By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Clausen: North Hall sits atop power rankings
Trojans dominating on offense, defense
Placeholder Image

At the end of six weeks, six out of the seven Hall County public school football teams have winning records. They have combined to score 1,109 points, while allowing 667 points. That is almost a 2 to 1 ratio.

This reflects upon the athletic talents of our young men and the great coaching they are getting on a day in, day out basis. The teams I see play on Friday nights are all fundamentally sound. They have good game plans and their coaching staffs are quick to adjust when faced with the unexpected.

Just want to make a few statements about the fine quarterbacks that play on each of the Hall County football teams. They are not only talented but extremely well trained. They obviously pre-read the coverage and are quick to deliver the ball to a receiver who has single coverage.

The majority are outstanding athletes and are real running threats in the event they find all their receivers covered.

When you go and see your favorite team on Friday night, look at those splendid young men, then look at the line protecting them and then the running backs and receivers. They are truly fine athletes and fine men.

1. North Hall (4-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAA), PR 3.08; Average Points Scored 47.00; Average Points Allowed 15.25 — This past Friday night in a 51-6 victory over Dawson County, the Trojans ran the ball 50 times for 402 yards, an average of 8 yards a carry. This kind of running is demoralizing for the defensive player.

He plays his heart out, gets up and gets ready to go back to the defensive huddle, looks over at the sticks and realizes he’s just given up an 8-yard run. And that’s just the average. In my opinion, this kind of football over time defeats the opponent, mentally.

The Trojan defense allowed six points and held Dawson County to an average of 2 yards a carry, while the Trojan pass defense allowed only 103 yards on 25 attempts.

That kind of pass defense on top of a superior run defense makes you hard to beat.
Andrew Smith, the Trojans’ senior quarterback, had a productive evening with 13 carries for 97 yards and 4 touchdowns; that’s an average of 7.46 yards per carry. Zac Little did a super job of running the ball with 15 carries for 199 yards, an average of 13 yards a carry.

Very impressive for both young men. Congratulations to Coach (Bob) Christmas on his 100th win and being honored by Congressman Doug Collins with a declaration and a flag that was flown over the Capital.

Quite an honor and an accomplishment. On Friday night, the Trojans play host to East Hall (3-2, 0-2 Region 7-AAA) in an important region game for both teams. Two super quarterbacks will provide each team with quality leadership.

2. West Hall (4-1, 2-0 Region 7-AAA), PR 3.48; Average Points Scored 39.00; Average Points Allowed 11.20 — West Hall is off to one of the best starts that I’ve seen in recent years. The Spartans have four wins in the past five weeks, with only one loss coming against Chestatee.

Last Friday night, they traveled to Blue Ridge and beat Fannin County, 49-7. Zach English led the offense into an early lead with three touchdown passes in the first quarter.

There were five Spartans who carried the ball for over 20 yards and four — Tyquan Statham, Kwon Williams, Hunter Atkinson, Cameron Millsap — scored touchdowns. English passed for 99 yard and three touchdowns on 7 of 8 passing. As a defensive coach you feel they are coming at you from all directions. Adjust to one and another player scores.

This kind of balance is a defensive coach’s nightmare.

The West Hall defense held up its end, allowing only 170 total yards for the whole game. Friday night, West Hall hosts the Class AAA defending state champion and No. 1-ranked, Buford (4-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAA).

3. Gainesville (4-1, 3-0 Region 8-AAAAA), PR 3.00; Average Points Scored 47.40; Average Points Allowed 15.80 — Deshaun Watson, Gainesville’s outstanding quarterback, completed 27 of his 29 passing attempts for 314 yards — that’s an average of 10.82 yards per attempt — in a blowout win over Heritage last week. That’s a winning number in any league.

I can’t remember ever seeing a more efficient passer at any level of football. Before I move on, let me mention, Jay Gaudlock and Michael Byrd each caught eight passes. Gaudlock scored one touchdown and averaged 13.75 yards per reception.

Rodney Lackey and Chris Williamson continued the offensive assault with two touchdowns each. The Red Elephants’ splendid 3-4 defense held Heritage to 7 points — and that was late in the game with Gainesville playing some of its younger players.

The defense didn’t let Heritage into the Red Elephants’ side of the field until the late in the third quarter. Cedar Shoals (0-5, 0-3 Region 8 AAAAA) comes into City Park on Friday night.

4. Chestatee (3-1, 2-0 Region 8 AAAA), PR 1.14; Average Points Scored 20.00; Average Points Allowed 17.50 — The War Eagle defense pitched a shutout against perennially strong Stephens County, 17-0, last week.

Chestatee ran for 314 yards while its defense pitched the shutout. It’s obvious the War Eagles are improving each week. When you rush for 314 yards, you are not only physically defeating your opponent but mentally you’re proving your superiority.

The War Eagle workhorse, Zac Cheshire ran for 189 yards on 30 carries, which is an average of over six yards a carry, and ran for two touchdowns. Cheshire is proving to be one of Hall County’s top running threats.

You can bet future opponents are having to spend some extra time on their defensive gameplan.

The War Eagles’ defense did an incredible job. Their defense stopped Stephens County time and time again. They had four sacks and numerous broken up passes by their defensive backs. It definitely was a team effort — with both the offense and defense playing on all cylinders. Winning the big games is always extra special. Chestatee heads to Johnson (1-4) on Friday night.

5. East Hall (3-2, 0-2 Region 7-AAA), PR 2.00; Average Points Scored 39.20; Average Points Allowed 19.60 — East Hall lost a defensive battle to Region 7-AAA opponent White County last Friday night. Both teams played great defense.

Dalton Whitfield scored the only touchdown of the game in the opening possession of the second half for White County. It was obvious that the Warriors had put most of the defensive game efforts into controlling Devin Watson, the splendid East Hall quarterback.

Watson, who had scored six touchdowns against Johnson the previous week, was held to six yards rushing and only 120 yards passing. I know as an old defensive coach, guys like Watson have the defensive staff putting in extra time on pass defense. The Viking offense and defense played hard.

It was definitely a game that was going to be decided by which team made the fewest mistakes. White County fumbled twice and East Hall recovered both, but couldn’t convert those breaks into points. Go north to the Brickyard to watch East Hall play the undefeated North Hall Trojans on Friday night.

6. Flowery Branch (3-2, 3-0 Region 8-AAAAA), PR 1.39; Average Points Scored 30.40; Average Allowed 21.80 — After opening the season 0-2, the Falcons have won three straight games and have an unblemished record of 3-0 in region play. Clearly the Flowery Branch coaching staff has made good use of their practice time since each Friday night they seem to be better than they were the week before.

Jackson McDonald, the senior quarterback, had a great football game, passing for 217 yards, running for 63 yards and finishing with four total touchdowns in a massive win over Salem last week.

Cameron Davis had three catches for 75 yards and the following receivers finished with multiple catches: A’lencio Graham (3 for 58 yards); Justin Thompson (5 for 54 yards); Jemon Randolph (2 for 25 yards).

Obviously, McDonald is getting a good read on the coverage and keeps completing his passes into single coverage.

The Falcon defense limited the Salem offense to just 150 total yards — only 12 yards rushing on 35 carries, 138 yards passing — and forced two interceptions. That’s a great night of defense for the Falcons. Flowery Branch hosts Apalachee (0-4, 0-2 Region 8-AAAAA) on Friday night.

7. Johnson (1-4), PR 0.31; Average Points Scored 12.20; Average Points Allowed 38.80 — Coming off a bye week, Johnson will have had two weeks to prepare for its game against Chestatee in Oakwood on Friday night.

Regional events