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High school football: Gainesville locks up playoff spot with 17-0 win against North Forsyth
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North Forsyth's Jared Lucero gets caught by Gainesville High's Malique Stringer Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, during the first half of their game at City Park Stadium. - photo by Scott Rogers

A couple big plays for Gainesville turned an otherwise tedious night into a huge win against North Forsyth to wrap up the regular season Friday at City Park Stadium. Naim Cheeks ripped off a 59-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, followed by a huge interception by Chamarion Bush late in the third quarter for the Red Elephants to lock up a 17-0 win. 

With the win, Gainesville (6-4, 4-2 Region 6-7A) will open the postseason as the No. 3 seed and will go on the road to open the playoffs Nov. 27. To open the state tournament, the Red Elephants will visit the loser of the Norcross/Archer game from Friday. 

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Meanwhile, North Forsyth (6-4, 2-4) falls short of the postseason as a result of dropping its final two region games. 

Trailing 10-0 in the final minute of the third period, the Raiders went on fourth-and-long in their own territory. However, Qua Coley applied the pressure for Gainesville and forced an errant throw by North Forsyth quarterback Brady Meitz. 

Coley also snuffed out a promising Raiders drive, late in the opening half, with a quarterback pressure. 

With Bush’s interception of Meitz late in the third quarter, Gainesville turned it into points with a 32-yard field goal by Giovanni Martinez. 

North Forsyth was driving late in the fourth quarter, but Gainesville’s Jahleel Rivas-Dicks had a interception that he ran down to the Raiders’ 20. 

Cheeks added a 39-yard scoring run late in the fourth quarter for Gainesville. 

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