Of the 10 area teams that opened the state playoffs on Friday, only half managed to avoid elimination.
RINGGOLD - Call it courage. Or justice, or karma, or law of averages, or maybe big dumb luck.
CARTERSVILLE - Top-seeded Cartersville came into its first-round playoff matchup with West Hall ranked No. 2 in the state with a perfect 10-0 record and an average margin of victory of more than 40 points per game.
Gainesville coach Bruce Miller wasted little time congratulating his defense for a job well done after it held on for a 28-14 victory against M.L. King and the big passing arm of its quarterback, Roland Rivers, on Friday at City Park Stadium.
For the second straight year, homefield advantage and a higher seeding didn't provide any help for Flowery Branch.
Chestatee overcame a shaky opening quarter and ended up making history on Friday night at War Eagles Stadium.
CLEVELAND - The No. 2-seed White County Warriors defeated the no. 3-seed Adairsville Tigers 52-28 on Friday night in the first round of the state AAA playoffs.
Jefferson opened its Class AA state title defense Friday night with a 28-0 win over Westminster in the first round of the state playoffs.
BUFORD - The offense that moved with ease all year did so again. The defense that gave up yards grudgingly throughout the regular season was just as stingy in the first round of the state playoffs.
Union County ended its season with a 6-5 record after a 56-21 to Lovett, the No. 1 seed from Region 6-AA, in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday night.
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
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.
East Hall quarterback Devin Watson said he slept for 14 hours Thursday night to stave off a migraine in order to play in Friday night's rivalry game against Johnson.
Gainesville got rid of a bitter taste in its mouth with a sharp performance Friday against Clarke Central when it needed it most.
Chestatee fell at home to Stephens County on Friday, losing 55-27 to Toccoa.
Fourth-ranked Jefferson rolled to a big 63-0 win over East Jackson on Friday at Memorial Stadium.
Lakeview Academy notched four scores, a missed extra point and a safety and came away with a 29-28 win against Athens Academy on Friday in Gainesville.