JEFFERSON -- Last year it was one yard -- this year it was drive after physical drive that proved the difference.
In 2012, Jefferson halted a last-ditch touchdown attempt from North Hall to deny the Trojans in Gainesville. On Friday, North Hall was not to be denied, grabbing a second half lead and answering charge after charge to knock off the Dragons 41-34 in Jefferson.
The Trojans put up two fourth quarter touchdowns -- just enough to see off Jefferson's three-score surge over the final 12 minutes. And North Hall did it in typical Trojans fashion, grinding it out on the ground, rushing for 422 yards -- including 120 and two rushing touchdowns from quarterback Andrew Smith. Brannon Dyer also carried for 101 yards, while Zac Little added 94.
"I couldn't be any prouder of the way our kids just kept fighting and coming up with answers," Trojans coach Bob Christmas said. "Jefferson's a great team with a lot of pride, and we knew we wouldn't get out of here without a battle."
Indeed, the Dragons (2-1) kept the Trojans (3-0) on their toes, putting up 369 yards of their own but could not get the ball back after scoring in the critical fourth quarter, watching North Hall recover three late onside kick attempts.
"That was just huge for us," Christmas said after watching his team hold tight during the onside kick attempts