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Schools cheer football teams to shot at state title
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Flowery Branch High cheerleaders Ashley Bloomfield, left, and Morgan Wheeler prepare the school’s banner for tonight’s playoff game in Stephens County.

The Blitz 

Gainesville High School vs. Oconee County High School

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: City Park, Gainesville

Cost: $8

Pregame events: Pep rally at Gainesville High School gym at 2:45 p.m., tailgate by Green Street Pool from 5-7 p.m., elephant walk at 6 p.m.

North Hall High School vs. Hart County High School

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Brickyard, North Hall High School

Cost: $8

Pregame events: Pep rally at North Hall High School gym at 2:45 p.m.

Flowery Branch High School vs. Stevens County High School

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Stevens County High School, Toccoa

Cost: $8

Pregame events: Pep rally at Flowery Branch High School gym at 11 a.m.

It’s beginning to look a lot like the high school football state playoffs are here.

Gainesville High School, North Hall High School and Flowery Branch High School all earned at least one shot at the state championship title on Dec. 13. Cheerleaders and football fans have spent the past week decking the halls of their high schools with Red Elephant, Trojan and Falcon cheer in preparation for the first round of the state playoff games.

The North Hall Trojans (7-3) will face off against Hart County High School at home this evening. The Flowery Branch Falcons (8-2) will take on Stevens County High School in Toccoa, which defeated the Falcons 28-25 in the first game of the season. The undefeated Gainesville Red Elephants (10-0) will play Oconee County High School tonight at City Park following a fresh win against Flowery Branch High School.

All three high schools will hold pep rallies today.

Students at North Hall High School are decorating classroom doors in celebration of the big game in The Brickyard this evening. Last year, the Trojans made it to the state semifinals that took place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Gainesville High School is holding a tailgate by the Green Street pool from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the traditional "elephant walk" taking place at 6 p.m.

Flowery Branch High School cheerleader co-captains Ashley Bloomfield and Morgan Wheeler said they’ve been spending the week pumping up students for the football game in Toccoa.

"We’ve really been talking up the game a lot, because it’s a big deal," Bloomfield said. "We’ve told everybody to spread the word."

Wheelers said she and other cheerleaders are trying to get students to trek to Toccoa for the game — rain or shine.

"We’re trying to get our student section sold. We’re telling students to get ponchos and umbrellas and join," she said. "We usually have a pretty good away game crowd."

Flowery Branch High School Athletic Director Shannon Benton said he’s got his money on the Falcons tonight.

"I’d be shocked if we don’t win," he said.

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