Monday May 29th, 2023 12:33PM

Football: North Hall survives Chestatee rally in 28-21 win

By Owen Langford Sports Reporter

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Ajay Jones and Tate Ruth had a night as North Hall held off Chestatee, 28-21, Friday at War Eagle Stadium.

The dynamic duo accounted for all the teams' touchdowns and gave the War Eagle (1-5, 1-2 Region 8-4A) defense trouble most of the game.

The soft toss fly sweep (a forward pass) was the go-to play for the Trojan offense. Jones lined up in the slot position most of the night, and the Trojans (2-5, 2-3 Region 8-4A) took advantage of the cornerback miss match every chance they could.

“Outstanding; he’s [Jones] a playmaker. He has been making plays for us all year long,” said North Hall coach Sean Pender. 

Jones finished the night with a school-record 10 receptions and 139 yards (3rd most receiving yards in the North Hall record books) and three TDs, one of which came off a hasty 68-yard jet sweep reception. Freshman quarterback Walker Davis posted a school-record 17 completions for 209 yards -- fourth best on the all-time single-game passing yards. 

Ruth filled the role of the muscle back, rushing 24 times for 146 yards and a touchdown.

The Trojan defense played a big role in holding off a late Chestatee comeback attempt after the offense turned the ball over several times late in the game. 

The War Eagle offense put up 437-yards but struggled to find the endzone.

The struggle reared its ugly head on Chestatee’s last two drives, where they had game-tying touchdown opportunities but ended up turning it over on downs.

A 9-yard rushing touchdown from senior running back Adriel Vargas was called back for holding, and a well-defended pass to senior wide receiver Christian Jarrard (7-92 yards receiving) was batted away.

“Hats off to Chestatee, their boys played hard, and they got after it," Pender said. 

The War Eagles recovered three fumbles, including one on North Hall's opening drive. Luis Jordan's recovery set the War Eagles up on the Trojan 43-yard line. Jason Granados later capped the drive with a 1-yard run with 6:26 to go in the quarter. It was the only turnover the War Eagles could turn into points. 

North Hall answered on the next drive after a 50-yard kickoff return gave the Trojans the ball on the War Eagles' 44-yard line. Ajay Jones recorded his first of three receiving touchdowns on a 13-yard run to tie the game, 7-7, with 3:32 left in the opening quarter. 

The touchdown set the Trojans on a 21-point run courtesy of a Tate Ruth 19-yard run and a 20-yard TD Jones reception on 4th down-and-4 to go up, 21-7.

The War Eagles put together a 75-yard scoring drive on the next drive. Josh Kermode hit Christian Vargas (2-56 receiving, 1 TD) down the seam for the touchdown to cut the lead to a TD, 21-14.

But Jones would strike again for the Trojans on the fly sweep. This time a 68-yard sprint to the endzone with 1:37 left in the half for a 28-14 lead. 

Kermode finished the night 17-of 28 for 212 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for another 86 yards.  

Chestatee held North Hall scoreless in the second half and had a few opportunities to score, including another fumble recovery on the North Hall 36-yard line, but the drive stalled on the Trojans' 12-yard line late in the third quarter.

The War Eagles did find the end zone with 6:34 to go. Adriel Vargas (12-75 rushing, TD) rushed 44 yards for the touchdown to bring the War Eagles within a TD, 28-21.

North Hall has next week off, and Chestatee travels to take on Cedar Shoals. 

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: North Hall football, Chestatee football
© Copyright 2023
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Football: North Hall survives Chestatee rally in 28-21 win
Ajay Jones and Tate Ruth had a night as North Hall held off Chestatee, 28-21, Friday at War Eagle Stadium.
12:23AM ( 47 minutes ago )
Football: Union County offense explodes for 56-49 win over Providence Christian
The Union County offense tallied 712 yards of total offense in a 56-49 win over Providence Christian Friday night.
12:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
Football: Rabun rolls over Elbert County; Gibson breaks receiving records
Jaden Gibson broke the Georgia high school receiving touchdowns and yards records Friday night as Rabun County took care of business against Elbert County, 41-21.
11:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
Football: Buford holds off Mill Creek for 8-7A lead
There appears to be nothing Buford coach Bryant Appling is scared of. Not even a fake punt on his own 9-yard line, which would terrify most mortal coaches...
12:43PM ( 12 hours ago )
ICYMI: Week 9 previews — Buford-Mill Creek, Rabun-Elbert highlight crucial night around NEGa area
If last was week was moving week for teams looking to make the playoffs, then this week may be desperation week for several Northeast Georgia teams...
10:50AM ( 14 hours ago )
Football: FGN crew makes Week 9 picks
Seth Chapman is now the leader.
8:38AM ( 16 hours ago )
High School Sports
5 Things: What we learned from Week 8 of high school football
Schedules were back to normal last week and Friday night's results moved several teams closer to the state playoffs.
8:00AM ( 4 days ago )
ICYMI: Region Recap — 'Moving week' has some area teams hopeful, others in dire straights
Week 8 of the 2022 season played out like golf’s third round ‘moving day’ as several teams in the Northeast Georgia area did just that -- some for the good and some for the not-so-good...
7:24AM ( 4 days ago )
FGN Week 8 wrap: Region 7-3A up for grabs; Commerce, Rabun survive
Region 7-3A continues to show that anything is up for grabs as the 2022 high school football season rolled through Week 8 on Friday.
10:00AM ( 6 days ago )
Friday Game Night
Football: North Hall's comeback falls short in 33-24 loss to Madison Co.
Madison County held off a late North Hall charge to win the key Region 8-4A battle, 33-24, Friday Night at The Brickyard at Lynn Cottrell Stadium.
By Owen Langford Sports Reporter
11:02PM ( 1 week ago )
Football: No. 2 North Oconee runs over North Hall in 8-4A
North Hall came into its Region 8-4A showdown on Thursday with No. 2-ranked North Oconee on riding a two-game win streak...
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:38PM ( 2 weeks ago )
5 Things: What we learned from Week 6 of high school football
Several down-to-the-wire thrillers turned region races on their heads Friday night.
8:00AM ( 2 weeks ago )
Football: North Hall stuns Cherokee Bluff, 14-12
After scoring 69 points last week, North Hall won a defensive struggle against Cherokee Bluff Friday night at The Brickyard, 14-12.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:49PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Gaining the Edge: Marsh helps North Hall to first win
Tanner Marsh was part of five touchdowns in North Hall's 69-0 win over East Hall last week.
By AccessWDUN Staff | Video by Seth Chapman
6:30AM ( 3 weeks ago )