Deshaun Watson was glad to get Thursday morning behind him. Gainesville's starting quarterback, and the state's all-time leading passer, was finally able to sign a financial aid award letter with Clemson University, officially making him a Tiger.
Last season, Hall County's two newest schools celebrated their 10-year anniversaries by both hosting first-round state playoff football games.
After enduring eight losing seasons in the past 10 years, West Hall will make its return to the playoffs tonight with a visit to second-ranked Cartersville.
M.L. King at Gainesville
At this time last season, Gainesville High appeared to be a football team in free fall.
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.
Jefferson's Colby Wood tallied 115 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns as the fourth-ranked Dragons rolled to a 51-16 victory against Morgan County on Friday in Madison.
Buford topped the 50-point mark for the fourth time this season Friday night in a 56-0 win over North Hall.
Lakeview saw its two-game win streak ended Friday in a 34-14 loss to George Walton Academy in Monroe.
Riverside Military Academy fell to Washington-Wilkes 13-10 on Friday at Maginnis Field in Gainesville.
Once West Hall took the lead, Kwon Williams wasn't about to let the Spartans give it away.
There wasn't a lot of mystery with what went wrong after a promising start for Flowery Branch on Friday.
Senior running back Trevor O'Brien muffed the opening kickoff, then picked it up and ran 72 yards.
Fumbles plagued the Panthers in a messy 42-13 loss to Elbert County on Friday in Jefferson.
Towns County was shut out by Athens Christian 46-0 Friday night in Athens.
Stephens County defeated White County 30-10 on Friday night in Toccoa.
Chestatee fell on the road to Madison County 49-28 on Friday in Danielsville.
DAWSONVILLE- East Hall picked up its first Region 7-AAA win in a hotly-contested game against Dawson County on Friday night, holding on for a 36-29 victory.
At least it's over.
Lakeview Academy's Tae Turner is a do-it-all kind of player.
Winder-Barrow overcame an emotional atmosphere on its way to a 24-7 victory over Flowery Branch on Friday night.