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This week: Gainesville, Flowery Branch both play Region 8-AAAAA home opener
Both coming off region road wins
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Hall County’s two Class AAAAA football programs got off to a good start in region play last week. They’ll try to keep the momentum going with Region 8-AAAAA home openers Friday night. Gainesville (2-1, 1-0 Region 8-AAAAA) is coming off a 69-0 win against Winder-Barrow (0-3), where junior quarterback Deshaun Watson accounted for a career-high eight touchdowns.

The Red Elephants play host to Apalachee (1-1, 0-0) Friday at City Park Stadium. The Wildcats had a bye last week, following a loss to Greater Atlanta Christian on Sept. 14.

Meanwhile, Flowery Branch (1-2, 1-0) got back on track with a 45-27 win against Cedar Shoals last Friday in Athens.

On Friday, the Falcons look to make it three-in-a-row against Loganville, after winning head-to-head matchups against its former 8-AAAA rival in 2010 and 2011.

Loganville (1-2, 0-1) is coming off a 40-6 loss in its region opener against Clarke Central.

Six local football programs have their bye this week, including Region 7-AAA’s Buford, Dawson County and North Hall, and Jefferson and Union County in 8-AA.

ATLANTA FALCONS: The Atlanta Falcons home opener tonight against the Denver Broncos should be quite a show.

Playing in front of a national television audience on Monday Night Football on ESPN, Atlanta will entertain a battle between two of the league’s top quarterbacks.

For the Falcons, fifth-year starter Matt Ryan is coming off a sterling performance, where he completed 23 of 31 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in a 40-24 win against Kansas City last Sunday. Ryan also had Atlanta’s only rushing touchdown against the Chiefs.

And Atlanta receiver Julio Jones topped 100 yards with six catches.

For the Broncos, first-year quarterback Peyton Manning completed 19 of 26 passes for 253 yards in a 31-19 win against Pittsburgh in primetime last Sunday night. The four-time MVP’s return was more remarkable after successful neck surgery and a 20-month span since playing last in 2010 with the Indianapolis Colts.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: After a good start to the season, Georgia (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) is ready to dive back into the conference schedule, starting with a home game against Vanderbilt on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 56-20 win against Florida Atlantic on Saturday night, where junior quarterback Aaron Murray threw for a career-high 342 yards with four total touchdowns.

Vanderbilt is coming off a 58-0 win against Presbyterian.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech got the bad taste of the Virginia Tech loss out of its mouth with a 56-20 conference win against Virginia on Saturday.

This week, Georgia Tech (2-1, 1-1 ACC) plays host to a struggling Miami (2-1) program, which topped Bethune-Cookman 38-10 last Saturday.

Regional events