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.
Commerce improved to 6-1 in region play with a 42-0 win over George Walton on Friday in Monroe.
Towns County ended its season with 20-3 win over Providence Christian on Friday in Lilburn.
On a handful of occasions Friday, Devin Watson made plays that were sheer athletic brilliance for East Hall.
Flowery Branch defeated Loganville 29-14 on Friday at Falcon Field.
West Hall's first region title in the program's 27-year history is just within grasp, junior running back Kwon Williams said after a 49-0 shellacking of Fannin County Friday night.
Gainesville rolled to its sixth win of the season Friday, beating Cedar Shoals 61-26 in Athens.
Chris Dennis came through for North Hall with a last-chance field goal to lift his team to victory in a 38-35 win against Monroe Area on Friday in Gainesville.
CLEVELAND - The Chestatee War Eagles couldn't have scripted a better start, but the White County Warriors used an opportunistic defense and a pair of quick strikes on offense to secure a decisive comeback victory Friday.
Commerce rolled past Towns County 58-0 on Friday to stay in the region playoff hunt.
BOGART - North Oconee knew what it was up against when Buford made the trip to Bogart.
Habersham Central fell at Johns Creek 42-14 on Friday in Alpharetta.
Greene County held off Riverside Military Academy 24-7 on Friday at Maginnis Field in Gainesville.
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.
Flowery Branch spoiled homecoming Friday for the Apalachee with a 52-28 victory.