SUWANEE -- North Gwinnett's spread offense often times puts up gaudy passing numbers, but it can also find production in its ground game.
On the strength of four rushing touchdowns, seventh-ranked North opened its Region 7-AAAAA schedule with a 34-10 win over crosstown rival Collins Hill on Friday night at Fahring Field.
Three of those TDs came in the second quarter from Joe Jones, while Donnie Miles capped things off with a TD run in the third.
"I thought Joe (Jones) was ready for a breakout game," North head coach Bob Sphire said. "Our offensive line asserted itself in the second quarter and he was the benefactor of that. He's really starting to hit his stride."
Jones carried the ball 13 times and finished with 68 yards as the Bulldogs (3-1, 1-0), now winners of three straight, tallied 201 yards rushing on the night.
After the Eagles (1-3, 0-1) took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter off a 40-yard field goal from Mitchell Blanchard, North's offense found a groove in the second with 20 points.
Quarterback Scotty Hosch, who finished with 203 yards on 19 of 28 attempts and one TD, guided North on three TD drives in the second period to help North pull ahead. Hosch also helped in the running game attack with 44 yards on seven attempts.
The first of those drives covered 80 yards on 15 plays, while the third went 77 yards on 13 plays. Sandwiched in between was a 5-play, 33-yard drive set up by a Collins Hill fumble.
The common factor in each of those was Jones, who ended those drives with TD runs of seven, three and one yards respectively.
"Me and Joe and a couple others can come in anytime," Miles said. "With our offensive line and passing game, it makes it easier to run the ball."
With the North offense on the move, Collins Hill fought back midway in the second when Tevin Holliday made a heads up play in the end zone by pouncing on a loose ball for a TD.
On the play, Eagle running back Tyler Henderson caught a pass out of the backfield from quarterback Bradley Johnson and nearly covered the 10 yards to the goal line but fumbled right before breaking the plane.
Holliday was in the right place, and his recovery cut the score to 14-10 before Jones' third TD of the quarter gave North the 20-10 halftime lead.
After the break, North took the ensuing possession of the third quarter and was forced to punt, but the North defense forced the Eagles to punt the ball right back.
Blanchard pinned the Bulldogs on their own five, but the deep hole didn't deter North as the Bulldogs went 95 yards on eight plays, ending with a controversial call.
On second and 13 from the Eagle 24, Hosch lofted one in the end zone for Chad Scott, who jumped over a defender and hauled in the pass.
When Scott fell backwards on the ground, the ball popped out of his hands and rolled out of bounds, but the official had already given the touchdown signal, putting North comfortably ahead at 27-10.
"When they went 95 yards in the third, that kind of broke our backs," Collins Hill head coach Kevin Reach said. "Their offensive line controlled things all night just mashed us around. We had a hard time stopping their backs."
Miles, who finished with 37 yards on six rushes, ended the scoring with a 14-yard run late in the third. He also caught three passes for 31 yards.
Jordan Parker led the Eagles in rushing with 57 yards on 15 carries, while Johnson was 10 of 19 for 119 yards and one interception. Four of his passes went to Holliday for 51 yards.