Gainesville High School, like a lot of top high school teams around the country, has a very loyal alumni fan base.
Largely because of the high quality of coaching in the Hall County football programs, every week's a test. There are few easy weeks and the team that ends up on top is battle tested and accustomed to playing against tough, well-coached opponents.
This has been a really great season for the Hall County high school football player. After 12 exciting weeks we have five winning teams, and a sixth team that had a .500 record. Collectively they have won 45 games and lost 25 games.
The last time Flowery Branch and Gainesville played, the game was decided in the closing minutes when the Falcons stopped a two-point conversion attempt to beat Gainesville 35-34 and take the Region 8-AAAAA championship.
Can you believe it is Week 10 already in our football season?
The Hall County public school football programs have played 50 games in the last eight weeks. Their offenses have scored 1,725 points, and allowed 1,055 points. The power rating for these seven schools combined is 1.64, which means they're winning 1.64 games for every one game that they lose.
At the end of eight weeks, the Hall County public school football teams have played 43 total games. They have scored 1,566 points and their defenses have allowed 941 points. They have won 67.5 percent of their total games and lost 32.5 percent.
Friday was the first time in a long time that I haven't seen at least one Hall County game (if not two) on a Friday night. Betsy and I were in Columbus, Ohio, celebrating the 1973 undefeated Ohio State Buckeye team.
Since I can generally see one game, and at times parts of two games, I try to see a game that will educate me on our Hall County public school football teams.
We've now seen three weeks of Hall County high school football. Last Friday night, we went to City Park Stadium to see Gainesville take on Buford. I knew going into the game that Buford was loaded with Division-I college prospects. And I also knew that win, lose or draw, this would be a good contest for Bruce Miller's tough-minded Red Elephants. This is the kind of game that prepares your players to make a run at the playoffs and another possible state championship.
When you head to the Georgia Dome to watch a state championship game, you don't know what to expect. Both teams have great records and both have a history of beating strong opponents. Early in the season, it didn't look to me like Gainesville had a great team, a good team one which was going to have a winning record.
We see great high school football every week during the regular season. The teams we see play here in Gainesville and Hall County can compare with any teams anywhere in the country.
I think it's great for Hall County to have two teams who have already shown they are among the state's elite. I thought that Gainesville scheduled an unusually tough non-region schedule. It shows me that Red Elephants coach Bruce Miller expected a run at the state championship and wasn't going to send his troops on the field without being battle tested.
We still have two fine Hall County teams in the contest which determines Georgia's state champions, and I have profiled those two teams and their Friday night opponents.
Two mighty fine and very successful groups of Hall County football players have won in the first round and move into the second round of the state playoffs. I have listed both, as well as each team's two second round opponents and the two Hall teams which lost in Round 1, in the order of their power rating.