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This Week: 4 left in football playoffs
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Friday looks to be another exciting night for fans of the four local programs with a date in the state semifinals.

Gainesville (10-3) is still in the running for the state championship in Class AAAAA, while Jefferson (12-1) is still dancing in Class AA, after last Friday’s wild triple-overtime win against Fitzgerald at Memorial Stadium.

Meanwhile, North Hall (11-2) and Buford (10-3) are each one win away from facing one another in the Class AAA state championship game on Dec. 14 in the Georgia Dome. In the semifinals, both North Hall and Buford have to play on the road.

As a result of losing a coin flip to St. Pius X (11-2), North Hall will travel to Atlanta for Friday’s game. As a No. 2 seed, Buford will travel to Region 5-AAA champion Cartersville (13-0), in search of securing its sixth consecutive berth in the state championship game.

North Hall is trying to win and play for its first state championship in school history. The Trojans’ only other appearance in the state semifinals was 2007, when they lost to Cairo at the Georgia Dome.

The Red Elephants might have the most momentum locally after last week’s 715-yard output in a 64-13 quarterfinal win against Harris County in Hamilton. Gainesville junior quarterback Deshaun Watson led the way with 572 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns. The Red Elephants will be at Whitewater this week.

North Hall also put on quite an impressive showing in a 52-10 quarterfinal win against Peach County at The Brickyard, marking its 10th straight home playoff victory. The Trojans had one of its best offensive performances of the season with 430 rushing yards and 497 total yards of offense.

Seniors T.J. Tate (182 yards) and Kevin Christmas (172) were the Trojans’ leading rushers.

In Class AA, Jefferson is looking to play for its first state championship appearance since a 22-7 loss to Lincoln County in the 1977 Class B state title game.

The Dragons’ state semifinal opponent on Friday at
Memorial Stadium is Greater Atlanta Christian (10-3). The Spartans pulled out a 27-24 quarterfinal victory last Friday against Early County
in Lilburn.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: While most have yet to begin region competition, a crossover game of interest this week is Tuesday when North Hall’s boys (3-0) visit Lakeview Academy (2-2).

The Trojans are coming off a thrilling overtime win against former region opponent Lanier last week, while the Lions rebounded from an 0-2 start to the season with wins against Lumpkin County and Commerce.

After this contest, North Hall opens region play against East Hall on Friday, while the Lions go after their second region victory against Towns County on Friday in Hiawassee.

ATLANTA HAWKS: The Hawks (9-5) wrapped up November on Friday with a disappointing 113-111 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, wiping out a six-game winning streak.

This week, Atlanta plays host to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, followed by another home game against Washington on Friday.

The week for the Hawks concludes with a road trip to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

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