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
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.
Xavier Gantt powered the top-ranked Buford offense with a trio of touchdowns in a 51-12 victory over Monroe Area on Friday in Monroe.
Riverside Military Academy scored its second win of the season Friday, beating Oglethorpe County 21-0 in Lexington.
Rabun County pulled away late to defeat Union County 45-31 on Friday in Blairsville.
Prince Avenue Christian defeated Towns County 40-7 on Friday.
Fannin County defeated Dawson County 36-28 on Friday in Dawsonville.
Cole Chancey's 130 yards on just three carries propelled Commerce to a 49-10 victory over Providence Christian Academy on Friday in Lilburn.
North Oconee defeated White County 31-6 on Friday in Cleveland.
Five different players scored for Banks County in a wild 49-46 win over Lumpkin County on Friday night in Dahlonega.
West Hall stayed unbeaten in Region 7-AAA play with a 27-12 victory over Franklin County on Friday in Carnesville.
HARTWELL - In what has been a disappointing and tough 2014 campaign, the Jackson County Panthers looked to turn their luck around Friday night and put a second "W" in the win column.
A special teams breakdown and a lost fumble Friday turned the tide quickly against North Hall.
A weather delay and various injury stoppages couldn't stop the Indians as they earned their third straight win on Friday in Blue Ridge, beating Fannin County 34-20.
Union County stayed undefeated, moving to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in Region 8-AA with Friday night's 42-27 win over Greene County in Greensboro.