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Football Player of the Week: Gainesville's Deshaun Watson
Red Elephants QB rolled up 8 TDs in 69-0 win over Winder-Barrow
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Honor roll

Dontravious Wilson, Buford: Rushed for 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a win against Hancock Central.

Terrick Ramsey, Commerce: Had 12 carries for 155 yards and a touchdown in a win against Banks County.

Tyler Dominy, Dawson County: 23 of 29 for 412 passing yards and six touchdowns in a win against Forsyth Central.

Austin Mahaffey, East Hall: Rushed for 118 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a win against East Jackson.

Jackson McDonald, Flowery Branch: 19 of 22 for 208 passing yards and two touchdowns; 142 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a win against Cedar Shoals.

Justin Curry, Flowery Branch: Rushed 31 times for 185 yards and a touchdown.

Kyle Daniel, Jackson County: 26 of 35 passing for 325 yards and four touchdowns in a win against Athens Christian.

Xavier Harper, Jackson County: Had 10 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns for the Panthers.

Evan Breakspear, Jackson County: Had 21 total tackles and caused a fumble for the Panthers.

Luis Hernandez, Johnson: Scored on a pair of 73-yard touchdown runs in a loss to North Murray.

Bryant Shirreffs, Jefferson: 17 of 26 for 144 passing yards and one touchdown; 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a victory over North Hall.

Kevin Christmas, North Hall: Carried 21 times for 180 yards in a loss to Jefferson.

T Bentley, Union County: 146 yards and one touchdown passing; 78 yards and two touchdowns rushing in a victory against Andrews (N.C.).

Johnathan Hughes, Union County: Had 10 carries for 118 yards for the Panthers.

Zach English, West Hall: Passed for 159 yards and three scores in a win against Lumpkin County.

Isaiah Rowe, West Hall: Rushed for 104 yards on 22 carries.

Will Brock, White County: 4 of 5 passing for 107 yards and one touchdown; 45 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a win against Fannin County.

Compiled by Bill Murphy

Gainesville’s Deshaun Watson had a 17th birthday he’ll never forget. The Red Elephants (2-1, 1-0 Region 8-AAAAA) quarterback completed all 18 of his pass attempts for 350 yards — all in the first half — in a 69-0 win against Winder-Barrow (0-3) last Friday. Watson threw seven touchdown passes to four different receivers and also rushed for another touchdown.

“I didn’t know I’d completed all 18 passes until we got back to school after the game,” said Watson, a junior, and the reigning Times Football Player of the Year. “I was just shocked when I found out.

“It’s a game I’ll always remember.”

Even though the Bulldoggs have struggled in recent years, managing to complete every pass is astounding to Red Elephants coach Bruce Miller.

“It’s amazing,” Miller said. “It’s just so hard to do.”

Eight touchdowns in a game ties his career record. He hit the same mark twice last season.

During his half of play, Watson mixed short, intermediate and long passes to his receivers, and connected with nine different teammates.

Miller says that his 57-yard touchdown throw to senior Tray Harrison was the longest of the night.

During the game, Gainesville’s coach was not concentrating on whether Watson had completed all his throws: There were too many other things going on during the game to lock in on one aspect.

Then after the game, someone pointed out to Miller that his quarterback, who is verbally committed to Clemson University, was perfect.

“What Deshaun did is the football equivalent of a pitcher in baseball throwing a no-hitter,” Miller said. “You don’t notice it while the game is going on but then after the game is over you see it.”

Watson says that all the credit for his individual accomplishment goes to the hard work of his offensive line. And he says having eight players who can do the job at wide receiver makes his job all the more manageable.

“I’m blessed,” Watson said. “I have a lot of weapons out there on the field around me.”

Watson, who topped 4,000 yards of offense in 2011, said the play he’ll remember most from the game was a 40-yard completion to Rodney Lackey on a post pattern. With pressure coming from behind, Watson says he managed to step up in the pocket and fire the ball to his intended target for a completion.

Watson and Miller both said that the momentum of a win against Class AAA’s No. 6 Buford (2-1) the previous week carried over into the region opener against Winder-Barrow, a loser of 27 straight games. Watson said that he wasn’t going to let his teammates get complacent against the Bulldoggs, even though they haven’t won since midway through the 2009 season.

“We knew that Winder may be down, but had to treat them like they were another Buford on the schedule,” Watson said. “Winning like that gives us a lot of confidence, but we can’t allow ourselves to be satisfied.”

Watson’s big night certainly couldn’t have come at a better time for Gainesville. After winning their region opener against Winder-Barrow, the Red Elephants now return to City Park Stadium for Region 8-AAAAA games against Apalachee (1-1, 0-0) on Friday and Loganville (1-2, 0-1) on Sept. 21.

Playing two classifications higher than last season, Gainesville is looking to win its fifth consecutive region championship.

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