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High school football notebook: No shortage of thrillers for Habersham
QB Ellison leads high-scoring Raiders
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Habersham Central isn’t off to a perfect start, but it’s a safe bet no Raiders fan will say this year’s team hasn’t been worth the price of admission.

After Friday night’s come-from-behind, 43-39 win over Salem, the Raiders have scored 115 points through three games. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that they’ve also allowed 115 points.

Given that, it’s not surprising all three games have come down to the wire.

On Friday, the Raiders (2-1, 2-1 Region 8-AAAA) overcame a three-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter, cut the lead to the three with 3:44 remaining and recovered the ensuing onside kick to set up the game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute.

Just a week earlier, it was Habersham Central that was the victim of a similar rally, when the Raiders let a four-touchdown halftime lead get away in a 41-34 loss to Cedar Shoals.

In Week 1, Habersham Central scored 10 fourth-quarter points to break a 28-28 tie and emerge with a 38-35 win over Apalachee.

Quarterback Kevin Ellison has been the undeniable star for the Raiders thus far. The senior quarterback leads the area in rushing yards and touchdowns. He rushed for 125 yards and four touchdowns Friday, bringing his season total to nearly 550 yards and 12 scores. He also completed 8 of 12 passes for 146 yards, including the game-winning touchdown against Salem and returned a punt for a touchdown earlier this year.

The Raiders will face defending 8-AAAA champion Clarke Central (1-1, 1-1) this week in Athens.


Friday, the Trojans fell 38-13 to St. Pius X (No. 3 in Class AAA), after starting the season with a loss to unbeaten Jefferson. In both games, North Hall yielded big first-half-point totals.

Correcting their slow start will be high on the priority list when the Trojans travel to City Park Stadium on Friday to face rival Gainesville (1-1), hoping to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2001, the first year of coach Bob Christmas’ tenure.

Tickets for the game will be on sale at the Gainesville High School from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday-Friday. Cost is $7.


Degraff passed for 143 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 43 yards and another score in the War Eagles’ 46-13 win over Johnson on Friday. A week earlier, in a 41-14 win over West Hall, he ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 54 yards.

Degraff is just one of many weapons to get involved in the scoring for Chestatee (2-0), as six different War Eagles scored Friday.

The War Eagles host Dawson County (1-2) this week.


His 143-yard showing in Friday’s win over Apalachee brings his season total to nearly 400 yards in three games, with an average approaching 10 yards per carry. The fourth-ranked Falcons (3-0, 3-0 Region 8-AAAA) and their area-leading offense (54 points per game) host Cedar Shoals (2-1, 2-1) on Friday.

A year after leading the area and setting the school record with more than 1,500 rushing yards, Flowery Branch’s Jeremy Haley is still churning out big yards on the ground for the high-flying Falcons offense.
: Chestatee’s Jordan Degraff couldn’t have planned a much better way to begin his career as the War Eagles starting quarterback. After focusing on defense last season, the junior is leading an offense that has scored 87 points in its first two games.
North Hall is off to an 0-2 start after opening the season with one of the area’s most challenging schedules.

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