On a night where fumbles and penalties were everywhere to be seen, two things became clear for the Johnson Knights: a new attitude and a sense of winning are on the horizon.
East Hall's Edward Vergara ran for over 100 yards with two touchdowns for the Vikings in a 28-20 win over Chattooga on Friday in Summerville.
North Georgia scored two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to complete a comeback on Friday in Lithia Springs and defeat Colonial Hills, 20-18.
FLOWERY BRANCH - No one needs to stress the importance of tonight's game to any one in the Flowery Branch locker room. For a nonregion game, the anticipation could scarcely be greater for the fourth-ranked Falcons' season-opening showdown with second-ranked Northside-Warner Robins.
As West Forsyth coach Frank Hepler said after the game, it came down to who made the fewest mistakes.
No. 2 Buford defeated No. 4 Elbert County once again after a meeting in the state playoffs last season, the Wolves winning 14-3 on Friday night at the Granite Bowl in Elberton.
Union County slipped past Towns County 17-14 on Friday night in the teams' football season opener in Hiawassee.
Banks County opened its football season with a big offensive show Friday night, beating East Jackson 46-30 in Homer.
White County rolled past Habersham Central 31-0 on Friday in the season opener for both teams.
Jackson County rallied to defeat Winder-Barrow 21-10 on Friday night.
North Hall at Chestatee
Commerce defeated Jefferson for the first time in five meetings on Friday in Commerce, winning 22-7.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Flowery Branch coach Chris Griffin saw his team's potential in a tight first half against No. 2 Northside-Warner Robins.
In front of packed crowd at Jock Horner Field in Gainesville, the Lakeview Lions cruised to their first victory of the season 32-12 over the Fellowship Christian Palladians on Friday night.
Gainesville High football coach Bruce Miller has thought for a long time that the Red Elephants have one of the top stadiums in the state.
Children sat around the stage. West Hall football players stood on stage, and the auditorium was full as Tony Lotti took the stage.
Tapped out of energy from a three-hour slugfest and numb from freezing temperatures most of the night, Gainesville's players were still able to celebrate following Friday's playoff opener against Creekview.
Elbert County bested Lumpkin County 28-18 in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs on Friday night in Dahlonega.
BUFORD - Sixteen different players carried the ball as top-ranked Buford racked up 423 rushing yards on 36 carries to defeat Southeast Whitfield 63-0 in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium.
HARTWELL - Bryan Gray looked over his team of quiet, disappointed East Hall Vikings and gave them a simple message following their 42-14 loss at Hart County.
The running of Kwon Williams and Tyquan Statham was a perfect analogy for the West Hall football team's mentality on Friday night. Quite simply, the Spartans refused to go down without a fight.
JEFFERSON - With freezing temperatures, it took a little time for the Jefferson Dragons' offense to warm up offensively during its Class AAA state playoff opener against the Franklin County Lions.
Model beat Union County 50-36 in the Class AA state playoff opener Friday in Blairsville.
White County fell to Cartersville, the No. 1 from Region 7-AAAA, 54-0 Friday night in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs at Cartersville.
The field has been painted and the lights will come on Friday night for postseason football in Oakwood.
Gainesville vs. Creekview
A chilly wind swirled around East Hall coach Bryan Gray as he laid out his team's mission Friday night at Hart County.
No one could forget the quarterbacks who came before Mikey Gonzalez at Gainesville High.
All he needed was a first down, maybe a few yards after the tackle, according to head coach Tony Lotti.
Gainesville finished the regular season with a much different feeling than it started just three months ago.