When the Lumpkin County football team puts on the pads to face off with Monroe Area at 7:30 p.m. Friday at J.P. King Memorial Stadium in Dahlonega, there will be more on the line than a spot in the state playoffs.
OAKWOOD - When the coaches from Region 8-AAA were deciding how to figure out this year's playoff teams, Johnson High coach Paul Friel was one of the biggest proponents of a play-in game.
On Friday, Buford will seek its ninth region title in 10 years when it plays host to Westminster at 7:30 p.m. at Tom Riden Stadium.
Flowery Branch High remains No. 6 in Class AAAA in the latest Associated Press Football Poll, released Tuesday.
Banks County came within one point of winning subregion 8A-AA, but was able to salvage second place. Dawson County started the season 1-6, but closed with two straight 8A-AA wins to grab third place in the subregion.
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.
BUFORD - For Evyn Cooper, it was all about being the next man up.
HAMILTON – Mikey Gonzalez has carved out his own legacy for Gainesville. His year as the Red Elephants' signal-caller will be remembered for winning huge games with clutch performances.
JEFFERSON - The No. 1-seed Jefferson Dragons put together another dominant performance in the Class AAA state playoffs Friday night at Memorial Stadium, ousting the No. 3-seeded Dodge County Indians, 27-7.
COMMERCE - Once Will Thomas found running room, there was no stopping him.
Gainesville at Harris County
Michael Byrd's joy can be found in watching his two sons playing football for Gainesville High on Fridays in the fall. Part of the excitement is watching his sons, Michael and Chris, following in his footsteps as standouts for the Red Elephants. The other part is just the paternal joy of watching the next generation do what they love.
Children sat around the stage. West Hall football players stood on stage, and the auditorium was full as Tony Lotti took the stage.
Tapped out of energy from a three-hour slugfest and numb from freezing temperatures most of the night, Gainesville's players were still able to celebrate following Friday's playoff opener against Creekview.
Elbert County bested Lumpkin County 28-18 in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs on Friday night in Dahlonega.
BUFORD - Sixteen different players carried the ball as top-ranked Buford racked up 423 rushing yards on 36 carries to defeat Southeast Whitfield 63-0 in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium.
HARTWELL - Bryan Gray looked over his team of quiet, disappointed East Hall Vikings and gave them a simple message following their 42-14 loss at Hart County.
The running of Kwon Williams and Tyquan Statham was a perfect analogy for the West Hall football team's mentality on Friday night. Quite simply, the Spartans refused to go down without a fight.
JEFFERSON - With freezing temperatures, it took a little time for the Jefferson Dragons' offense to warm up offensively during its Class AAA state playoff opener against the Franklin County Lions.
Model beat Union County 50-36 in the Class AA state playoff opener Friday in Blairsville.
White County fell to Cartersville, the No. 1 from Region 7-AAAA, 54-0 Friday night in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs at Cartersville.