OAKWOOD - Time doesn't quite heal old wounds, as the West Hall High football team discovered. Still smarting from last week's heart-breaking 2-point loss to Johnson in the final seconds, West Hall lost its second straight Friday night 42-7 to Oconee County.
FLOWERY BRANCH - It was an unusual Friday night in which Flowery Branch and quarterback Austin Brown struggled in the passing game.
It was tough for Jefferson coach T. McFerrin to go back to Elbert County, a place where he coached for seven years and won the state title in 1995.
MONROE - With sole possession of first place in the subregion on the line, the No. 8 Gainesville Red Elephants pulled out every play in the book to secure a win.
Walnut Grove earned its first win of the season Friday night in Monroe, beating Johnson 42-35.
Banks County beat Rabun County 40-13 on Friday in Tiger to take sole possession of the Region 8A-AA lead.
After a scoreless first half, the offenses exploded for seven scores combined on Friday as Commerce fell to Athens Academy 28-21 in Athens.
Three-time defending state champion Buford rode a 35-point halftime lead to a 48-2 victory over Avondale on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium in Buford.
Chestatee fell to Franklin County 41-14 on Friday night at War Eagle Stadium.
Lakeview Academy, Led by Nick Drury's five touchdowns, defeated North Cobb Christian 49-21 Friday in Kennessaw.
Heritage at Flowery Branch
After Monroe Area's 48-6 win over Walnut Grove last week, Purple Hurricanes coach Matt Fligg looked at his team and told them that "they were fixing to play the biggest game of their lives."
CLEVELAND - It seems that wherever White County plays this season, it captures the attention of all the fans in Region 8-AAA.
Rarely in high school football do you see a player play varsity for all four years.
The Flowery Branch High football program continues its rise up the polls and comes in at No. 6 again this week in Class AAAA. The Falcons (6-0) defeated Habersham Central last week.
Benji Harrison resigned as Jackson County High football coach on Tuesday following a three-year stint in which he led the program to its first state playoff berths in 20 years.
ACWORTH - Gainesville was in it to the very end.
JEFFERSON - The Jefferson Dragons' run at a second state championship in three seasons ended Friday night at Jefferson Memorial Stadium.
BUFORD - Determination helped Joshua Thomas and Buford take control Friday night and punch the Wolves' ticket into the state semifinals for an eighth consecutive season.
COMMERCE - It wasn't a win for the highlight reel, but Commerce coach Michael Brown will take it.
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.
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.