Posted: Saturday, September 8th 2012 at 2:40am
North Hall pounces on Johnson early, often in 55-7 win
By Morgan Lee Editor
North Hall's TJ Tate scored four touchdowns on Friday in the Trojans' win over Johnson in Gainesville.
GAINESVILLE -- Bob Christmas had seen plenty of great practices already this season. What the North Hall football coach wanted was a great Friday night performance.
This week his Trojans gave it to him, as they pounced on Johnson, scoring 48 first half points en route to a 55-7 defeat of the Knights at The Brickyard.
“I challenged the kids; we are a great practice team and I wanted them to transfer that to Friday night,” Christmas said. “I think our offense and defense started to click tonight and didn’t have to think too much. It was a big night for us.”
Big for a number of players, as North Hall poured it on from the start, getting three straight touchdown runs from TJ Tate to take a 20-0 first quarter lead. The running back put up 82 yards rushing on 10 carries and hauled in a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bradley Brown in the second quarter to give the Trojans (2-0) a 34-0 lead late in the second quarter.
“I thought this would be a big night, but I didn’t expect it to be this big,” said Brown, who also praised the spark of Tate’s early scores. “On the field he’s huge for us, but off the field he does some big things for us too, just getting us up and emotional.”
Brown finished the night with three completions on four attempts for 111 yards and two touchdowns (the other going to Eric Gonter), while rotating snaps with Andrew Smith, who also put up impressive numbers, rushing three times for 100 yards and two touchdowns and also picking off a pass from his safety spot and returning it 36 yards for a score.
“Both (of our quarterbacks) have their attributes and strong points. And we feel comfortable with both in there,” Christmas said.
The Trojans defense also took care of business, holding Knights running back Cedric Harris in check for most of the night. And while the senior still wound up with 117 yards on 26 carries most of that came in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.
“We knew we had to stop Cedric Harris,” Christmas said. “I’m extremely proud of our defense; they pretty much shut him down for three quarters, and I’m proud of how we defended a great back.”
Johnson (2-1) finished the night with 173 yards, compared with 369 for the Trojans, who also pounced on four Knights turnovers during the game. The defeat was the first for the Knights who had opened with two straight wins.
“We definitely improved from last game,” Brown said. “Now we just have to keep improving.”
The lopsided victory was one of the biggest in recent memory for the Trojans, who believe they’re beginning to build some momentum.
“I feel the energy that North Hall teams have grown accustomed to,” Christmas said. “I sense it with this team. They’ve got a great energy, just a great team energy. There’s no stars, and everybody wants everybody else to succeed. It’s great to coach these kids.”
North Hall will play host to Jefferson next week. Johnson will look to rebound at home against North Murray.
Johnson........0....0....0....7 -- 7
North Hall....20...28....7....0 -- 55
NH -- Tate 21 run (Cruz kick) 8:12, 7-0
NH -- Tate 9 run (Cruz kick) 2:32, 14-0
NH -- Gonter 39 pass from Brown (Cruz kick) 7:16, 27-0
NH -- Tate 33 pass from Brown (Cruz kick) 3:36, 34-0
NH -- A. Smith 35 run (Cruz kick) 2:10, 41-0
NH -- A. Smith 36 interception (Cruz kick) :24, 48-0
NH -- A. Smith 57 run (Cruz kick) 9:20, 55-0
JHS -- Barker 1 run (Henry kick) 11:43, 55-7
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