0906SEGRAVESAUDWhite County coach Gregg Segraves talks about his team's win over East Hall.
0906GRAYAUDEast Hall coach Bryan Gray talks about the Vikings' loss to White County.
In terms of bad omens, East Hall experienced one of the worst possible.
Prior to the start of Friday's 34-8 loss to White County at East Hall Stadium, Vikings' senior running back and linebacker Xavier Robinson jumped through the banner, landed awkwardly and dislocated his kneecap. He'll be out for at least a month.
Without Robinson in the lineup, the Vikings (0-2, 0-1 Region 7-AAA) could not keep up with the strong and experienced Warriors (1-1, 1-0 Region 7-AAA).
"It was just a freak accident," Vikings coach Bryan Gray said of the injury. "But that's not the reason we lost."
The key reason was White County's ability to run the ball and control the clock. The Warriors had six drives of seven plays or more, scoring on half of them.
"We talked about relaxing and having fun," Warriors coach Gregg Segraves said. "It wasn't a must-win game, it wasn't a game we needed to win. We just wanted to go out here, have fun and try to execute."
At the helm of that execution was senior quarterback Chantz Segraves (8-for-13 passing, 122 yards and two touchdowns) sophomore running back Ashely Lowery, and a hard-hitting defensive unit that kept the Vikings scoreless for more than 42 minutes.
The shutout was denied when East Hall's Harrison Dale (8-for-14 passing for 95 yards) found a wide-open Joshten Hopkins, who despite losing his shoe on the 30-yard line ran into the end zone for a 70-yard score.
Despite the lack of a zero on the home team's scoreboard, Segraves was still impressed by his defense.
"We knew what we did on defensively," he said. "In our minds, it was a shutout."
That view is in large because the Warriors had a 34-0 lead at the time and, according to Segraves, were giving their younger players some playing time.
One young player that wasn't in at the time was sophomore Lowery, who bounced back from a goal-line fumble in the first quarter to rush for 79 yards and a touchdown. He capped his night with a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter that put the game well out of reach.
"They hammered us like we knew they would," Gray said of White County. "They are tremendous up front. They have the strongest team by far on the offensive and defensive line in 7-AAA."
White County's strength was amplified by the number of miscues by the Vikings. East Hall had 168 yards of total offense, and its seven penalties in the game negated several big plays.
"We're a much better team then we showed tonight," Gray said. "We just have to fix the fundamentals and grow up."
That's not the case for the Warriors, whose lone miscue was the early fumble, a much-welcomed sight after last week's loss to Franklin County.
"Our entire offense was able to bounce back, unlike last week," said Segraves, whose team had 377 yards of total offense.
Not only did his team bounce back, put it provided some much needed energy heading into next week's showdown against Gainesville, which improved to 2-0 with a 34-7 win against the same Franklin County team that beat the Warriors 13-3 in Week 1.
"It gives us a little confidence," Segraves said. "We know Gainesville's a very good football team, and we're looking forward to the challenge."
The Gainesville-White County game is at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at City Park. East Hall visits Lumpkin County at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.