BOGART -- The North Hall boys knew that by making it out of Region 7-AAA and into the state playoffs they stood a good chance of making a postseason run.
Now the rest of the state is starting to see the same thing.
The fourth-seeded Trojans pulled off their second straight road playoff win on Tuesday, edging North Oconee 4-3 in Bogart to march into the Class AAA quarterfinals.
"We knew that the region we were in was the strongest in the state, and the results show it tonight," Trojans coach Jonathan Lillie said, referring to his team's win, as well as a victory for West Hall at top-ranked Woodward Academy and penalty shootout loss for Dawson County against No. 2 St Pius. "And we knew that by playing in our region we were good enough to beat anyone in the state on a given night."
Thanks to goals from Jake Stephens, Hunter Carter, Enrique Casterjon and Jairo Barrientos, Tuesday was definitely one of those nights, as the Trojans (13-4-1) took an early lead and then scored again late to break a 3-3 deadlock and seal the victory.
Barrientos, a freshman, provided the killer touch for North Hall, heading home the winner off a Casterjon corner kick with six minutes to play.
"We're playing extremely well right now," Lillie said. "North Oconee played a strong game but to beat them at their game on their field was huge."
Stephens scored first off an unstoppable, 30-yard shot for a 1-0 lead before the hosts knotted the score at 1-1. Carter then made it 2-1 off a free kick from Tyler Shows, before Casterjon made it 3-1 on a mazy run and close-range shot.
The Titans pulled one strike back to end a breathless 3-2 first half and then knotted the score with 12 minutes to play in the second half. But the Trojans weren't finished, and Barrientos buried North Oconee and sealed another road trip for North Hall.
This one will be perhaps the longest of all, as the Trojans will travel to Savannah to face Islands High on Friday, game time to be announced.