HOMER - After losing a game to Fannin County on Oct. 22, the Leopards of Banks County High went into last Friday's match up with East Hall with more than a chip on their shoulder.
With one Friday night remaining in the regular season, region championships and playoff berths are still up for grabs all over Northeast Georgia. Here's a look at this week's top games:
While most area schools have at least one more game to play, Lakeview Academy - a fifth-year program playing a non-region schedule - concluded its season Friday with a 23-12 win over Towns County.
On Senior Night, the Lakeview Academy Lions put the finishing touches on the best season yet in the program's three-year history.
Cole Segraves went 16-of-23 passing for 130 yards and a touchdown to lead White County to a 21-13 win over Franklin County on Friday at Ed Bryant Stadium in Carnesville.
The Johnson High football team committed 16 penalties Friday night on the way to being shutout by Monroe Area 41-0 at Hurricanes Stadium in Monroe.
CONYERS - The Flowery Branch Falcons won their ninth straight game Friday night, beating Salem 40-14.
HOMER - Dylan Lackey made sure Banks County didn't head into the Region 8-AA play-in game with back-to-back losses.
TOCCOA - North Hall's 43-37 loss to Stephens County on Friday at The Reservation was tough to swallow.
On Senior Night, at Maginnis Field on Friday night, it was visiting Athens Academy that had reason for celebration.
Lumpkin County is one win away from returning to the state playoffs for the first time since 2003.
They didn't play much, but Gainesville coach Bruce Miller saw what he wanted to see out of his starters.
Jackson County was shut out for the second time this season Friday, losing 49-0 to Hart County at Panther Stadium in Jefferson.
Garrett Smith had two touchdowns and Jesse Wright had one touchdown for Union County in a 40-24 loss to Fannin County on Friday at Rebel Stadium in Blue Ridge.
Dawson County secured the No. 3 seed from Region 8A-AA with a 35-24 win over Rabun County on Friday at Tiger Stadium in Dawsonville.
BUFORD - What a difference a half makes.
CLARKSTON – It shouldn't have ended this way.
CLARKSTON - Gainesville stood toe to toe with Tucker for most of the night in the Class AAAAA state semifinals on Friday at Hallford Stadium in Clarkston. What kept it close was the Red Elephants' remarkable defense for most of the night against the Tigers' vaunted running game.
Deshaun Watson couldn't help but smile.
Gainesville High quarterback Deshaun Watson was named the 2013-2014 Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year, according to an announcement made Thursday by The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports.
BUFORD - Buford coach Jess Simpson might have the best backup quarterback in Georgia.
This is the most fun time of year to play high school football for those still in the running.
Just like last season, Gainesville's football team will have to find a way to win in enemy territory in order to reach the Class AAAAA state championship game in The Georgia Dome. Buford, meanwhile, can punch its ticket to the Class AAA title contest in the friendly confines of Tom Riden Stadium.
Not even a tender left shoulder on quarterback Deshaun Watson or a potent Mundy's Mill running game could keep Gainesville from earning a win in the state quarterfinals on Friday at City Park Stadium.
The Gainesville Red Elephants are starting to become very comfortable at playing football when the weather turns cold.
BARNESVILLE - Despite being in unfamiliar territory on Friday against Jefferson, Lamar County didn't panic.
BUFORD - It wasn't pretty, but Buford's quarterfinal matchup with fellow state power Carver-Columbus finished in usual fashion - with the Wolves on top.
This isn't uncharted territory for the Gainesville Red Elephants. If anything, the members of Gainesville's football team expected to be here, practicing the week of Thanksgiving and playing in a high-profile quarterfinal matchup on Black Friday.
JEFFERSON - Trailing by three points in the closing minutes of last week's second-round playoff matchup at Heard County, Jefferson's defense was able to do something it hadn't been able to do all game long: Make a stop.
BUFORD - Lately it's almost a given that top-ranked Buford will face Carver-Columbus in the playoffs.