RINGGOLD - Call it courage. Or justice, or karma, or law of averages, or maybe big dumb luck.
CARTERSVILLE - Top-seeded Cartersville came into its first-round playoff matchup with West Hall ranked No. 2 in the state with a perfect 10-0 record and an average margin of victory of more than 40 points per game.
Gainesville coach Bruce Miller wasted little time congratulating his defense for a job well done after it held on for a 28-14 victory against M.L. King and the big passing arm of its quarterback, Roland Rivers, on Friday at City Park Stadium.
For the second straight year, homefield advantage and a higher seeding didn't provide any help for Flowery Branch.
Chestatee overcame a shaky opening quarter and ended up making history on Friday night at War Eagles Stadium.
CLEVELAND - The No. 2-seed White County Warriors defeated the no. 3-seed Adairsville Tigers 52-28 on Friday night in the first round of the state AAA playoffs.
Jefferson opened its Class AA state title defense Friday night with a 28-0 win over Westminster in the first round of the state playoffs.
BUFORD - The offense that moved with ease all year did so again. The defense that gave up yards grudgingly throughout the regular season was just as stingy in the first round of the state playoffs.
Union County ended its season with a 6-5 record after a 56-21 to Lovett, the No. 1 seed from Region 6-AA, in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday night.
Blessed Trinity defeated Jackson County 41-14 in their first-round Class AAA state playoff game Friday in Roswell.
Deshaun Watson was glad to get Thursday morning behind him. Gainesville's starting quarterback, and the state's all-time leading passer, was finally able to sign a financial aid award letter with Clemson University, officially making him a Tiger.
Last season, Hall County's two newest schools celebrated their 10-year anniversaries by both hosting first-round state playoff football games.
After enduring eight losing seasons in the past 10 years, West Hall will make its return to the playoffs tonight with a visit to second-ranked Cartersville.
M.L. King at Gainesville
At this time last season, Gainesville High appeared to be a football team in free fall.
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.