BUFORD -- There was a time when Buford senior Vadal Alexander was not as strong and imposing of a figure.
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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.
Buford's defense held Stephens County to 46 total yards and only allowed the Indians to cross midfield once as the top-ranked Wolves captured their first championship in Region 8-AAAA with a 56-0 victory on Friday in Toccoa.
Monroe Area bested Chestatee 41-28 on Friday to cap a disappointing season for both teams at Monroe.
HOMER - West Hall coach Tony Lotti got a muted response when he told his team to get excited for next week's decisive region battle against Lumpkin County.
When Gainesville needed a lift late in Friday's contest against Loganville, hard-hitting defensive back Toddrick Turner was more than happy to oblige.
Lakeview Academy fell to Prince Avenue Christian 49-10 on Friday at Jock Hornor Field in Gainesville.
The Knights came just short of a win on Friday in Oakwood, falling to Franklin County 14-13 at Billy Ellis Stadium.
No. 4 Jefferson stayed unbeaten with a 28-16 victory over Oconee County on Friday in Jefferson.
Habersham Central ended a 21-game losing streak over three seasons by beating North Forsyth 42-7 on on Friday in Mount Airy.
White County closed in on a playoff spot in Region 8-AAAA with a 51-22 win on Friday in Monroe.
Union County rolled up a 42-27 win over Riverside Military Academy in an offensive shootout Friday at Maginnis Field in Gainesville.
Flowery Branch rallied for the winning touchdown with less than a minute to play to upset Salem 7-6 on Friday night and stay alive in the Region 8-AAAAA playoff hunt.
After dropping its first seven games this season, the North Hall football team has a winning streak and bragging rights.
Top-ranked Buford continued its run of one-side victories, shutting out Madison County 44-0 on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium.
Lumpkin County set up a showdown against West Hall for the Region 7-AAA title by beating Dawson Couty 42-19 on Friday in Dahlonega.
A North Georgia snowstorm wasn't enough to stop East Hall from trudging past Fannin County, 38-20 on Friday in Blue Ridge.