The high school football state playoffs begin this Friday for the state's five largest classifications. The postseason will stretch across the next five weeks, with the state championship games being played Dec. 13-14 inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Quarterback Daniel McCrary and wide receiver Johnathan Gilreath ended their careers at Lumpkin County on a particularly high note on Friday in the regular season finale, even though making the playoffs was out of the question.
For the second straight year, Gainesville faced a surging Flowery Branch team in the fourth quarter with a region title on the line.
North Hall came into Friday night's game with chance to emerge as Region 7-AAA champs. But with a 42-14 win, top-ranked Buford showed why it's considered by many to be the frontrunner not only for the region, but for a second-straight state title as well.
DAWSONVILLE - Tony Lotti had an important phone call to make.
Lumpkin County ended its season with a 31-28 upset win over Stephens County, the No. 4 seed in Region 8-AAAA, on Friday in Toccoa.
Chestatee finished its regular season and tuned up for the state playoffs Friday with a 42-0 win over Madison County at War Eagle Stadium.
Luis Sanchez's game-winning field goal with four seconds left lifted Jackson County past Morgan County 38-35 on Friday in Jefferson, sending the Panthers to the Class AAA state playoffs for the second straight year.
Devan Stringer had every reason to smile after Gainesville claimed the Region 8-AAAAA title on its own home field Friday.
Riverside Military Academy capped its season with a 30-26 win over Greene County.
White County used a wide range of players to work its way to a 38-13 win over Banks County on Friday in Homer.
CUMMING - Commerce had several close spots go its way as it converted first downs in crucial situations and finished with a total time of possession of 34:29 in a 24-14 victory over Pinecrest Academy on Friday at The Paladins' field.
Towns County beat Hebron Christian 34-19 in its season finale Friday in Dacula.
Jefferson rolled over Union County 49-3 on Friday in its final tuneup before defending its Class AA state title.
Before fourth-down plays, Isaiah Rowe drops into his stance and visualizes himself blocking punts with a blend of technique, speed, hustle and strength.
Gainesville's senior quarterback Mikey Gonzalez was electric all night in Friday's 46-6 win against Winder-Barrow - before and after a 70-minute weather delay due to lightning around City Park Stadium in Gainesville.
SUGAR HILL - The Flowery Branch Falcons couldn't build on an early lead Friday night and the Lanier Longhorns wore them down and pulled away late to win 27-12.
Tray Bryant paced Chestatee with 154 rushing yards in a 24-19 win over Pepperell on Friday in Lindale.
JEFFERSON-When it comes to the Battle of the Bridge rivalry between the Jefferson Dragons and Commerce Tigers, Jefferson head coach Ben Hall said you could throw both teams' undefeated records out the window.
DAHLONEGA - In a battle of teams going for their first victory, Lumpkin County scored a 14-3 nonregion win over Johnson at The Burial Grounds on Friday night.
It would be hard to blame West Hall head coach Tony Lotti if he felt a little conflicted after the Spartans' 38-0 handling of county rival North Hall on Friday night.
Dawson County lost a tight contest Friday to Heritage-Ringgold, 10-6 in Ringgold
White County defeated Pace Academy 31-17 on Friday night in Cleveland
Union County defeated Andrews, N.C., m 49-20 on Friday night in Blairsville.
Towns County defeated Lakeview Academy 14-6 on Friday night in Hiawassee.
Rabun County rode a strong offensive night to a 34-21 victory Friday over Jackson County in Tiger.
Hapeville Charter defeated Riverside Military Academy 15-14 on Friday in Hapeville.
Demetrious Walker rushed for 115 yards on 15 carries and scored three touchdowns in Banks County's 43-0 dominating victory Friday night over East Jackson in Homer.