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High school football notebook: Offenses rise up in Week 7
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They say defense wins championships, but offenses around the area are doing their best to dispel that notion.

Led by Buford’s 71 points in a shutout win over Clarkston and Gainesville’s 66 over Oconee County, a number of teams put up some big numbers this week.

Commerce notched its highest total of the season, 42, and, in perhaps the biggest offensive battle of the week, Flowery Branch defeated Habersham Central 56-31. The two teams combined for a 42-17 halftime score.

The 56 points for Flowery Branch upped its season average to 53 points per game, second in the state to Thomson High. Thomson scored 63 points on Friday to increase its season average to 54.8. Those two teams, along with Camden County, are currently on pace to surpass the state record for points per game in a season (51.0).

The 66 points for Gainesville were the most allowed in the history of Oconee County High.

The fact that the team put up a big number on the scoreboard is not as surprising considering how prolific the offense has been thus far in 2011. What is surprising is the manner in which the Red Elephants accomplished it.

While they have been a predominantly pass-first offense this season, the Red Elephants, unofficially, put up 375 total yards on the ground spread out among a number of rushers. No rusher on the team topped 100 yards.

Rushing totals were high among the rest of the teams in the area as well. Habersham Central’s Kevin Ellison finished with 210 yards to give him an area-best 1,327 yards on the season. East Hall running back Jamond Witt also topped 200 yards, notching 230 to help the Vikings reach 330 yards on the ground in the game.

A GREAT DIVIDE: Through two weeks of subregion play, a clear divide has already become apparent in Region 8-AAA South. Gainesville, Monroe Area and West Hall each sit at 2-0 in the subregion, while the other three (Oconee County, Walnut Grove and Johnson) are 0-2.

That gap is guaranteed to narrow some next week, however, as Gainesville and Monroe Area will face off, guaranteeing that at least one undefeated team will fall. Also, Walnut Grove will play at Johnson which will give one team its first subregion victory of the season.

SEASON TURNAROUNDS: Both North Hall and West Hall struggled mightily out of the gate this season. The Trojans dropped their first three of the season, including a 55-15 loss at Gainesville, while the Spartans were 0-4 before picking up their first win.

In the last few weeks, however, both have feasted on opponents. North Hall has won three straight to even its record at 3-3; West Hall has opened subregion play with back-to-back wins and sits at 2-4.

The two teams have outscored opponents in those games by a combined 197-65, an average margin of victory of 26.4 points.

MILESTONES: Despite a relatively quiet day on the field for North Hall running back Imani Cross, his 59 rushing yards did help him top 1,000 for the season. Through six games, he has 1,020 yards on the ground to go with 13 touchdowns.

Jefferson coach T. McFerrin also reached an important milestone with his team’s 48-13 win over Oglethorpe County on Friday, notching his 300th career win in the state of Georgia. He has 324 including wins from a brief stint in Tennessee.

Gainesville's Bruce Miller will go for win No. 100 as coach of the Red Elephants on Friday against Monroe Area.


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