If a team loses nearly half of its roster to graduation, including the starting quarterback, leading rusher and leading tackler, a down year could be expected.
First and foremost, Flowery Branch senior quarterback Kanler Coker says his job is to move the chains when he gets under center.
A typical football helmet doesn't look like it does in the advertisements.
For teams in subdivided regions, including all local teams other than those in Region 8-A and 8-AAAA, this is, for all intents and purposes, the final week of the regular season.
Gainesville recorded its second shutout of the season on the way to a 48-0 rout of Walnut Grove on Friday in Walnut Grove.
After four weeks of strong play on both sides of the ball, North Hall's winning streak came to a screeching halt on Friday night against Franklin County.
DAWSONVILLE - All Dawson County wanted this season was a chance to reach the state playoffs.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Flowery Branch found itself in a close game for the second straight week on Friday, leading only by seven at halftime.
The Lakeview Academy Lions notched a workmanlike win over Georgia Military College, winning 14-7 on the strength of disciplined play and a solid running game.
West Hall fell to Monroe Area 34-0 on Friday night in Monroe.
BUFORD - If Buford continues to play defense like it did Friday against No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian, then winning its fifth consecutive Class AA state title is just a formality.
JEFFERSON - Jefferson used its running game and had enough big plays to outlast Jackson County 31-14 Friday night in a Region 8-AA South rivalry game at Panther Stadium.
A dominating defensive effort produced White County's first shutout in two seasons, but wasn't enough to keep the Warriors' playoff hopes alive.
Union County edged Rabun County 10-7 on Friday night in Tiger.
Stephens County defeated Lumpkin County 40-7 on Friday night in Toccoa.
Johnson lost a tight defensive battle to Druid Hills 13-9 on Friday night at Adams Stadium in Atlanta.
WARNER ROBINS - Chris Griffin knew his defensive line would need to play its best to hold its own against an offensive line that averages 290 pounds.
White County's Bill Ballard earned his 100th win as a head coach with a 35-14 victory against Habersham Central on Friday in Cleveland.
CUMMING - Devan Stringer provided Gainesville just the defensive lift it needed in its season opener against West Forsyth. Leading late in the second quarter Friday night, the Red Elephants' senior linebacker picked off a Hampton McConnell pass in West Forsyth territory.
North Hall quarterback Andrew Smith can't remember the last time he played in such a physical game.
BUFORD - All was well for the reigning state champion Buford Wolves on Friday night.
East Hall evened its record at 1-1 with a 48-12 home win over Chattooga on Friday at Rabbittown.
Defending Class AA state champion Jefferson wasted no time starting its title defense, beating rival Commerce 40-0 on Friday in Jefferson.
Johnson scored its first victory of the season Friday, beating Oglethorpe County 34-8 in in Lexington.
White County's Bill Ballard earned his 100th win as a head coach on Friday in Cleveland as the Warriors beat Habersham Central 35-14 in the teams' season openers.
DAWSONVILLE - Dawson County racked up 501 yards of total offense in a 27-13 win over visiting Lumpkin County on Friday night.
Robert Prunier returned a kickoff for a touchdown to lead Union County in a 41-14 win over Towns County on Friday in Blairsville.
East Jackson defeated Banks County 14-10 in the team's season openers Friday in Commerce.
Fellowship Christian defeated Lakeview Academy 41-14 on Friday night in Roswell.
Jackson County's late comeback attempt fell short Friday night in a 26-21 loss to Winder-Barrow.