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Week 4 Power Ratings: Flowery Branch still on top

POSTED: September 22, 2011 9:46 a.m.

After four weeks, Flowery Branch is still Hall County's best football team.

The Falcons seem to play at a championship level in almost all phases of the game: their offense is balanced, they have excellent skill players both running and passing, and they have an ever-improving defense.

Four other teams have a chance to be playoff teams, but all must continue to improve each week.
It's important that these players remember, though, that they aren't just playing for the playoffs, but also for the friends they are making in this shared experience.

On Friday, for the first time in a long while, I won't be at a high school football game in Hall County. I will be attending a one-man play named "Woody" in Columbus, Ohio.

I am going to be sitting with great friends and two-time Heisman Award winner, Archie Griffin. Many of my former players, who had won four Big Ten championships in five years, will be there to spend some time with the old coach.

Friday night as you watch those splendid young men playing football, I want to you to remember their teammates will be life-long friends.

1. Flowery Branch (4-0) PR 5.15, Average Points 52.75, Average Allowed 10.25 - Last Friday night, it had its fourth straight dominating win, defeating Cedar Shoals 49-7.

The Falcons, which have a well-balanced offense, were completely balanced last Friday night in the game. They had exactly 192 yards on the ground and 192 yards in the air.

The offensive line had another good night as the Falcon runners, behind excellent blocking, averaged 7.3 yards per rush.

Kanler Coker completed almost 60 percent of his pass attempts, averaging 7.1 yards each time he threw the ball. He spread the ball around to six different receivers, suggesting, to me, that he is almost always going to single coverage.

The Falcons travel to play Rockdale County (1-3) Friday night.

2. Chestatee (3-0) PR 2.33 - Average Points 38, Average Allowed 16.33 - With little time left on the clock, the 3-0 War Eagles pulled out another victory. Quarterback Jordan Degraff threw a touchdown pass to Kelly Arthur to take the lead with less than two minutes remaining.

Dawson County dominated the game statistically with 434 yards to Chestatee's 336.

Degraff completed 66 percent of his pass attempts, averaging a very impressive 20 yards per, and hitting four different receivers.

Friday night Chestatee hosts 2-1 Monroe Area, a team that brings a 1.64 power rating to the game.

3. Gainesville (2-1) PR 1.42 - Average Points 31.67, Average Allowed 22.33 - We were at City Park last Friday to see the Red Elephants take on the North Hall Trojans.

As you can imagine, the place was packed and everybody there was invested in the game.

I suspected that Gainesville had the slightly better team but expected the game would be competitive for all four quarters.

However, Gainesville dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football and clearly had the stronger, more physical team.

The Red Elephants averaged 7.4 yards per carry, with Deshaun Watson, Gainesville's sophomore quarterback, averaging 12 yards per carry and completing 18 of 25 passes for a dominating 14 yards per attempt.

Franklin County comes to City Park on Friday night with a 1-2 record and a .54 power rating.

4. East Hall (2-2) PR 1.11 - Average Points 29.33, Average Allowed 26.33 - The Vikings ran into a buzzsaw last Friday against Adairsville, losing 25-9.

Friday night, they have the night off and will have two weeks to iron out some things with their young team in preparation for Rabun County.

Rabun County also has an open date Friday night and has a .32 power rating as well as a 1-2 record.

5. North Hall (0-3) PR 0.43 - Average Points 18.67, Average Allowed 43.67 - Last Friday night, it was obvious the Trojans couldn't match Gainesville's team speed.

The Trojans are a team that always plays hard, are fundamentally sound and execute their Wing-T offense to perfection.

However, it looked from the stands that Gainesville had more speed at almost every position.

It could have been lost because of Gainesville's dominating victory, but North Hall running back/linebacker Imani Cross played a great game.

He and Gainesville's Watson may have been the best two individual performers in the game.

Because of North Hall's three opening games against talented teams, we may find these Trojans are not only in the playoffs, but a very solid football team.

North Hall will face Walnut Grove (1-2, .81 power rating) Friday night.

6. Johnson (0-3) PR 0.39 - Average Points 14, Average Allowed 35.67 - Coming off an open date, the Knights will be at Lumpkin County on Friday night to take on the 1-2 Indians.

7. West Hall (0-4) PR 0.31 - Average Points 11.67, Average Allowed 38.00 - Last Friday night, an explosive and well-balanced Stephens County was just too much for the West Hall Spartans.

The Spartans have Friday night off, giving them an extra week to prepare for Walnut Grove.

Chuck Clausen is a Hall County resident who coached high school, college and professional football for 28 years. His Power Ratings column appears each Thursday during high school football season.



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