The high school football state playoffs begin this Friday for the state's five largest classifications. The postseason will stretch across the next five weeks, with the state championship games being played Dec. 13-14 inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Quarterback Daniel McCrary and wide receiver Johnathan Gilreath ended their careers at Lumpkin County on a particularly high note on Friday in the regular season finale, even though making the playoffs was out of the question.
For the second straight year, Gainesville faced a surging Flowery Branch team in the fourth quarter with a region title on the line.
North Hall came into Friday night's game with chance to emerge as Region 7-AAA champs. But with a 42-14 win, top-ranked Buford showed why it's considered by many to be the frontrunner not only for the region, but for a second-straight state title as well.
DAWSONVILLE - Tony Lotti had an important phone call to make.
Lumpkin County ended its season with a 31-28 upset win over Stephens County, the No. 4 seed in Region 8-AAAA, on Friday in Toccoa.
Chestatee finished its regular season and tuned up for the state playoffs Friday with a 42-0 win over Madison County at War Eagle Stadium.
Luis Sanchez's game-winning field goal with four seconds left lifted Jackson County past Morgan County 38-35 on Friday in Jefferson, sending the Panthers to the Class AAA state playoffs for the second straight year.
Devan Stringer had every reason to smile after Gainesville claimed the Region 8-AAAAA title on its own home field Friday.
Riverside Military Academy capped its season with a 30-26 win over Greene County.
White County used a wide range of players to work its way to a 38-13 win over Banks County on Friday in Homer.
CUMMING - Commerce had several close spots go its way as it converted first downs in crucial situations and finished with a total time of possession of 34:29 in a 24-14 victory over Pinecrest Academy on Friday at The Paladins' field.
Towns County beat Hebron Christian 34-19 in its season finale Friday in Dacula.
Jefferson rolled over Union County 49-3 on Friday in its final tuneup before defending its Class AA state title.
Two Hall County rivals will meet tonight at Spartan Field in Oakwood, with their fortunes heading in opposite directions early in the season.
Trevae Cain helped the Banks County Leopards to their first football victory since October 2012 in a 28-24 comeback win against Johnson on Friday night.
Georgia Sports Writers Association Prep Football Poll
Banks County earned its first victory since October 2012, beating Johnson 28-24 Friday in a back-and-forth game in Oakwood.
Jefferson freshman phenom running back Colby Wood is quickly making a name for himself with a tenacious running style, much more assertive than most young running backs.
BUFORD - The Buford Wolves fell behind three times Friday night, but they didn't blink.
West Hall's Tony Lotti didn't want his players to get too high on themselves after soundly defeating county rival Chestatee 31-0 Friday night.
JEFFERSON - Friday night was a battle of two completely different offenses: White County operates by ground, Jackson County by air.
Commerce quarterback Caleb Brooks powered the Tigers to a 36-14 win over Hebron Christian Academy on Friday in Commerce.
Habersham Central suffered a 41-0 shutout loss to Northview in Region 7-AAAAAA play Friday in Duluth.
Union County improved to 2-0 with Friday's 28-7 win over Lumpkin County in Dahlonega.
Gilmer shut out Dawson County 23-0 on Friday in Dawsonville.
Lakeview Academy fell on the road to St. Francis 45-10 on Friday in Alpharetta.
East Hall fell to 0-2 with Friday night's 38-10 loss to Pickens in Jasper.
For all the good work that Kwon Williams did with the ball last Friday in West Hall's season opening win against Johnson, Spartans offensive coordinator Luke Wiggs liked what the junior running back did without the ball just as much.