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High school football: Week 8 capsules
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Gainesville High's Tyriq Kabir carries the ball for the Red Elephants for a big gain Friday night during the first half of their game with Jefferson High at City Parks Stadium. - photo by Scott Rogers

Gainesville vs. Habersham Central

Where: City Park Stadium, Gainesville

Records: Gainesville (1-4); Habersham Central (1-4)

What to know: Despite a rough start to the season, both teams are still right in the hunt for the playoffs with all five region games remaining. All four of the Red Elephants’ losses came by more than 20 points. Meanwhile, the Raiders have been close in every game, losing each of the last four contests by no more than four points. Habersham Central has scored more than 35 points in four games this season. Gainesville beat Habersham Central 24-7 last year. Habersham Central has a 14-11 edge all-time against Gainesville, dating back to 1972.

North Hall vs. Lumpkin County

Where: The Brickyard, Gainesville

Records: North Hall (1-5, 1-1 Region 7-3A); Lumpkin County (0-5, 0-1)

What to know: The Trojans beat the Indians, 28-20, in 2016. North Hall has an 18-7 edge all-time against Lumpkin County. 

Johnson vs. Buford

Where: Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium, Oakwood

Records: Johnson (0-6, 0-2 Region 8-5A); No. 3 Buford (3-1, 1-0)

What to know: The Wolves appear well on their way to another region championship after winning 45-7 in their Region 8-5A opener against Clarke Central on Sept. 29. In the region opener, Buford capitalized on excellent field position to lead 31-0 going into halftime. Buford won the first meeting against Johnson, 48-0, in 2016.

East Hall at Greater Atlanta Christian

Where: Spartans Stadium, Lilburn

Records: East Hall (5-1, 2-0 Region 7-3A); No. 2 Greater Atlanta Christian (5-1, 2-0 Region 7-3A)

What to know: With both knotted at the top of the region standings, the winner of tonight’s game will have a huge advantage in the battle for the region title. East Hall has one of the most explosive offenses in Georgia, led by the state’s leading passer Austin Parker — who has 2,140 yards and 25 touchdowns through the air. The Vikings have scored 45 points or more in four of six games this season. Meanwhile, Greater Atlanta is also explosive, scoring more than 40 points in five games this year. Greater Atlanta Christian has won all five previous meetings against East Hall, including a 69-12 meeting in 2016. 

Flowery Branch vs. Walnut Grove

Where: Falcon Field, Flowery Branch

Records: No. 10 Flowery Branch (5-1, 2-0 Region 8-5A); Walnut Grove (2-4, 1-1)

What to know: Flowery Branch is setting itself up for opening the postseason at home after missing the playoffs in 2016. The Falcons topped Johnson by 48 in the region opener, then beat a formidable Cedar Shoals squad, 35-21, on Sept. 29. Walnut Grove picked up a victory in region play with a 42-0 win on Sept. 29 after opening the region slate with a 21-17 loss.

Lakeview Academy at Prince Avenue Christian

Where: Wolverines Stadium, Athens

Records: Lakeview Academy (2-3, 1-3 Region 8-A); No. 2 Prince Avenue (6-0, 5-0)

What to know: The Lions have scored no more than 14 points in the seven previous games — all losses — to the Wolverines. 

Dawson County at Union County

Where: Panthers Stadium, Blairsville

Records: Dawson County (3-2, 1-0 Region 7-3A); Union County (4-2, 0-2)

What to know: Dawson County opened its bid for another trip to the postseason on the right note, beating North Hall 30-7 in the region opener Sept. 29. Despite back-to-back region losses, Union County is still in the playoff picture. The Panthers’ two losses are to the two clubs at the top of the region standings (Greater Atlanta Christian and East Hall). Dawson County beat Union County 57-26 in 2016. Regular rivals through the years, Union County has won 18 of 30 games against Dawson County dating back to 1972, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. 

White County at Blessed Trinity

Where: Titans Stadium, Roswell

Records: White County (5-1); No. 5 Blessed Trinity (5-1)

What to know: The Warriors are experiencing quite a resurgence under first-year coach Tim Cokely after posting a losing mark in 2015 and 2016. Playing in just a five-team region, all four games in Region 7-4A remain for both schools. Blessed Trinity has won all five matchups all-time against White County since 2012, including a 34-7 game last year in Cleveland.