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Backup sparks Wolves past Mary Persons, 35-14

Backup sparks Wolves past Mary Persons, 35-14

BUFORD — For Evyn Cooper, it was all about being the next man up.

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Passing fancy: Gainesville holds off Harris County, 49-40

Passing fancy: Gainesville holds off Harris County, 49-40

HAMILTON – Mikey Gonzalez has carved out his own legacy for Gainesville. His year as the Red Elephants’ signal-caller will be remembered for winning huge games with clutch performances.

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Dragons stay perfect, smother Dodge County 27-7

JEFFERSON — The No. 1-seed Jefferson Dragons put together another dominant performance in the Class AAA state playoffs Friday night at Memorial Stadium, ousting the No. 3-seeded Dodge County Indians, 27-7.

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Commerce runs past Clinch County 37-7 to advance in Class A

COMMERCE — Once Will Thomas found running room, there was no stopping him.

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HS Football Previews: Playoffs Week 2

Gainesville at Harris County

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Gainesville's Byrd brothers relishing playoff run

Gainesville's Byrd brothers relishing playoff run

Michael Byrd’s joy can be found in watching his two sons playing football for Gainesville High on Fridays in the fall. Part of the excitement is watching his sons, Michael and Chris, following in his footsteps as standouts for the Red Elephants. The other part is just the paternal joy of watching the next generation do what they love.

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Lotti honored as 'Caring Coach of the Year'

Lotti honored as 'Caring Coach of the Year'

Children sat around the stage. West Hall football players stood on stage, and the auditorium was full as Tony Lotti took the stage.

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Byrd carries Gainesville past pesky Creekview, 42-37

Byrd carries Gainesville past pesky Creekview, 42-37

Tapped out of energy from a three-hour slugfest and numb from freezing temperatures most of the night, Gainesville’s players were still able to celebrate following Friday’s playoff opener against Creekview.

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Lumpkin County falls at Elbert, 28-18

Elbert County bested Lumpkin County 28-18 in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs on Friday night in Dahlonega.

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Buford ground attack hammers Southeast Whitfield, 63-0

Buford ground attack hammers Southeast Whitfield, 63-0

BUFORD — Sixteen different players carried the ball as top-ranked Buford racked up 423 rushing yards on 36 carries to defeat Southeast Whitfield 63-0 in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium.

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Vikings' gutsy playoff run ends in Hartwell

HARTWELL — Bryan Gray looked over his team of quiet, disappointed East Hall Vikings and gave them a simple message following their 42-14 loss at Hart County.

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Spartans' heroic rally thwarted by late Oconee TD

Spartans' heroic rally thwarted by late Oconee TD

The running of Kwon Williams and Tyquan Statham was a perfect analogy for the West Hall football team’s mentality on Friday night. Quite simply, the Spartans refused to go down without a fight.

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Dragons ignore cold, fire past Franklin 38-7

JEFFERSON — With freezing temperatures, it took a little time for the Jefferson Dragons’ offense to warm up offensively during its Class AAA state playoff opener against the Franklin County Lions.

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Model rolls into 2nd round, tops Union 50-36

Model beat Union County 50-36 in the Class AA state playoff opener Friday in Blairsville.

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White County loses on road at Cartersville, 54-0

White County fell to Cartersville, the No. 1 from Region 7-AAAA, 54-0 Friday night in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs at Cartersville.

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West Hall aims to follow region title with playoff run

West Hall aims to follow region title with playoff run

The field has been painted and the lights will come on Friday night for postseason football in Oakwood.

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HS Football Previews: Playoffs first round

Gainesville vs. Creekview

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East Hall vying for upset over No. 8 Hart County

East Hall vying for upset over No. 8 Hart County

A chilly wind swirled around East Hall coach Bryan Gray as he laid out his team’s mission Friday night at Hart County.

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Gonzalez making most of year as starting quarterback for Red Elephants

Gonzalez making most of year as starting quarterback for Red Elephants

No one could forget the quarterbacks who came before Mikey Gonzalez at Gainesville High.

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Williams hitting his stride in West Hall backfield

Williams hitting his stride in West Hall backfield

All he needed was a first down, maybe a few yards after the tackle, according to head coach Tony Lotti.

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Gainesville headed into postseason on a high note

Gainesville headed into postseason on a high note

Gainesville finished the regular season with a much different feeling than it started just three months ago.

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East Hall heads to playoffs after 35-21 win over Banks County

East Hall outlasted Banks County in a thrilling 35-21 win on Friday at East Hall Stadium to lock up a No. 3 seed for the state playoffs from Region 7-AAA.

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Spartans savor historic ride, clinch 1st ever region title

Spartans savor historic ride, clinch 1st ever region title

West Hall’s regular season began with an empty picture frame.

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Jefferson wins battle of unbeatens, tops Hart County 21-14

HARTWELL — Coming into Friday night’s region championship-deciding game between the Jefferson Dragons and Hart County Bulldogs, it was the offenses that had all the attention as the driving forces behind both teams’ 9-0 records.

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White County is playoff-bound, beats North Hall 40-14

White County is playoff-bound, beats North Hall 40-14

The White County High football team is going back to the playoffs for a program-record third straight season and fourth time in five years.

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Union finishes 9-1 with 35-34 win over Washington-Wilkes

Union County held on in the closing moments to earn a heart-stopping 35-34 win over Washington-Wilkes on Friday in Blairsville.

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Habersham Central falls to Chattahoochee, 35-28

Habersham Central fell to Chattahoochee 35-28 on Friday in Mount Airy one week after ending its 21-game losing streak.

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Dawson County blanks Johnson 28-0 in finale

Dawson County earned its second win of the season in the 2014 finale, beating Johnson 28-0 on Friday in Dawsonville.

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Commerce rolls past Lakeview, 55-28

Commerce heads into the state playoffs with momentum after defeated Lakeview Academy 55-28 on Friday night in Commerce.

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Riverside earns third victory, tops Social Circle 34-14

Riverside Military Academy closed out the 2014 season on a high note with Friday night’s 34-14 victory in Social Circle.

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Buford caps 10-0 season, routs Stephens County 56-0

Buford’s defense held Stephens County to 46 total yards and only allowed the Indians to cross midfield once as the top-ranked Wolves captured their first championship in Region 8-AAAA with a 56-0 victory on Friday in Toccoa.

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Chestatee falls at Monroe Area in finale, 41-28

Monroe Area bested Chestatee 41-28 on Friday to cap a disappointing season for both teams at Monroe.

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West Hall tops Banks 23-7 to set up 7-AAA showdown

HOMER — West Hall coach Tony Lotti got a muted response when he told his team to get excited for next week’s decisive region battle against Lumpkin County.

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Defense picks up Gainesville in 20-7 win over Loganville

Defense picks up Gainesville in 20-7 win over Loganville

When Gainesville needed a lift late in Friday’s contest against Loganville, hard-hitting defensive back Toddrick Turner was more than happy to oblige.

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Lakeview suffers home loss to Prince Avenue, 49-10

Lakeview Academy fell to Prince Avenue Christian 49-10 on Friday at Jock Hornor Field in Gainesville.

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Franklin County slips past Johnson 14-13

The Knights came just short of a win on Friday in Oakwood, falling to Franklin County 14-13 at Billy Ellis Stadium.

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Jefferson rolls to 9-0, tops Oconee County 28-16

No. 4 Jefferson stayed unbeaten with a 28-16 victory over Oconee County on Friday in Jefferson.

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Habersham ends 2-year win drought with 42-7 victory

Habersham Central ended a 21-game losing streak over three seasons by beating North Forsyth 42-7 on on Friday in Mount Airy.

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Warriors zero in on playoff spot, top Monroe Area 51-22

White County closed in on a playoff spot in Region 8-AAAA with a 51-22 win on Friday in Monroe.

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Riverside falls to Union County, 42-27

Riverside falls to Union County, 42-27

Union County rolled up a 42-27 win over Riverside Military Academy in an offensive shootout Friday at Maginnis Field in Gainesville.

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Late TD lifts Flowery Branch over Salem, 7-6

Flowery Branch rallied for the winning touchdown with less than a minute to play to upset Salem 7-6 on Friday night and stay alive in the Region 8-AAAAA playoff hunt.

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North Hall trips up rival Chestatee, 28-17

North Hall trips up rival Chestatee, 28-17

After dropping its first seven games this season, the North Hall football team has a winning streak and bragging rights.

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Another Wolves whitewash, 44-0 over Madison County

Top-ranked Buford continued its run of one-side victories, shutting out Madison County 44-0 on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium.

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Lumpkin County tops Dawson 42-19, faces West Hall for 7-AAA title

Lumpkin County set up a showdown against West Hall for the Region 7-AAA title by beating Dawson Couty 42-19 on Friday in Dahlonega.

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East Hall snows over Fannin County, 38-20

A North Georgia snowstorm wasn’t enough to stop East Hall from trudging past Fannin County, 38-20 on Friday in Blue Ridge.

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Commerce blasts George Walton, 42-0

Commerce improved to 6-1 in region play with a 42-0 win over George Walton on Friday in Monroe.

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Towns County earns second win, tops Providence 20-3

Towns County ended its season with 20-3 win over Providence Christian on Friday in Lilburn.

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Watson sparks East Hall over Franklin County, 34-7

Watson sparks East Hall over Franklin County, 34-7

On a handful of occasions Friday, Devin Watson made plays that were sheer athletic brilliance for East Hall.

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Flowery Branch tops Loganville, 29-14

Flowery Branch defeated Loganville 29-14 on Friday at Falcon Field.

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Spartans close in on region crown, hammer Fannin 49-0

Spartans close in on region crown, hammer Fannin 49-0

West Hall’s first region title in the program’s 27-year history is just within grasp, junior running back Kwon Williams said after a 49-0 shellacking of Fannin County Friday night.

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Gainesville spreads the load, routs Cedar Shoals 61-26

Gainesville rolled to its sixth win of the season Friday, beating Cedar Shoals 61-26 in Athens.

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Late kick lifts Trojans to 1st win, 38-35 over Monroe Area

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.

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Chestatee fades after strong start, falls at White County 50-28

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.

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Many happy returns for Commerce in 58-0 win over Towns

Commerce rolled past Towns County 58-0 on Friday to stay in the region playoff hunt.

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Buford overwhelms North Oconee, 58-3

BOGART — North Oconee knew what it was up against when Buford made the trip to Bogart.

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Habersham Central stays winless after loss at Johns Creek 42-14

Habersham Central fell at Johns Creek 42-14 on Friday in Alpharetta.

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Riverside falls to Greene County, 24-7

Greene County held off Riverside Military Academy 24-7 on Friday at Maginnis Field in Gainesville.

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Jackson County rushes past East Jackson 35-15

Jackson County bested county rival East Jackson 35-15 on Friday in Commerce.

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Lakeview blanked by Athens Christian, 40-0

Athens Christian shut out Lakeview Academy 40-0 on Friday at Eagle Field in Athens.

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Flowery Branch spoils the party for Apalachee, 52-28

Flowery Branch spoiled homecoming Friday for the Apalachee with a 52-28 victory.

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Watson's big night sparks Vikings over Johnson, 42-23

Watson's big night sparks Vikings over Johnson, 42-23

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.

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Gainesville airs it out to beat Clarke Central, 35-10

Gainesville airs it out to beat Clarke Central, 35-10

Gainesville got rid of a bitter taste in its mouth with a sharp performance Friday against Clarke Central when it needed it most.

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Chestatee loses to Stephens County, 55-27

Chestatee fell at home to Stephens County on Friday, losing 55-27 to Toccoa.

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Dragons stay unbeaten, blitz East Jackson 63-0

Fourth-ranked Jefferson rolled to a big 63-0 win over East Jackson on Friday at Memorial Stadium.

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Lakeview Academy squeaks past Athens Academy, 29-28

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.

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Buford rolls to 7-0, hammers Monroe Area 51-12

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.

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Riverside blanks Oglethorpe County on road, 21-0

Riverside Military Academy scored its second win of the season Friday, beating Oglethorpe County 21-0 in Lexington.

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Rabun County hands Union County first loss, 45-31

Rabun County pulled away late to defeat Union County 45-31 on Friday in Blairsville.

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Towns County falls to Prince Avenue, 40-7

Prince Avenue Christian defeated Towns County 40-7 on Friday.

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Fannin County gets past Dawson County, 36-28

Fannin County defeated Dawson County 36-28 on Friday in Dawsonville.

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Commerce pounds out 49-10 win over Providence

Cole Chancey’s 130 yards on just three carries propelled Commerce to a 49-10 victory over Providence Christian Academy on Friday in Lilburn.

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White County falls to North Oconee, 31-6

North Oconee defeated White County 31-6 on Friday in Cleveland.

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Banks County outlasts Lumpkin County, 49-46

Five different players scored for Banks County in a wild 49-46 win over Lumpkin County on Friday night in Dahlonega.

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West Hall tops Franklin County 27-12, goes to 3-0 in region

West Hall stayed unbeaten in Region 7-AAA play with a 27-12 victory over Franklin County on Friday in Carnesville.

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Hart County passing game swamps Jackson County, 43-7

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.

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