If a team loses nearly half of its roster to graduation, including the starting quarterback, leading rusher and leading tackler, a down year could be expected.
First and foremost, Flowery Branch senior quarterback Kanler Coker says his job is to move the chains when he gets under center.
A typical football helmet doesn't look like it does in the advertisements.
For teams in subdivided regions, including all local teams other than those in Region 8-A and 8-AAAA, this is, for all intents and purposes, the final week of the regular season.
Gainesville recorded its second shutout of the season on the way to a 48-0 rout of Walnut Grove on Friday in Walnut Grove.
After four weeks of strong play on both sides of the ball, North Hall's winning streak came to a screeching halt on Friday night against Franklin County.
DAWSONVILLE - All Dawson County wanted this season was a chance to reach the state playoffs.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Flowery Branch found itself in a close game for the second straight week on Friday, leading only by seven at halftime.
The Lakeview Academy Lions notched a workmanlike win over Georgia Military College, winning 14-7 on the strength of disciplined play and a solid running game.
West Hall fell to Monroe Area 34-0 on Friday night in Monroe.
BUFORD - If Buford continues to play defense like it did Friday against No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian, then winning its fifth consecutive Class AA state title is just a formality.
JEFFERSON - Jefferson used its running game and had enough big plays to outlast Jackson County 31-14 Friday night in a Region 8-AA South rivalry game at Panther Stadium.
A dominating defensive effort produced White County's first shutout in two seasons, but wasn't enough to keep the Warriors' playoff hopes alive.
Union County edged Rabun County 10-7 on Friday night in Tiger.
Stephens County defeated Lumpkin County 40-7 on Friday night in Toccoa.
For Flowery Branch, tonight's game at second-ranked Northside-Warner Robins is more than a season opener.
For all the eye-popping statistics that Deshaun Watson posted during his record-setting 2012 season, the categories where he avoided large numbers may have been just as important to Gainesville's state championship run.
Chattooga at East Hall
Antonio Pittman's role as a West Hall Spartan has been increasing ever since he first stepped onto the field in Oakwood.
Dawson County struck big in crucial situations to open the season Friday against East Hall in Gainesville. Leading by a small margin with five minutes left to play, Tigers (1-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAA) quarterback Zack Buchan hit running back Cody Lamar in the open field on a third-and-long at the 30 and ran 70 yards for the score, propelling Dawson County to a 29-27 win.
Andrew Smith and Brannon Dyer were the catalysts for the North Hall offense in a 42-31 scrimmage win against Salem (Va.) on Friday in Virginia.
OAKWOOD - This year, the Battle of Oakwood went to the Spartans of West Hall.
Dawson County at East Hall