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HS Football Previews: Week 9
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Read a preview of West Hall vs. Fannin County here: 

Gainesville at Cedar Shoals

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Waters-Wilkins Stadium, Athens

Coaches: Cedar Shoals, Scott Wilkins; Gainesville, Bruce Miller

Records: Cedar Shoals (0-7, 0-6 Region 8-AAAAA); Gainesville (5-2, 5-1)

Key players: Gainesville, WR/DB Chris Williamson (6-1, 187 Sr.); LB Demichael Borders (5-8, 185 Jr.); LB J.D. Sosebee (6-0, 220 Sr.). Cedar Shoals, QB Greg Smith (6-0, 185 Jr.); WR Breon Mitchell (6-0, 180 Sr.); CB Trevor Burgess (5-8, 180 Sr.).

Outlook: The Red Elephants bounced back from their first Region 8-AAAAA loss to Lanier with last week’s 35-10 home win against Clarke Central.

Gainesville quarterback Gonzalez threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns to lift his season totals to 1,587 yards and 18 passing scores. Williamson had five receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown against the Gladiators and is up to a team-high 494 yards and five touchdowns for the year.

Sosebee’s 70-yard touchdown return of a blocked field goal continued a trend of the Red Elephants scoring non-offensive touchdowns this season.

Cedar Shoals’ Mitchell had an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Clarke Central on Sept. 13.

Gainesville’s final three region opponents have combined to go 5-13 in region contests so far this season.

The Red Elephants defeated the Jaguars 51-6 a year ago at City Park Stadium. Following tonight, Gainesville welcomes Loganville to City Park Stadium next week.

Lakeview at Athens Christian

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Eagle Field, Athens

Coaches: Lakeview, Matthew Gruhn; Athens Christian, Chris Williams

Records: Lakeview (3-4, 3-2 Region 8-A); Athens Christian (5-3, 5-1)
Key players: Lakeview, RB/CB/KR Tae Turner (5-10, 175 Jr.); QB/DB David Abee (6-1, 170 Sr.); WR Thaddeus Webb (6-3, 190 Jr.). Athens Christian, RB/CB Marquez Henson (5-8, 175 Sr.); RB/MLB Taylor Hardigree (6-0, 215 Sr.); QB/CB Josiah Brooks (Sr.).

Outlook: At 5-1 in region play, Athens Christian is in the driver’s seat of Region 8-A. It won’t look to slow down that campaign against Lakeview tonight. The Eagles picked up their third consecutive victory by defeating George Walton 35-7 last week behind strong running by Henson and Hardigree. Henson racked up 167 of his team’s 360 yards of offense in the win.
Lakeview is led primarily by Turner, who scored three touchdowns in a nailbiter win over Athens Academy last Friday.

Riverside Military Academy vs. Greene County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Maginnis Field, Gainesville

Coaches: Riverside Military Academy, Gary Downs; Greene County, Robert Edwards

Records: Riverside Military Academy (2-5, 1-2 Region 8-AA); Greene County (3-4, 2-1)

Key players: Riverside Military Academy, LB Cole Garcia (6-2, 230 Sr.); TE/DE Avery Cagle (6-4, 220 Sr.); WR/LB Chris Howard (6-2, 215 Sr.). Greene County, WR/SS Jailen Edwards (6-0, 175 Jr.); MLB Matthew Jackson (5-10, 200 Sr.); CB/WR Cordre Hunter (5-8, 150 Sr.).

Outlook: It seems Avery Cagle’s switch to quarterback from tight end is working out pretty well so far. Cagle was 5 of 11 passing for 121 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-0 road win over Oglethorpe County last week.

Riverside has only passed for 175 yards this season. On defense, Cole Garcia leads the way for the Eagles with 87 tackles (67 solo), and C.J. Howard is second on the squad with 75.

The Tigers are 2-1 against region opponents so far and have won two of their last three games. Greene County had a bye week to rest after a 42-27 loss to Union County on Oct. 10, and will look toward the receiver Edwards for big yardage against the Eagles at Maginnis Field.

Greene County is coached by the legendary former Georgia running back Robert Edwards, who also played in the NFL for the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. The Tigers have won both previous meetings against the Eagles in 2012 and 2013.

Buford at North Oconee

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Titans Stadium, Bogart

Coaches: Buford, Jess Simpson; North Oconee, Terry Tuley

Records: Buford (7-0, 4-0 Region 8-AAAA); North Oconee, (5-2, 4-0)

Key players: Buford, RB/LB Joshua Thomas (5-11, 200 Sr.); TE Isaac Nauta (6-4, 240 Jr.); WR/DB David Curry (6-0, 195 Sr.). North Oconee, RB Kawon Bryant (5-9, 205 Sr.); QB Tate Adcock (6-0, 185 Sr.); DB/WR/KR Zantravious Shields (5-10, 185 Sr.).

Outlook: Top-ranked Buford is set for its most difficult region matchup so far this season. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be that close.

The Wolves have allowed a cumulative 29 points in four region contests, while scoring more than 50 in wins against Chestatee, North Hall and Monroe Area. Led by Thomas’ 399 yards, the Wolves have rushed for 1,811 yards as a unit.

Buford’s most catching numbers also come in the running game, averaging 260 yards per game, compared to 54 allowed by its defense.

Meanwhile, North Oconee rushed for 257 yards in a 31-6 win against White County on Oct. 10. Bryant is one of the state’s top rushers with 1,110 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Titans. Adcock has passed for 805 yards and six touchdowns. North Oconee is riding a five-game winning streak since losing to Coffee and Greater Atlanta Christian back to back to open the season.

North Oconee has scored more than 50 once this season, a 51-6 win against Chestatee on Sept. 26.

Buford won its most recent meeting against North Oconee 13-0 in 2012. The Wolves are 2-0 all-time against the Titans.

East Hall vs. Franklin County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: East Hall Stadium

Coaches: East Hall, Bryan Gray; Franklin County, Jerry Underwood

Records: East Hall (3-4, 1-2 Region 7-AAA); Franklin County (2-5, 1-3)

Key players: East Hall, QB/DB Devin Watson (5-11, 185 Sr.); DL Alan Silva (5-10, 240 Sr.); DL Abraham Sepulveda (5-9, 210 Sr.). Franklin County, QB Tyrique David (5-11, 160 So.); RB/CB Bud Woods (5-4, 150 Jr.); FS/SB Brooklon Wright (6-2, 180 Jr.).

Outlook: The playoff window is still open for East Hall in Region 7-AAA, where the Vikings control their own destiny despite a 1-2 start to the region schedule. East Hall regrouped after a 51-22 loss to West Hall two weeks ago and defeated Johnson 42-23 in a non-region contest last week.

Vikings quarterback Devin Watson tallied four touchdowns against the Knights.

The Vikings will likely need him to keep up that type of strong play and win at least two of their final three games to have a shot at the postseason. Franklin County gave West Hall a brief scare last week by jumping out to a slim lead in the first half, before the Spartans bounced back to win 27-12.

Flowery Branch vs. Loganville

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Falcons Stadium, Flowery Branch

Coaches: Flowery Branch, Chris Griffin; Loganville, Mike Parris

Records: Flowery Branch (3-4, 2-4 Region 8-AAAAA); Loganville (4-3, 3-3)

Key players: Flowery Branch, RB Jeremiah Goss (5-8, 200 So.); LB Cole Ford (6-0, 215 Sr.); LB/TE Zack Smith (5-11, 220 Sr.). Loganville, RB Darryl Giles Jr. (5-10, 180 So.); WR/DB Josh Owen (6-3, 205 Sr.); LB/RB Cameron Taube (5-9, 170 Jr.).

Outlook: Though slim, the Falcons are still clinging to the playoff race with games against three of the teams ranked higher in Region 8-AAAAA standings still remaining on the schedule. All three of Flowery Branch’s remaining opponents have a winning record, including the season finale against Gainesville on Nov. 7 in Flowery Branch.

For the Red Devils, Giles went over the 1,000-yard mark rushing for the season in a 31-27 loss to Salem on Oct. 17.
Right now, Loganville is also on the outside looking in for a playoff spot. The Red Devils are looking to make the postseason for the first time since three straight appearances (2008-2010).

Chestatee at White County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: White County Stadium, Cleveland

Coaches: Chestatee, Bill Forman; White County, Bill Ballard

Records: Chestatee (1-6, 0-4 Region 8-AAAA); White County (3-4, 1-3)

Key players: Chestatee, RB/LB Kris Pierce (5-8, 210 Sr.); RB/LB Tray Bryant (6-2, 210 Sr.); RB/LB Marvin Rosario (6-2, 215 Sr.). White County, CB/RB Maurice Sutton (6-0, 190 Sr.); FB/OLB Max Taylor (5-9, 210 Sr.); DE/WR/TE Tucker Cook (6-3, 195 Sr.).

Outlook: Even with a 1-3 record in region play, White County’s playoff hopes aren’t dead yet. The Warriors can still reach the postseason if they win their three remaining games and Madison County (5-2, 3-1), which currently occupies the fourth and final seed in the region, loses its final three contests. There’s a plausible chance that could happen.

White County’s final three games come against Chestatee (1-6, 0-4), Monroe Area (0-7, 0-4) and North Hall (0-7, 0-4), giving the Warriors solid odds of winning out against a trio of teams that have combined for only one win. Madison County, on the other hand, must finish the regular season against the region frontrunners — the three teams White County has lost to in region play — Stephens County (6-1, 4-0), Buford (7-0, 4-0) and North Oconee (5-2, 4-0).

However, none of that will matter if White County doesn’t take the first step by winning tonight.
White County defeated Chestatee 35-0 when they last met in 2011.The War Eagles have given up 49 points or more in each of the last four games, a welcome sight for a Warriors team that has been held to 10 points or fewer in three of the last four games.

Jackson County at East Jackson

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Commerce

Coaches: Jackson County, Benji Harrison; East Jackson, Gary Hughes

Records: Jackson County (1-7, 0-4 Region 8-AAA); East Jackson (1-7, 0-4)

Key players: Jackson County, QB Jacob Lewis (6-1, 180 Sr.); RB Malik Tuck (Jr.); LB Griffin McElvery (5-11, 180 Jr.). East Jackson, RB/LB Taylor Murphy (6-1, 215 Sr.), DB Devonte Browner (Fr.), DB Josh Adair (5-8, 145).

Outlook: The Panthers will be looking for their first victory since their 31-6 triumph at East Hall on Sept. 19.
The Panthers are paced by the strong arm of Lewis, who has passed for 1,242 yards and eight touchdowns.
Lewis, Tuck and wide receiver Adrian Parsons have big-play potential, but Jackson County has averaged 12 points in its four losses since its lone win.

On defense, McElvery leads Jackson County with 105 tackles, 75 of those solo.
East Jackson has totaled only 27 points in the six losses since its only win, which came 13-6 against Lakeview Academy on Aug. 29.

Dawson County at Banks County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Leopard Stadium, Homer

Coaches: Dawson County, Jeff Lee; Banks County, Biff Parson

Records: Dawson County (1-6, 1-3 Region 7-AAA); Banks County (4-3, 1-2)

Key players: Dawson County, RB/SS Andrew Goley (Jr.); FS Dylan Nix (So.); WR Dalton Edwards (6-0, 170 Sr.). Banks County, WR/CB Zez Steeple (5-9, 145 Jr.); RB/QB/LB Trevae Cain (Jr.); QB/FS Griffin Goodwin (So.).

Outlook: The Leopards are coming off a wild 49-46 win at Lumpkin County as they handed the Indians their first Region 7-AAA loss Friday. Meanwhile, the Tigers saw a 28-21 fourth-quarter lead slip away in a 35-28 defeat against Fannin County to deny Dawson County back-to-back wins.

Both teams are still in the running for the postseason.

Goodwin threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in the win against Lumpkin County, with Steeple totaling 125 yards and two touchdowns receiving. Cain added 79 rushing yards and two touchdowns as Malcolm

Mitchell had 104 rushing yards and the Leopards piled up 480 yards of total offense.

Following tonight’s game, Banks County hosts East Hall and Dawson County visits Lumpkin County.

North Hall vs. Monroe Area

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: The Brickyard, Gainesville

Coaches: Monroe Area, Monroe, Joey Sulkowski; North Hall, David Bishop

Records: Monroe Area (0-7, 0-4 Region 8-AAAA); North Hall (0-7, 0-4)

Key players: Monroe Area, QB Jacob Olson (6-1, 180 Sr.); RB C.J. Winding (5-9, 175 Jr.); WR/DB Alfred King (5-10, 170 Jr.). North Hall, RB Maddox Turner (5-9, 155 So.); RB Kyle Bacus (So.); QB Drew Atha (5-11, 170 Jr.)

Outlook: The Trojans played Madison County tough early in the game last Friday before fading in the final two and a half quarters for a 49-20 defeat.

The Purple Hurricanes have been more competitive, twice losing by single digits this year, including a 42-34 loss to Stephens County, one of the region’s top teams thus far.

Turner scored on a 31-yard run and finished with 86 yards on the ground against the Red Raiders. He has a team-high 300 rushing yards this season, followed closely by fellow sophomore Bacus with 290 yards.

Monroe Area’s Olson has thrown for 1,339 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions. King has 44 receptions for 682 yards and four touchdowns, and Winding has rushed for 539 yards and three scores.

Towns County at Commerce

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Ray Lamb Stadium, Commerce

Coaches: Towns County, Billy Barnhart; Commerce, Michael Brown

Records: Towns County (1-7, 1-5 Region 8-A); Commerce (5-2, 4-1)

Key players: Towns County, FB/DB Cruz Shook (5-9, 205 Sr.); OL/LB Kyle Davis (5-10, 210 Sr.); TE/DL Daulton Rogers (6-1, 200 Jr.). Commerce, QB/SS Caleb Brooks (5-10, 160 Jr.); RB/S Cole Chancey (5-10, 175 So.); RB/CB Grant Mayberry (Sr.).

Outlook: Coming off a bye after their first Region 8-A loss, the Tigers shredded winless Providence Christian for 596 total yards, including 530 rushing yards, en route to a 49-10 victory last week. Commerce averaged 14.3 yards per carry.

Chancey (130 yards) and Brooks (108 yards) both rushed for more than 100 yards and scored a touchdown. Will Thomas scored twice for Commerce, while Mayberry and Knox Allen also adding touchdown runs.

Following a 58-28 loss to George Walton Academy on Sept. 26, the Indians have lost by a combined 127-7 score to Athens Academy, Athens Christian and Prince Avenue Christian.

Habersham Central at Johns Creek

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: The Coliseum, Johns Creek

Coaches: Habersham Central, Michael Pollock; Johns Creek, Mike Cloy

Records: Habersham Central (0-7, 0-6 Region 6-AAAAAA); Johns Creek, (0-7, 0-6)

Key players: Habersham Central, QB Bennett Black (6-1, 185 Sr.); RB Michael Babers (5-10, 205 So.); WR/DE John David Herrin. Johns Creek, RB Kawon Bryant (5-9, 205 Sr.); QB Tate Adcock (6-0, 185 Sr.); DB/WR/KR Zantravious Shields (5-10, 185 Sr.). Johns Creek, QB Kevin Nalecz (6-2, 185 Sr.); RB Matt Kriteman (5-11, 175 So.); LB Kyle McGregor (6-1, 225 Jr.).
Outlook: One team will pick up its first win in more than two calendar years when Habersham Central meets Johns Creek tonight. Johns Creek has lost 19 consecutive games dating back to the 2012 season, while Habersham Central’s drought is even longer at 20 straight losses.

The Raiders could end that tonight, just one week after they threatened to upset Centennial in a narrow, 42-39 loss.

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