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High School Football: Week 7 previews
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North Georgia Women's Expo

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Game of the week: East Hall at Union County

East Hall at Union County

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Mike Colwell Memorial Stadium, Blairsville

Records: East Hall (2-3, 0-1 Region 7-AAA); Union County (4-1, 0-1 7-AAA)

Gainesville vs. Marist

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: City Park, Gainesville

Records: Gainesville (2-2); Marist (3-2)

Who to watch: Quarterback DJ Irons tossed for 265 yards and three touchdowns, and also rushed for a score, against Jefferson after two straight weeks off last Friday. Irons nearly brought the Red Elephants back against the talented Dragons for a win on the road.

Game notes: The Red Elephants and War Eagles have met 13 times with Marist winning eight of them, but the two haven’t seen each other since a semifinal game in 1983. Gainesville is looking to rebound from a 31-28 loss to Jefferson. Marist was shutout two weeks ago by Woodward Academy, but turned around to win a lopsided affair against Chamblee High. The War Eagles are in Atlanta, but play in a local region with Chestatee, West Hall and White County. Marist coach Alan Chadwick is in his 32nd year coaching at the school.

North Hall vs. Dawson County

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: The Brickyard, Gainesville

Records: North Hall (4-1, 1-0 Region 7-AAA); Dawson County (2-1)

Who to watch: Kyle Bacus helped the Trojans to a 28-9 victory over Fannin County a week ago. Bacus rushed 28 times for 167 yards. Maddox Turner scored all four touchdowns for North Hall. To date, Bacus has carried the ball 129 times for 831 yards and nine scores. For Dawson County, quarterback Coey Watson was 17 of 25 for 243 yards for a score in a 46-0 win over White County last week. He also ran nine times for 53 yards and two touchdowns.

Game notes: North Hall responded well last week after dropping an overtime contest to White County on a two-point conversation attempt the week prior. The Trojans’ most recent victory started off Region 7-AAA play. The Tigers are also coming off a win after falling in an extra-time loss, theirs a double-overtime affair to West Hall in Oakwood. North Hall holds a 2-0 series lead over Dawson County after topping the Tigers in 2012 (47-14) and 2013 (51-6). Dawson County will open region play in this contest with the Trojans having dropped back down to Class AAA after the reclassification process.

Flowery Branch vs. Cedar Shoals

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Falcon Field, Flowery Branch

Records: Flowery Branch (2-3, 1-0 Region 8-AAAAA); Cedar Shoals (3-2, 0-1 8-AAAAA)

Who to watch: The quarterback spot will be what fans should look at for the Falcons against the Jaguars. Starter Nick Lance will be coming back from injury, which kept him out last week against Johnson. In a 46-7 win over the Knights, coach Chris Griffin played two quarterbacks — Myles Janess and Kory Graham — in place of the injured Lance.

Game notes: Flowery Branch is 6-0 all-time against Cedar Shoals. The Falcons rebounded from a shutout loss to Jefferson with a big 39-point win. The Jaguars are reeling from back-to-back losses, including a 31-12 loss to Clarke Central. The Falcons are looking to start 2-0 in the region for the first time since 2013.

Riverside Military Academy vs. Athens Academy

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Maginnis Field, Gainesville

Records: Riverside (1-4, 1-4 Region 8-A); Athens Academy (4-0, 3-0 Region 8-A)

Game notes: The unbeaten Spartans have joined the conversation as legit contenders for the Region 8-A title, while the Eagles’ are looking to snap a three-game skid in region play this year. The Eagles have not beaten the Spartans since 1990.

Friday night’s game will also be a continuation of the Touchdowns for Cancer fundraiser. In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Touchdowns for Cancer is a national program created by Maxpreps, PLEDGE IT and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Every touchdown scored between Sept. 15 and Oct. 1 will directly benefit the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Lakeview Academy vs. Athens Christian

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Jock Hornor Field, Gainesville

Records: Lakeview Academy (1-3, 1-2 Region 8-A); Athens Christian (2-2, 3-0 Region 8-A)

Game notes: The Lions scored 21 unanswered points in the first half against Providence Christian, and eventually ran away with their first win of the season by a 31-14 decision in Week 6. The Lions now welcome in Athens Christian, a program that has won all four meetings thus far in the series.

Buford at Clarke Central

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Billy Henderson Stadium, Athens

Records: Buford (3-1); Clarke Central (3-2, 1-0 Region 8-AAAAA)

Who to watch: Through three games, Anthony Grant carried the ball 42 times for 307 yards and four scores.

Game notes: Buford has all but rolled since its opening-game loss to Roswell in the Corky Kell Classic. The Wolves’ closest game since was a 38-30 Jefferson Davis (Montgomery, Ala.). Tonight’s game will be the first between Buford and Clarke Central. The Gladiators are on a two-game winning streak after taking back-to-back road losses to Oconee County and Gainesville. For Buford, this will be the first game in Region 8-AAAAA play. The Gladiators topped Cedar Shoals last week 38-12 to begin their region schedule.

Lumpkin County vs. White County

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: The Burial Grounds, Dahlonega

Records: Lumpkin County (2-2, 1-0 Region 7-AAA); White County (1-4)

Who to watch: Zach Matthews had a monster game for Lumpkin County last week. The four-year starting running back finished the contest with 258 yards and three touchdowns.

Game notes: The Warriors are 34-11-1 against Lumpkin County in the all-time series. The two have played every year since 1964, with the exception of 2002-05. White County has won the last two meetings by a combined score of 65-7. The Indians are coming off their first region win since 2014 — a 30-27 contest against East Hall. This game is a makeup after the original date on Aug. 26 was rained out.

Jefferson at Madison County 

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Red Raider Stadium, Danielsville

Record: Jefferson (4-1); Madison County (5-0)

Who to watch: The Dragons are clearly a gifted bunch up front, paving the way for a backfield headlined by junior Elite 11 running back Colby Wood (650 yards, 9 TDs). He rushed for a season-high 208 yards and a pair of scores (52-yard long) at Memorial Stadium last week against Gainesville. Senior Zack Boobas added 61 yards and a pair of scores on 10 carries, while freshman quarterback Colby Clark (31 carries, 122 yards) added 57 yards on 13 carries as well.

Game notes: This Region 8-AAAA opener features two squads who have not met since the Dragons were in the state’s smallest classification 15 years ago. The Red Raiders are off to its first 5-0 start since 2000, while The Dragons are coming off a thrilling victory over Class AAAAAA Gainesville.

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