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High school notebook: Flowery Branch, North Hall secure playoff spots
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Playoff scenarios across the high school football landscape are starting to slowly starting to take shape. There is a much more clear picture now to which teams are going to the postseason following Week 9 action.

North Hall and Flowery Branch both locked up playoff spots in Region 7-AAA with wins Friday.

With a 49-7 win against Chestatee, the Trojans (6-2, 4-0 Region 7A-AAA) assured themselves of no less than a No. 4 spot to the Class AAA state playoffs.

To win the subregion North Hall needs a win against either Gilmer (4-3, 2-2) or Lumpkin County (4-4, 1-3) in the final two weeks of the regular season. North Hall now has a perfect 20-0 subregion record since the format was implemented in 2006.

Flowery Branch (7-2, 4-0 Region 7B-AAA) secured a playoff spot with its last-minute 54-51 win over West Forsyth in Cumming. The Falcons now have a week to prepare for top-ranked Gainesville (8-0, 3-0) on Nov. 6.

In Region 8-AA, Jefferson (8-0, 7-0) stayed in control of its own destiny with a 36-6 win at Rabun County. In the final two weeks of the season, the Dragons face North Oconee (7-1, 6-1) and East Jackson (8-0, 7-0). Union County (5-3, 4-3) also stayed alive in the playoff race with a 44-14 win against Dawson County.

Fannin County (4-4, 3-4) has new life in the playoff race as a result of its win against Banks County, combined with Riverside’s (3-5, 3-4) loss to Oglethorpe County.

In Region 8-A, Commerce (4-4, 3-1) can wrap up the No. 2 spot to the playoffs with a win against Social Circle (4-4, 3-1) next Friday. The Tigers are coming off a 41-0 win against Lakeview Academy.

Habersham Central (4-5, 4-5) is out of the playoff race in Region 8-AAAA following a loss to Rockdale County (5-3, 5-3).

MILESTONE PERFORMANCES: Flowery Branch quarterback Connor Shaw threw for 324 yards against West Forsyth to top the 2,000 yard mark (2,024) for the season. Shaw led the Falcons’ come-from-behind effort against West Forsyth with a 42-yard touchdown to receiver Robby Boudreau.

Shaw finished the game against the Wolverines with seven touchdowns (four passing, three rushing).

Union County senior quarterback Kolt Owenby passed for 356 yards against Dawson County and stands at 2,155 yards on the season. He finished the game against the Tigers with six touchdown throws and 86 rushing yards.

Commerce running back Deon Brock crossed the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the season with a 120-yard effort against Lakeview on Friday. Brock only carried the ball four times and scored three touchdowns.

SHUT ‘EM DOWN: Buford’s 21-0 win against Blessed Trinity was the program’s fifth shutout on the season. The Wolves (7-1, 4-1 Region 6-AA) allowed only 40 yards of total offense to the Titans, which was its best defensive night on the season in terms of stats.

So far, Buford is dominating defensively. The Wolves have only allowed six touchdowns all season — three of which came against Lovett — and are allowing an average of only 109 yards total offense per game.

The next closest in the area in terms of shutout’s in Gainesville with four.

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