playoffs.
More importantly, securing homefield advantage in the playoffs.
"We know we really want to finish these last two weeks of the season off strong," North Hall senior Jackson Griffeth said. "Coach Christmas drills it into us to keep working to get better each week, and I think that’s really helped us out."
"I really feel like we continue to get better each and every week," Christmas said. "And I like the fact that we’re still injury free."
For Lumpkin County, all is not lost. The Indians currently are tied for the second playoff spot with White County and Chestatee. Those are the two games left on Lumpkin County’s schedule.
"We believe in our team motto which is pound the rock," Lumpkin County coach Tommy Jones said. "This program has been through adversity before, and I hope we know how to rebound."
On Friday, Bobby Epps led North Hall’s running game with 10 carries for 169 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on touchdown runs of 11, 27 and 47. Dylon Wolf, a senior, also had a strong night with five carries for 134 yards — all in the first half — including a touchdown run of 47 in the final minute of the first half.
Hunter Wolf scored on touchdown runs of 7 and 24 yards.
Andrew Peck, a senior, also played well for North Hall with a 28-yard touchdown reception and a 64-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Lumpkin County’s leading rusher was quarterback Daniel Abercrombie with eight carries for 48 yards. Ken Jackson had 66 yards of offense for the Indians.
Lumpkin County plays host to Chestatee next Friday in Dahlonega.
North Hall 56, Lumpkin County 9
Lumpkin County 6 3 0 0 — 9
North Hall 7 28 21 0 — 56
NH—H. Wolf 7 run (Dunn kick) 9:01
LC—C. Jackson 3 run (kick failed) 2:40
NH—Epps 11 run (Dunn kick) 11:53
NH—H. Wolf 24 run (Dunn kick) 10:59
LC—Ayers 27 FG 5:27
NH—Epps 27 run (Dunn kick) 3:08
NH—D. Wolf 47 run (Dunn kick) 1:04
NH—Epps 43 run (Dunn kick) 10:04
NH—Peck 28 pass from Jackson (Dunn kick) 6:55
NH—Peck 65 run (:43)
Lumpkin North Hall
First downs 13 19
Rushes-yards 45-185 35-441
Passing yards 58 88
Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-16-0 4-6-0
Total yards 243 529
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Punts-avg. 3-33.7 0-0
Penalties-yards 3-25 7-58
Rushing: North Hall, D. Wolf 5-134, H. Wolf 8-60, B. Epps 10-169, Jackson 1-3, Chaffin 2-17, Peck 3-44, Christmas 1-4, Gilmer 1-(-2), Nix 2-(-6); Lumpkin County, C. Jackson 12-20, K. Jackson 10-36, Abercrombie 8-48, Young 1-29, Fulton 3-10, Rider 7-12, Watkins 1-7, Berry 3-23.
Passing: North Hall, Jackson 3-4-0 84, Gilmer 1-2-0 4; Lumpkin County, Abercrombie 5-10-0 53, C Guthrie 1-6-0 5.
Receiving: North Hall, Dehass 1-20, Duncan 1-4, Peck 2-64; Lumpkin County, Fulton 1-7, White 1-10, Young 2-6, K. Jackson 1-30, Gilreath 1-5.