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
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.
Flowery Branch earned its first Region 8-AAAAA victory of the season on Friday, beating Cedar Shoals 17-7 in Athens.
Stephens County kept North Hall winless with a 48-19 win Friday in Toccoa.
Tae Turner's five touchdowns powered Lakeview Academy to its first region win in school history, a 38-3 victory over Providence Christian on Friday at Jock Hornor Field in Gainesville.
Habersham Centrall fell on the road Friday to Alpharetta 52-3 as the Raiders continue to struggle in Region 7-AAAAAA, falling to 0-5 on the year.
George Walton defeated Towns County 48-28 as ihe Indians fell to 1-4 on Friday in Monroe.
Union County ran up a 52-19 win over Social Circle on Friday in Blairsville.
Commerce defeated Athens Christian 10-7 on Friday in Athens.
Franklin County held off Banks County 22-21 on Friday night in Homer.
BETHLEHEM - Gainesville coach Bruce Miller hit a big milestone Friday night.
BUFORD - Buford opened Region 8-AAAA play with a 42-10 victory over White County at home on Friday night.
CARROLLTON - It took a little longer than he anticipated, but Ed Dudley has registered victory No. 1 as the head coach of the Carrollton High School football team.