Northeast Georgia football made a statement in the opening round of the state playoffs Friday, as three of the four teams from Region 8-AAA, including Gainesville and White County, advanced to the second round.
FLOWERY BRANCH - After suffering its first loss of the season last week, Flowery Branch is now back on track.
CLEVELAND - Ashely Lowery refused for White County High's story to end in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
BUFORD - Buford High's run to a fourth straight Class AA championship got off on the right foot Friday with a convincing 52-22 victory over Hart County in the opening round of the playoffs at Tom Riden Stadium.
For the past two years, the Gainesville Red Elephants have made a habit of blowing out their first-round opponents.
The Commerce High football team fell 34-24 to Bremen in the first round of the Class A state playoffs Friday night at Bremen Athletic Field.
The loss was the last game at the helm for Tigers' coach Steve Savage, who will retire after 22 years as head coach.
Gainesville vs. Haralson County
His teammates call him rookie, but ask anyone who has seen him play and they're all likely to say the same thing: Gainesville High freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson is playing well beyond his years.
Flowery Branch's reward for starting the football season 9-0 and finishing second in Region 8-AAAA is a date with one of the most storied football programs in Georgia.
COMMERCE - For the past 33 years there have been two constants at Commerce High: a winning football program and coach Steve Savage.
BUFORD - Everything surrounding Buford High's football program this time of the year is upbeat.
The Buford High football team remains No. 2 in Class AA in the latest Georgia Prep Football Poll, which was released Tuesday by The Associated Press.
CLEVELAND - For the first time since 2007, White County's football program spent the first Monday afternoon following the end of the regular season by preparing for another football game. The stakes now are sudden death in the Class AAA tournament and the competition will also be good, but the Warriors (8-2) took to the practice field like it was just another practice, even though the excitement level has gone up a notch or two for Friday's playoff opener against LaGrange (5-5).
Going into the 2010 season, the biggest question at Gainesville High was how well freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson could direct a Red Elephant offense that made it to the state finals last season.
BOGART - A shutout loss that cost North Oconee the region title left the Titans smarting all week.
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.
Commerce improved to 6-1 in region play with a 42-0 win over George Walton on Friday in Monroe.