Friday's game between Gainesville and Stephens County was supposed to be a showdown of the two best teams in Region 8-AAA.
In less than 24 hours, Flowery Branch went from being on the verge of its first region title to preparing for a road trip to start the state playoffs.
Gainesville left no doubt that it is the best team in Region 8-AAA.
ATHENS - The Flowery Branch Falcons walked on to the field at Billy Henderson Stadium Friday night knowing exactly what they had to do to secure the program's first region title and a No. 1 seed heading into the state playoffs.
MONROE - An up-and-down season came to a fitting end for North Hall on Friday.
The Buford defense held Blessed Trinity to 127 yards of total offense (58 rushing, 69 passing) on the way to a 49-10 victory Friday in Roswell.
DAWSONVILLE - Jefferson jump-started its running game with key halftime adjustments and capitalized on five Dawson County turnovers to beat the Tigers for the second time this season on their home field, 21-10, Friday night.
Coming into Friday night's Region 8-AA play-in game, the East Hall Vikings wanted to show that they had what it took to compete with one of the best teams in Northeast Georgia.
Riverside Military Academy had its biggest offensive output of the season in a 48-25 loss to No. 7 Prince Avenue on Friday night in Gainesville.
Commerce defeated Social Circle 45-21 on Friday to reach the state playofffs for a 15th straight season.
Lumpkin County's special teams scored in three different ways to lead the Indians to a 31-21 win over West Hall on Friday at Spartan Field.
North Oconee defeated Banks County 41-0 on Friday in Homer to earn to earn its first Region 8-AA championship.
White County finished its season with a 21-7 win over Walnut Grove on Friday.
Chestatee finished its season with a 28-13 win over Johnson on Friday night at Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium.
WINDER - With the star-studded duo of TJ Skelton and Evan Shirreffs on the field for Jefferson, a productive and powerful offense was expected. What was not expected was how the Dragons used almost everybody but Skelton on their way to a 41-7 win over the Winder-Barrow Bulldoggs at W. Clair Harris Stadium in Winder.
COMMERCE - After last Friday's loss, East Jackson Eagles' head coach Gary Hughes said his team had to limit turnovers to stay in games.
Madison County scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to overcome Jackson County 27-21 on Friday in Jefferson.
After 11 straight seasons of futility in season openers, Forsyth Central finally started the schedule off on the right foot.
In typical Buford fashion, seven different names appeared on the scoring sheet during Friday night's 56-0 win over Berkmar at Tom Riden Stadium.
Riverside Military Academy's defense stole the show on Friday night in Roswell as J.J. McCalston, Tarik Holmes and Chris Howard combined to lead the Eagles to a 20-10 victory over Fellowship Christian.
West Hall coach Tony Lotti had his team vote last week to decide who would be the team's top 10 leaders in the locker room for the upcoming season.
A stifling defense and a freshman quarterback led Flowery Branch to a decisive victory against Chestatee on Friday night in the Hall County rivals' first matchup since 2009.
LOGANVILLE – Gainesville has two weeks to find some continuity on both sides of the ball before the region schedule begins. The season opener was far less than what coach Bruce Miller hoped for.
Rabun County held off Habersham Central 23-14 in the season-opener on Friday in Tiger.
Union County stormed past Towns County 57-14 win in the season opener on Friday in Hiawassee.
Commerce defeated Banks County 28-21 on Friday in the season opener for both teams in Commerce.
Pickens outlasted White County 42-34 in a wild offensive shootout Friday in Cleveland.
East Hall battled its way to a 20-13 win over Wesleyan in the season opener on Friday in Peachtree Corners.
Flowery Branch coach Chris Griffin remembers the beginnings of the Flowery Branch and Chestatee football programs, when the brand-new schools played each other in their first-ever game in 2002.