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Clausen: Falcons, Red Elephants 1-2 in power ratings
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Each week I try and pick out the most interesting game played on Friday night by the Hall County teams.

I had a strong feeling last Friday that the North Hall at Chestatee game would be a great game. The game was great — both teams had explosive offenses and both played with great intensity. North Hall won 55-38, but for the most part, it was very competitive.

It was back and forth heading into the fourth quarter, when the Trojans were leading 33-31.

Most of the time, we sit in the press box, but last week we sat in the middle of the Chestatee section and received some interesting information about some of the Chestatee players. For us it made a great game even better.

1. Flowery Branch (5-0-0) Power Rating 4.00, points scored 200 (40.00), points allowed 50 (10)

The Falcons had last Friday off.

Halfway through the season, they look like they could be one of the very best in the state, but they’ve played the easiest half of their schedule. They now Falcons head into the toughest part of their schedule. Friday’s opponent, Habersham Central, is a game which will be played in Mount Airy.

2. Gainesville (4-1-0) Power Rating 1.57, points scored 160 (32), points allowed 104 (20.4)

Because of the new regions, we will not see a Flowery Branch – Gainesville game, but if we would it would be a great contest. Last Friday, the Red Elephants dominated the Johnson Knights on both sides of the football, winning 62-20.

On offense they averaged 10 yards per carry, while the defense held the Knights to 3.68 yards per rushing attempt.

Gainesville’s young quarterback, DeShaun Watson, gets better each week. Last Friday, he completed 10 passes in 15 attempts, averaged 9.33 yards per pass and threw no interceptions.

The Gainesville defense did allow one pass completion, which went 76 yards for a touchdown, but they intercepted four out of the other five attempts. The Big Red also recovered two fumbles — that’s six takeaways — which is as dominating as any defense can be.

Friday night Gainesville plays Oconee County (1-4), which boasts a power rating of .62.

3. North Hall (3-2-0) Power Rating 1.13, points scored 140 (28), points allowed 124 (24.8)

The Trojans are a much stronger offensive team than earlier in the season. Imani Cross, a dominating runner for Flowery Branch in previous seasons, is even better now for North Hall. Against the War Eagles, he carried the ball 10 times and averaged 18.9 yards per carry. Let me mention something else, the Trojan offensive lines is much more mature and effective than they were earlier in the season. They did an excellent job using the

North Hall wing T getting Cross and other runners into space, where their natural running talents take over.

Look at what the other runners did: Randy Olson carried only five times and averaged 25.2 per carry; Clay Quinn 15.1 yards per carry on 8 carries; Mack VanGorder 15.66 on 3 carries and quarterback Kanler Coker gained 55 yards on two carries.

4. West Hall (3-2-0) Power Rating 1.05, points scored 125 (25), points allowed 119 (23.8)

The West Hall offense continues to put up impressive numbers with a new starting quarterback, freshman Chandler Newton, by beating Walnut Grove 48-10. Shunquez Stephens, the West Hall starter at QB for three seasons had hurt his wrist on his throwing hand and was moved to wide receiver, where he caught 5 passes for 79 yards. Newton averaged 11.76 yards per pass attempt in 25 pass attempts and completed 68% of his passes.

The Spartans averaged 6.2 yards on 23 rushing attempts. Dre Pou led the Spartan runners averaging 10.9 per rush on 10 carries.

5. Chestatee (2-3-0) Power Rating 1.23, points scored 155 (31), points allowed 126 (25.2)

In a game where for most of the night the War Eagles played great football, they self destructed. Any team which is penalized with personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct as much as Chestatee was in the second half has no chance to win in a competitive game. Personal fouls for the most part show a lack of discipline, and they’re unfair to the player’s teammates and the fans. I learned this lesson the hard way both as a player and as a coach, some place along the line somebody (maybe Woody Hayes) convinced me, nobody wins when you commit a dumb penalty.

Let’s talk about the good: Nobody executes the veer (triple option) any better than the War Eagles. Senior QB Scott Chewning, who led the way, averaged 5.96 yards per rush on 22 carries, Montrai Tate carried the ball 12 times and averaged 8.66 yards per carry and Quan Clark added another 72 yards on 13 rushing attempts (5.5 per attempt).

6. East Hall (2-3-0) Power Rating .72, points scored 117 (23.5), points allowed 162 (32.4)

Great blocking by the following “Big Men” led the way to a 495-yard rushing night last Friday as East Hall opened up Region play against Rabun County. Linemen CJ White, Braden Jarrard, Cody Jones, Taylor Arrowood, Clay Powers and Kyle Haynes served in a line rotation to help Jamond Witt have another great night scoring, four touchdowns.

Union County, coming off a 27-0 loss, will be at East Hall tomorrow night to take on the Vikings.

7. Johnson (0-5-0) Power Rating 0.40, points scored 75 (15), points allowed 187 (37.4)

Last Friday night the Knights were overwhelmed by the Red Elephant defense. They were only able to generate 3.7 yards per rush on 38 rushing attempts and they threw four interceptions out of six passing attempts.
The Knight’s defense allowed the Red Elephant offense 10 yards per carry on 30 runs and 9.33 yards per attempt of 15 passes.

Chuck Clausen is a Hall County resident who coached high school, college and professional football for 28 years. His Power Ratings column appears each Thursday during high school football season.

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