BUFORD - Buford High's run to a fourth straight Class AA championship got off on the right foot Friday with a convincing 52-22 victory over Hart County in the opening round of the playoffs at Tom Riden Stadium.
For the past two years, the Gainesville Red Elephants have made a habit of blowing out their first-round opponents.
The Commerce High football team fell 34-24 to Bremen in the first round of the Class A state playoffs Friday night at Bremen Athletic Field.
The loss was the last game at the helm for Tigers' coach Steve Savage, who will retire after 22 years as head coach.
Gainesville vs. Haralson County
His teammates call him rookie, but ask anyone who has seen him play and they're all likely to say the same thing: Gainesville High freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson is playing well beyond his years.
Flowery Branch's reward for starting the football season 9-0 and finishing second in Region 8-AAAA is a date with one of the most storied football programs in Georgia.
COMMERCE - For the past 33 years there have been two constants at Commerce High: a winning football program and coach Steve Savage.
BUFORD - Everything surrounding Buford High's football program this time of the year is upbeat.
The Buford High football team remains No. 2 in Class AA in the latest Georgia Prep Football Poll, which was released Tuesday by The Associated Press.
CLEVELAND - For the first time since 2007, White County's football program spent the first Monday afternoon following the end of the regular season by preparing for another football game. The stakes now are sudden death in the Class AAA tournament and the competition will also be good, but the Warriors (8-2) took to the practice field like it was just another practice, even though the excitement level has gone up a notch or two for Friday's playoff opener against LaGrange (5-5).
Going into the 2010 season, the biggest question at Gainesville High was how well freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson could direct a Red Elephant offense that made it to the state finals last season.
BOGART - A shutout loss that cost North Oconee the region title left the Titans smarting all week.
Friday night's results showed once again why "defense wins championships" is one of football's oldest clichés.
Led by Quan Clark's 181 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, Chestatee finished its season with a 29-21 win Friday over Walnut Grove at War Eagle Stadium.
North Hall ended its season with a 52-28 victory on Friday night at The Brickyard to finish the season at .500 overall.
On a handful of occasions Friday, Devin Watson made plays that were sheer athletic brilliance for East Hall.
Flowery Branch defeated Loganville 29-14 on Friday at Falcon Field.
West Hall's first region title in the program's 27-year history is just within grasp, junior running back Kwon Williams said after a 49-0 shellacking of Fannin County Friday night.
Gainesville rolled to its sixth win of the season Friday, beating Cedar Shoals 61-26 in Athens.
Chris Dennis came through for North Hall with a last-chance field goal to lift his team to victory in a 38-35 win against Monroe Area on Friday in Gainesville.
CLEVELAND - The Chestatee War Eagles couldn't have scripted a better start, but the White County Warriors used an opportunistic defense and a pair of quick strikes on offense to secure a decisive comeback victory Friday.
Commerce rolled past Towns County 58-0 on Friday to stay in the region playoff hunt.
HOMER - Banks County jumped out to a 12-0 lead early only to see Dawson County take 21-12 a lead at halftime Friday night. But the Leopards rediscovered their early success and did not allow the Tigers to score in the second half while rallying for a 27-21 victory.
BOGART - North Oconee knew what it was up against when Buford made the trip to Bogart.
Habersham Central fell at Johns Creek 42-14 on Friday in Alpharetta.
Greene County held off Riverside Military Academy 24-7 on Friday at Maginnis Field in Gainesville.
Jackson County bested county rival East Jackson 35-15 on Friday in Commerce.
Athens Christian shut out Lakeview Academy 40-0 on Friday at Eagle Field in Athens.
Gainesville at Cedar Shoals
The three-year plan is working to fruition for West Hall football coach Tony Lotti and his confident, yet focused band of Spartans.