Flowery Branch High and Gainesville High continue to perform at a championship level, the only loss between them was the Red Elephants’ loss to Class AA’s then top-ranked Buford in the first game of the season. Gainesville is significantly better than they were then as their freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson shows improvement each week.
Meanwhile, Flowery Branch not only wins — they dominate. The Falcons’ average margin of victory has been 29.86 points, while the Red Elephants’ has been a healthy 17.7.
1. Flowery Branch (7-0) Power Rating 4.27, points scored 273 (39), points allowed 64 (9.14)
Last Friday, the Falcons hosted Heritage, who came into the game with a very respectable 5-2 record. After a slow start, Flowery Branch did what they have done all season: control the game on both sides of the football.
The Falcons offense averaged 5.13 yards per carry and 7.37 yards per pass attempt while scoring 31 points.
Both teams lost two fumbles and neither team threw an interception.
The Falcons defense allowed only 2.4 yards per carry on 42 rushing attempts and only 59 total yards passing.
Flowery Branch visits Loganville (6-2, 6-2 Region 8-AAAA) on Friday.
Loganville has a power rating of 1.6 and has lost to Heritage 31-17.
2. Gainesville (6-1) Power Rating 1.98, points scored 250 (35.71), points allowed 126 (18)
Last Friday, Gainesville traveled to Monroe Area to take on a previously undefeated Monroe Area. Monroe Area was able to mount a decent running game, averaging 5 yards per carry on 32 rushing attempts.
However, when they tried to pass, the Gainesville pass defense — helped by using a blistering pass rush — held the Purple Hurricanes to 2.6 yards per pass attempt and a 25 percent completion percentage.
The Gainesville offense continues to get better each week as Watson matures. He completed 10 of 17 attempts for 192 yards and averaged 11.29 yards per completion.
The Red Elephants’ offensive line proved to be too much for the Purple Hurricanes’ highly touted defense, their blocking not only gave Watson plenty of time to throw, but opened up holes for five runners to average 6.41 yards on 46 carries.
Gainesville plays host to Walnut Grove on Friday night.
The Warriors got their only win last Friday against Johnson and have a power rating of .53
3. North Hall (3-4) Power Rating 1.01, points scored 178 (25.43), points allowed 176 (25.14)
Last Friday, the Trojans lost to a very good Lumpkin County team. The Indians came into the game with only two loses, both to very strong teams: Monroe Area and White County.
Statistics indicated that Lumpkin County had the better team, but not by much.
Both teams played pretty good run defense, North Hall allowing 4.8 yards per carry and Lumpkin County held the Trojans to 3.47 per carry.
When you look inside the passing games, a couple of things jump out at you. One, the Indians were more efficient, completing 72 percent of their pass attempts with no interceptions and a 7.68 yards per attempt average.
The Trojans threw the ball more and got significantly more yardage passing, but they threw a pair of interceptions and averaged 7.21 yards per attempt and had a completion rate of 56.5 percent.
North Hall travels to face a Franklin County (3-3-1) team with a power rating of 1.16 on Friday in Carnesville.
4. West Hall (3-4) Power Rating 0.84, points scored 163 (26), points allowed 194 (27.71)
The Spartans were dominated in all phases of the game by Oconee County last Friday in Oakwood.
The Warriors entered the game with one win over East Jackson in the second week of the season.
Oconee County averaged 8.4 yards per carry on 29 attempts while holding the Spartans to 4.95 yards on 23 runs.
West Hall’s strength all year has been their passing game, but last Friday Oconee County held them to 3.96 yards per attempt and intercepted a pass while allowing no interceptions.
The Warriors completed 73 percent of their pass attempts and averaged 9.2 yards per attempt.
West Hall plays host to Monroe Area.
5. Chestatee (2-5) Power Rating 0.83, points scored 183 (26.14), points allowed 220 (31.43)
Coming off of three straight losses, an intense and motivated Franklin County team dominated the War Eagles last Friday.
Chestatee, using their triple-option attack, was able to generate 310 yards of total offense, 225 running the ball.
Chestatee visits White County on Friday in Cleveland.
White County’s only loss was to Gainesville in Week 2, 31-22.
6. East Hall (3-4) Power Rating .76, points scored 159 (22.71), points allowed 210 (30)
The Vikings lost to Fannin County 20-7 last Friday in Blue Ridge.
The Rebels controlled the East Hall running game, which does not leave the Vikings much room for error as they take on Region 8A-AA foe Dawson County on Friday.
7. Johnson (1-6) Power Rating 0.55, points scored 143 (20.43), points allowed 260, (37.13)
Johnson lost in a shootout 42-35 last Friday against Walnut Grove.
Johnson plays host to Oconee County on Friday at Billy Ellis Memorial.
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.