Ten seemed to be a magic number for many area football teams Friday night.
Chestatee, Jefferson, North Hall and Flowery Branch all averaged 10 yards per carry in their respective wins while Gainesville led the area with an 11-yard average per carry in its win against West Hall.
North Hall had the highest rushing total (449) and total yards of offense (542) in its 45-21 win against Creekview in Canton. The Trojans had four rushing touchdowns in the opening half, led by Jordan Chaffin’s 85-yard touchdown run.
Chestatee senior Ben Souther, already the leading rusher in school history, ran nine times for 196 yards (an average of 21.7 per carry) and four second half touchdowns against Pickens.
Flowery Branch sophomore Imani Cross led his team with 12 carries for 161 yards (an average of 13.41 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. Gainesville’s Teryan Rucker had a big night on the ground, averaging 15.88 yards per carry and finishing with 127 yards and a touchdown. Jefferson quarterback Darius Minor rushed for two touchdowns and 120 yards.
TYING A RECORD: Jefferson tied a school record dating back to 1977 for most points in a game with its 63-28 win against Union County on Friday night. The Dragons scored seven touchdowns in the first half after trailing the Panthers early. Lucas Redd, Caleb Meek, Minor, Cain Finch and Drequn Sewell all found the end zone on the night for the Dragons.
With the 63 point outburst, Jefferson is now averaging exactly 49 points through the first half of the regular season.
UNSUNG HEROES: Flowery Branch’s Rodney Young fit the bill of a return man to a tee Friday night in the Falcons win against West Hall: as a catalyst. The senior wide receiver and defensive back propelled the Falcons to their first score of the night with a 36-yard return; they put it in the end zone four plays later. He did the same in the fourth quarter returning a punt 54 yards, thanks to a monster block that sprung him by fellow unsung hero Rodney Frazier, to set up a 1-yard touchdown run one play later by Connor Shaw.
SCARY INJURY: Johnson junior Josh Foster was taken to the hospital but was immediately released after suffering bruised ribs near his abdomen following Friday’s game against Flowery Branch. Foster collapsed in the team huddle after the game, according to Knights coach Paul Friel. Johnson’s coach added that Foster may be cleared to participate after taking a few days to recover. “We’re very happy he’s OK,” Friel said.
NO END IN SIGHT: Gainesville’s offense has been a key factor in its rise to the top spot in the Class AAA state polls. Each week the Red Elephants seem to get just a little bit better each time out and according to the point totals, that certainly seems to be the case. Gainesville has increased its point output each week since its season-low of 34 points in its opener against Chestatee. Each week since the Red Elephants have scored 41, 42, 55 and 56 in that order and are averaging 45.6 points per game.
TOP TEAM ON TV: The Gainesville game against West Forsyth is the Nissan High School Football Game of the Week and will be televised on CSS at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The game was the winner of the first Atlanta Fan’s Choice Vote, totaling more than 41,000 of the over 90,000 votes cast online at www.css-sports.com