IT DIDN’T take a new offense from North Hall or a return to the top 10 for the Trojans to get Jefferson’s attention.
Jefferson (1-1) knows exactly what it will encounter this Friday on the road at The Brickyard having faced Class AAA North Hall (2-0) the past two seasons.
“North Hall, I’ll always have respect for them,” said Dragon linebacker Wesley Simonton, who logged 14 tackles and four sacks last week. “They are so fundamental. They do everything perfect, and we’re not going to go in there thinking we’re going to win. We’re going to go in there playing our hearts out. We’re focused on them now.”
Jefferson, which is coming off a 28-6 win over Jackson County, beat the Trojans 38-28 last year.
North Hall, ranked no. 9 in Class AAA, looks like it has returned to the Trojans of old. Following an uncharacteristic dip in 2010 and 2011, the Gainesville-area team is off to a 2-0 start. It cracked the Class AAA top 10 with a 55-7 steamrolling of Johnson of Gainesville this past Friday. The Trojans led 48-0 at halftime.
“They’re going to be a tough opponent; they were up for team of the week last week,” Jefferson receiver McKay Dickens said, referring to a local television news station poll. “We know they’re going to be tough.”
North Hall shed its Wing-T offense, long a staple of Bob Christmas teams, in the offseason in favor of the wishbone.
That includes using everything from a two tight end, full-house backfield set to splitting the bone and utilizing receivers.
“They’re doing all kinds of variations of the wishbone,” Jefferson coach T. McFerrin said.
North Hall runs misdirection and, of course, option out of its wishbone set. Leading the way this year out of the Trojan backfield has been transfer T.J. Tate, who scored four touchdowns against Johnson.
“Their running backs are good and their quarterback is a really good runner,” McFerrin said.
North Hall also boasts very sizable lineman. That includes two 250-pounders and a 280-lb., all which play on both sides of the ball.
“They’re a strong, powerful team,” McFerrin said.
Defensively, North Hall runs a 3-4 which is an old-fashioned “50” look with the defensive ends dropped off.
This is Jefferson’s last non-region contest. The Dragons open Region 8-AA play next week at Greene County.