With one long 85-yard pass play from Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson to receiver Tray Harrison on Friday, it took all the momentum away from North Hall after its touchdown three plays earlier in the first half at City Park.
One quarterback walked off the field with a big grin; the other in tears.
The Falcons won with offense, they won with special teams, and more than anything else, they won with defense.
Class AA's top-ranked Buford High continued their dominance in a full team effort as seven different Buford players scored touchdowns with a 49-0 win against Therrell in Buford on Friday.
East Hall lost on the road to Adairsville 25-9 on Friday night.
JEFFERSON - Jefferson High quarterback Bryant Shirreffs threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns in a 57-29 win against Hart County on Friday at Memorial Stadium.
Stephens County already knew it had the athletes, but Friday night proved it could give them the space they needed to make explosive plays.
Commerce was held to 80 yards rushing and 72 yards passing while giving up 333 yards to Washington-Wilkes Friday in a 33-0 loss Friday in Commerce.
Athens Christian defeated Banks County 27-21 on Friday night in Athens.
Clarke Central defeated Habersham Central 34-20 on Friday night in Athens.
The start to the 2011 football season has been a case of "good news, bad news" for the Lumpkin County Indians.
Cedar Shoals at Flowery Branch
Even though local bragging rights are always on the table when Gainesville and North Hall play, this year's game has a bit of a different tone.
The Hall County schools have played 15 games in the first three weeks of the season, and Hall County's best team, Flowery Branch, is 3-0 against Class AAAA competition.
Habersham Central senior quarterback Kevin Ellison helped the Raiders complete a stunning comeback from an 18-point deficit when he fired the game-winning touchdown pass to Zack Franks with just 32 seconds left in a 43-39 win over Salem.
ACWORTH - Gainesville was in it to the very end.
JEFFERSON - The Jefferson Dragons' run at a second state championship in three seasons ended Friday night at Jefferson Memorial Stadium.
BUFORD - Determination helped Joshua Thomas and Buford take control Friday night and punch the Wolves' ticket into the state semifinals for an eighth consecutive season.
COMMERCE - It wasn't a win for the highlight reel, but Commerce coach Michael Brown will take it.
Gainesville at Allatoona
BUFORD - For Evyn Cooper, it was all about being the next man up.
HAMILTON – Mikey Gonzalez has carved out his own legacy for Gainesville. His year as the Red Elephants' signal-caller will be remembered for winning huge games with clutch performances.
JEFFERSON - The No. 1-seed Jefferson Dragons put together another dominant performance in the Class AAA state playoffs Friday night at Memorial Stadium, ousting the No. 3-seeded Dodge County Indians, 27-7.
COMMERCE - Once Will Thomas found running room, there was no stopping him.
Gainesville at Harris County
Michael Byrd's joy can be found in watching his two sons playing football for Gainesville High on Fridays in the fall. Part of the excitement is watching his sons, Michael and Chris, following in his footsteps as standouts for the Red Elephants. The other part is just the paternal joy of watching the next generation do what they love.
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.