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Halftime: Fourth-ranked Gainesville trails No. 1 Hughes big in 6A championship football game
Gainesville quarterback Baxter Wright (11) runs against Hughes during the Class 6A state championship Dec. 9, 2022 in Atlanta. Photo by Lee Heard For The Times

Gainesville scored on a pair of Eric Guerra field goals in the first half but trail top-ranked Hughes 23-6 after two quarters in the Class 6A championship Friday in Atlanta. 

In the closing minute of the first half, Panthers quarterback Prentiss Noland orchestrated two touchdown drives, the first capped by a 20-yard pass to Jekail Middbrooks. 

The Hughes drive was aided after a completion of the first play by Noland, then got an extra 15 yards on a roughing-the-passer against the Red Elephants.

After the score, Gainesville fumbled on the kickoff and the Panthers recovered. 

Hughes took just one play to score on a 20-yard pass from Noland to Jaden Barnes.  

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