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High school football: Week 2 capsules
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Gainesville High wide receiver Jarred Rosser (11) jumps for a catch during the game against West Hall High on Friday in Gainesville. - photo by David Barnes

Chestatee, East Hall collide in a meeting of explosive offenses in our Game of the Week.

Buford vs. Melbourne Catholic (Fla.)

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford

RECORDS: Buford (1-0); Melbourne Catholic (0-0)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Wolves, ranked second in Class 5A, are fresh off their 48-17 win against Class 7A Hillgrove in the Corky Kell Classic at Georgia State University’s Stadium (formerly Turner Field) in Atlanta. Buford rallied from a first-half hole thanks to 324 rushing yards, led by senior Christian Turner with 128 yards. Melbourne Catholic opens its season ranked third in Florida’s Class 3A poll and will rely on running back Lavonte Valentine, a South Carolina commit who totaled 1,059 all-purpose yards last season. 

Before tonight’s game, Buford will honor its 2007 state championship squad, which won the first of four straight titles for the Wolves and started a run of seven in an eight-year span.


Dawson County at Forsyth Central

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Forsyth Central High, Cumming

RECORDS: Dawson County (0-0); Forsyth Central (0-0)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Senior quarterback Coey Watson will lead the Tigers’ offense once again after he threw for 1,879 yards during last year’s 7-3 campaign. Dawson County’s biggest concern, however, might be inexperience along the offensive line. 

Forsyth Central’s top receivers, Dalton Edmunds and Mark Heard, return after a 3-9 year. Despite producing just one winning season over the past 10 years, the Class 7A Bulldogs should present a challenge for Dawson County.


Flowery Branch at North Hall

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: The Brickyard, Gainesville

RECORDS: Flowery Branch (0-0); North Hall (0-1)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Trojans are aiming to rebound after falling to Chestatee 42-12 last Friday. Payton Mavity looks to be North Hall’s primary threat, given he recorded 111 of his team’s 240 rushing yards last week. Flowery Branch, meanwhile, will be breaking out a new coach and quarterback in its season opener.

Ben Hall will make his Falcons debut after coaching Jefferson for the past four seasons, during which he amassed 44 wins and a pair of region championships. Sophomore Elijah Gainey will make his first varsity start at quarterback, running a wide-open offense behind a large offensive line. Flowery Branch is looking to snap a three-year stretch without a playoff appearance.


Gainesville at Alpharetta

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Alpharetta High, Alpharetta

RECORDS: Gainesville (1-0); Alpharetta (0-1)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Junior quarterback Tre’ Luttrell threw for three touchdowns in his Gainesville debut last week, a 20-0 win against West Hall. Senior middle linebacker Keith Harris anchored the Red Elephants’ defense, creating havoc with a sack and several tackles for loss. Both players will be key as Gainesville takes on Class 6A foe Alpharetta, which lost to Milton 31-9 to start the year.

Raiders quarterback Matthew Downing poses a huge threat after tossing for 2,245 yards, 24 touchdowns and only three interceptions last season.


West Hall vs. Johnson

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Spartan Field, Oakwood

RECORDS: West Hall (0-1); Johnson (0-1)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Despite getting shut out by Gainesville last Friday, West Hall coach Tony Lotti was pleased with his team’s physicality. Sophomore Michael Thompson got the majority of snaps at quarterback for the Spartans in their season opener, though junior Quentin Smith could also see time at the position.

Johnson is still seeking its first win since Sept. 25, 2015, following a 42-13 loss to Social Circle last week. Junior quarterback Sam Corbett, now in his third season as the Knights’ starter, will try to pick apart a stout West Hall defense with the option attack.


Lakeview Academy vs. East Jackson

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Jock Horner Field, Gainesville

RECORDS: Lakeview Academy (0-0); East Jackson (0-1)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Alec Bornhorst will engineer Lakeview Academy’s pass-heavy offense in its season opener against an East Jackson team that fell to Hebron Christian 48-22 last Friday. Though the Class A Lions are competing against a Class 3A school, coach Matthew Gruhn is confident in his team’s overall experience.

Eagles senior receiver Kentay Rakestraw and quarterback Greg Huggs have the playmaking ability to test Lakeview Academy’s defense. Huggs found three different receivers for scores, one of which was Rakestraw, in the season-opening loss.


White County vs. Lumpkin County

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: White County Stadium, Cleveland

RECORDS: White County (1-0); Lumpkin County (0-0) 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: White County started the year on a positive note by beating Franklin County 33-0. Senior running back Kaleb Crane rushed for 126 yards and two scores, and he’ll likely bear the brunt of the load against Lumpkin County.

The Indians are transitioning more toward the pass this season, and coaches are expecting senior quarterback Chandler Woodham to speed along that process. After losing bruising rusher Zach Matthews to graduation, Evan Abernathy is set to handle things in the running game for Lumpkin County.


Riverside Military at Prince Avenue Christian

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Prince Avenue Christian School, Bogart

RECORDS: Riverside Military (0-0); Prince Avenue Christian (1-0)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: New Eagles coach Nick Garrett will begin his tenure against region foe Prince Avenue Christian, which knocked off Aquinas 35-17 last week. Garrett’s installation of a spread, up-tempo scheme should go relatively smoothly with athletes like Isaac Teasley, Charles Dimnwaobi and returning starting running back Stephen Aleandre at his disposal. Riverside Military’s defense will be anchored All-Region players in linebacker Victor Pittman and defensive end Harry Kim.

The Eagles must be mindful of Wolverines receiver Christian Parrish, who racked up 153 total yards and three total touchdowns on just five touches last Friday.

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