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High school football notebook: Big Red 'O' efficient
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How efficient was Gainesville’s offense in a 62-20 home win over Johnson on Friday?

The Red Elephants scored four touchdowns in a four-minute span during the first quarter and averaged exactly 10 yards per play — 45 offensive plays, 450 yards.

“We’ve been talking about efficiency all year,” Red Elephants coach Bruce Miller said.

Of course, the Gainesville (4-1, 1-0 Region 8B-AAA) defense had a helping hand in the offense’s big night, intercepting four passes and recovering a fumble in the first half.

“(Friday) night we really played probably one of the most complete games this season,” said Miller, who missed Friday’s game because he was serving a one-game suspension resulting from an ejection against Franklin County. “Defensively and offensively, they were focused.”

Miller has said all along, with major turnover from last year’s state runner-up squad, 2010 would be about taking new pieces and molding them into a team.

“I’m starting to see a bunch of kids that really want to be good and are working at it day to day,” he said. “It’s one of those things, and it’s not happening all at once.

“We’re taking some good athletes and putting them into a puzzle and they’re doing a great job of seeing what their roles are and are fitting everything together.”

Imani Cross, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the offseason and has spent the past 4 1/2 months rehabbing the injury, returned last week against Walnut Grove in a limited role in North Hall’s offense. He played full time Friday against Chestatee.

In two games, he’s scored six touchdowns. That stat — a three-score per game average — alone is impressive, but not uncommon. However, when realized he only has 15 touches (13 carries, two receptions), that scoring total becomes phenomenal.

Cross’ two touchdowns against Walnut Grove came on a 14-yard reception — his only catch of the game — and a 5-yard run. He carried the ball three times for 18 yards. Then against Chestatee, he erupted for 189 yards and four tochdowns on 10 carries and also had one catch for 6 yards.

Cross’ 34-yard touchdown run in the third quarter demonstrated his athletic ability. He was tackled, but managed to use his hand to stop his knee from hitting the ground, spun his body and returned to his feet. As he was taking off for the end zone, his teammates and the War Eagles watched, assuming he was down.

PLOT THICKENS IN SUBREGIONS: Region 8A-AA features no state playoff teams from 2009. That will change this year for at least one school. Which school that will be has yet to be determined, but this week will further separate the field when Banks County (1-0) travels to Dawson County (1-0), Union County (0-1) travels to East
Hall (1-0) and Fannin County (0-1) travels to Rabun County (0-1).

“It’s do or die every week,” Vikings coach Bryan Gray said.

“Especially when only first place in the subregion is guaranteed a playoff spot. The other two top teams will have to play extremely talented teams from the other subregion, so it’s important to get the top spot.”

The wide-open North subregion in 8A-AAA will also gain more clarity this week after a slew of key matchups.
White County (4-1, 1-0) will host North Hall (3-2, 1-0), Chestatee (2-3, 0-1) travels to Stephens County (4-1, 1-0) and Franklin County (2-2-1, 0-1) travels to Lumpkin County (3-2, 0-1).

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