1025DuncanAUDNorth Hall senior Graham Duncan talks about its big win against Chestatee at The Brickyard.
1025ChristmasAUDNorth Hall coach Bob Christmas talks about its big subregion win against Chestate at The Brickyard.
It was Senior Night on Friday at The Brickyard, and the North Hall football team did everything within its power to make sure it wouldn’t be its last home game in 2008.
North Hall put up 447 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns on four of its five first-half possessions en route to a 55-24 win over Chestatee (4-4, 3-2).
With the win, the Trojans (5-3, 4-0 Region 7A-AAA) now appear to be the favorite to emerge with the subregion title and earn a home playoff game to start the postseason. All the Trojans need now is a win over Gilmer or Lumpkin County to make that happen.
"These kids are just remarkable," North Hall coach Bob Christmas said. "They come out to practice every single day and give it everything they got.
"They’re getting better each week and executing better each week. Right now they’re clicking pretty good."
Senior speedster Graham Duncan was a big reason the Trojans put the game away early. He scored on an 88-yard pass from quarterback Blayne Gilmer early in the second quarter, and added two more touchdowns early in the third quarter.
Duncan finished the game with 173 total yards, 109 receiving and 64 rushing. Avery Nix was also a big reason for the Trojans’ success moving the ball with three touchdowns and a team-high 129 rushing yards.
Gilmer did an excellent job all night running the Trojans’ Wing-T attack and disguising where the ball was going. He finished 4-for-7 passing for 144 yards.
"This was a huge win," Duncan said. "It was our Senior Night, and we didn’t want it to be our final game at home.
"We know we want to win out and start the playoffs here at home."
The game swung on a late second-quarter touchdown for North Hall. With only 19 seconds left in the first half, the Trojans took the ball at the Chestatee 47. Two quick pass plays later, North Hall scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Gilmer to Dylan Mann when the Trojans hurried to the line with only 5 seconds left before halftime and snapped the ball to catch Chestatee off guard.
The touchdown extended North Hall’s lead to 29-10 at halftime.
"Everybody thinks since we run the Wing-T that we can’t run a two-minute offense," Duncan said. "And with just 20 seconds left, we just had some good plays set up and ran it to perfection there."
"That drive didn’t put the game out of reach, but we didn’t go into halftime confident," said Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell: "We felt like if we could get some stops in the second half we had a chance, but we didn’t do that."
The loss puts Chestatee’s playoff hopes in the hands of the teams above it in the 7A-AAA standings. The War Eagles will need to win out and get help from Creekview and White County in order to earn the No. 2 spot in the playoffs from the subregion.
"I don’t think our guys are going to quit," Luttrell added. "I think we’ll still play hard, and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back from this."
Despite the loss, War Eagles junior running back Ben Souther had another outstanding night with 27 carries for 252 yards and a 30-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. It’s his second game this season to top the 200-yard mark.
He put together big runs from the very beginning with carries of 21 and 36 yards on the first drive of the game for the War Eagles. Souther’s longest run of the game was for 54 yards in the third quarter. Alex Moore added 80 yards and a touchdown run for Chestatee.
North Hall visits Gilmer and Chestatee plays host to West Forsyth at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.