Friday's game between Gainesville and Stephens County was supposed to be a showdown of the two best teams in Region 8-AAA.
In less than 24 hours, Flowery Branch went from being on the verge of its first region title to preparing for a road trip to start the state playoffs.
Gainesville left no doubt that it is the best team in Region 8-AAA.
ATHENS - The Flowery Branch Falcons walked on to the field at Billy Henderson Stadium Friday night knowing exactly what they had to do to secure the program's first region title and a No. 1 seed heading into the state playoffs.
MONROE - An up-and-down season came to a fitting end for North Hall on Friday.
The Buford defense held Blessed Trinity to 127 yards of total offense (58 rushing, 69 passing) on the way to a 49-10 victory Friday in Roswell.
DAWSONVILLE - Jefferson jump-started its running game with key halftime adjustments and capitalized on five Dawson County turnovers to beat the Tigers for the second time this season on their home field, 21-10, Friday night.
Coming into Friday night's Region 8-AA play-in game, the East Hall Vikings wanted to show that they had what it took to compete with one of the best teams in Northeast Georgia.
Riverside Military Academy had its biggest offensive output of the season in a 48-25 loss to No. 7 Prince Avenue on Friday night in Gainesville.
Commerce defeated Social Circle 45-21 on Friday to reach the state playofffs for a 15th straight season.
Lumpkin County's special teams scored in three different ways to lead the Indians to a 31-21 win over West Hall on Friday at Spartan Field.
North Oconee defeated Banks County 41-0 on Friday in Homer to earn to earn its first Region 8-AA championship.
White County finished its season with a 21-7 win over Walnut Grove on Friday.
Chestatee finished its season with a 28-13 win over Johnson on Friday night at Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium.
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.
Banks County could have gotten frustrated after losing its first two Region 7-AAA games by a total of eight points.
Flowery Branch spoiled homecoming Friday for the Apalachee with a 52-28 victory.
East Hall quarterback Devin Watson said he slept for 14 hours Thursday night to stave off a migraine in order to play in Friday night's rivalry game against Johnson.
Gainesville got rid of a bitter taste in its mouth with a sharp performance Friday against Clarke Central when it needed it most.
Chestatee fell at home to Stephens County on Friday, losing 55-27 to Toccoa.
Fourth-ranked Jefferson rolled to a big 63-0 win over East Jackson on Friday at Memorial Stadium.
Lakeview Academy notched four scores, a missed extra point and a safety and came away with a 29-28 win against Athens Academy on Friday in Gainesville.
Xavier Gantt powered the top-ranked Buford offense with a trio of touchdowns in a 51-12 victory over Monroe Area on Friday in Monroe.
Riverside Military Academy scored its second win of the season Friday, beating Oglethorpe County 21-0 in Lexington.
Rabun County pulled away late to defeat Union County 45-31 on Friday in Blairsville.
Prince Avenue Christian defeated Towns County 40-7 on Friday.