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High school football notebook: Lions learning to win

POSTED: October 23, 2010 10:20 p.m.

The decision to play a nonregion schedule wasn’t easy for Lakeview Academy football coach Matthew Gruhn, but after seven games, it seems to be the right move.

The Lions (3-4) have won three games for the first time in program history, and after Friday’s 31-0 win over Georgia Military, Lakeview is experiencing another first: a win streak.

“It’s fantastic,” Gruhn said of the feeling of winning back-to-back games. “Any time you start winning it does a lot of things for everybody.”

Including practicing harder, preparing more, and just boosting the overall morale of a program that won two games combined in its first two seasons.

Senior Nick Drury has been at the forefront of the winning streak, scoring six touchdowns and rushing for more than 200 yards in the last two games.

RUNNING RED ELEPHANTS: It the past, Gainesville has been known for its potent aerial attack that can put points on the board in a hurry.

That’s not the case this year.

The No. 7 Red Elephants (7-1, 4-0 Region 8B-AAA) ran for a season-high 460 yards against Walnut Grove on Friday, which upped their total to six straight games where they’ve rushed for more than 200 yards.

What makes the streak even more impressive is Gainesville is doing it with several players. The Red Elephants have had a 70-yard rusher in seven of their eight games, including senior Devon Pierce, who has reached that plateau four times this season.

“We knew we had two good running backs going into the season, but the offensive line was the big question mark,” Gainesville coach Bruce Miller said. “John Kemp has done a great job of putting together an offensive line, they’ve really molded together as a unit.”

THREE FOR FIVE: Only one certainty has occurred through four weeks of subregion play in Region 8A-AA: Rabun County won’t make the postseason. Aside from that, every thing else up for grabs.

Five teams (Fannin County, East Hall, Dawson County, Banks County and Union County) still have a chance at qualifying for the region play-in game Nov. 5. Which of those three teams reach that goal is anyone’s guess.

There are eight different scenarios that could play out and only three of those are easily solved.

Two of them result in a three-way tie for second, one in a three-way tie for third, one in a four-way tie for first and one in which every team except Rabun County finishes tied for first place.

Only Fannin County (four scenarios) and Banks County (two scenarios) can win the subregion outright.
East Hall, Dawson County and Union County each find themselves in a similar situations: one scenario gets each team into the playoffs outright, three others have them out, and the remaining four have them involved in a tie with two or more other teams.

Everything should be decided this Friday when the subregion schedule concludes with: East Hall visits Banks County, Dawson County plays host to Rabun County and Union County plays at Fannin County.

NO GUESSING HERE: While Region 8A-AA is a mess, three teams in the area have already locked down their spot in the region title game.

In Region 8-AAA, Gainesville and White County will battle for the championship Nov. 5 after both teams won Friday to secure that spot. Both are guaranteed to make the state playoffs with the winner of that contest being the No. 1 seed and loser the No. 2.

While it doesn’t have an official title game, it’s already known which two teams will compete for region 8-AAAA’s championship: Flowery Branch and Clarke Central.



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