Blessed Trinity defeated Jackson County 41-14 in their first-round Class AAA state playoff game Friday in Roswell.
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.
JEFFERSON - The Jefferson Dragons have shown all year why they are the class of the newly-formed Region 8-AAA by scoring throngs of points and making it tough for opposing offenses to get into Dragon territory, let alone the end zone.
Lumpkin County rode a hot quarterback to a 27-21 win over Franklin County on Friday in Dahlonega.
Every second half possession for both teams resulted in a score, but it wasn't quite enough for Commerce in a 42-27 loss to Prince Avenue on Friday in Bogart.
North Oconee kept North Hall winless with a 42-6 victory on Friday at The Brickyard.
With a safety the only thing on the board for Gainesville through almost two quarters, Toddrick Turner had a hand in a pair of plays that turned the tide.
Union County defeated Oglethorpe County 46-0 as Jacob Rogers' three touchdowns led the Panthers to victory on Friday in Lexington.
Fannin County held off Banks County 30-23 on Friday in Blue Ridge.
Oconee County ran past Jackson County 42-21 on Friday in Watkinsville.
A field goal in overtime lifted Strong Rock Christian to a 10-7 victory over Riverside Military Academy Friday night in Locust Grove.
DAWSONVILLE- West Hall took a huge first step toward a Region 7-AAA playoff spot on Friday.
With the crux of his offensive and defensive schemes sitting injured on the Gainesville bench, even a dominant win over a region opponent couldn't put coach Bruce Miller in a good mood late Friday night.
Johnson's football players posed for an impromptu celebratory shot together, while Knights coach Jason Roquemore was bopping around the field after Friday's game against Riverside Military Academy at Maginnis Field in Gainesville.
JEFFERSON - After a first-possession fumble by the undefeated Jefferson Dragons on Friday night, the annual Battle of Jefferson against Jackson County had all the makings of a great rivalry game: an early turnover, a fired-up crowd and the home team looking to score quickly.
A pair of quick-strike touchdowns helped Lumpkin County take control early. Then, the Indians' ball-control offense kept them in front late.
North Oconee rolled past Chestatee 51-7 on Friday in Bogart.