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Clausen: Flowery Branch led by well-rounded offense
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Last Friday night my wife and I watched the White County Warriors and North Hall Trojans play a very competitive game. The contest was as good as advertised and the Brickyard was packed.

Flowery Branch and Gainesville keep dominating their opponents on both sides of the football, and both demonstrate they’re a force to be reckoned with.

West Hall and Johnson played a nail biter, Johnson winning on a touchdown pass with 18 seconds left.

East Hall shows they are going to be very competitive in Region 8-AA.

We are seeing some great high school football in Hall County and teams that survive their schedule are well prepared to go against Georgia’s best in the state playoffs.

1. Flowery Branch (6-0)
Power Rating 4.25, points scored 242 (40.33), points allowed 57 (9.5)

Flowery Branch dominated Habersham Central (2-5) last Friday. On offense they averaged 5.63 yards per rush, while the Falcon defense dominated the line of scrimmage, holding Habersham to 2.24 yards per carry.

Falcons quarterback Austin Brown keeps putting up solid numbers as he averaged 12.5 yards per pass attempt while completing 61 percent of his pass attempts with no interceptions.

The Falcons pass defense allowed 7 yards per pass attempt and a 42-percent completion rate.

Friday night Flowery Branch faces their toughest test since playing Appalachee in week 2, when they host a 5-2 Heritage team, with a power rating of 1.13.

2. Gainesville (5-1)
Power Rating 1.84, points scored 201 (33.5), points allowed 108 (15.33)

Gainesville continues to improve, and last week dominated Oconee County 41-7.

The Red Elephant rushing attack averaged 5.58 yards per carry and Deshaun Watson keeps putting up quality passing numbers, completing 65 percent of his passes to nine different receivers for an average of 12.8 yards per attempt.

The defense continues to play with incredible intensity, regularly getting five to eight players to the ball, making it almost impossible for the opposition to sustain a rushing attack. The Red Elephants held Oconee County to 3.3 yards per rush and 5 yards per pass attempt.

Friday night the Big Red travels to Monroe Area to play what might be the best team they’ve played all year, outside of Buford of course.

Monroe Area is 6-0, has a power rating of 7.97 and are ranked 14th in the state (Gainesville is ranked 7th).

3. North Hall (3-3)
Power Rating 1.07, points scored 152 (25.33), points allowed 142 (23.67)

The Trojans were beaten 18-12 by a real good Warriors team.

The Trojans won the ground game, averaging 4.76 per rush and, on defense, completely controlled the line of scrimmage, yielding 2.28 yards per attempt.

So what separated these two fine football teams? It was the passing game.

The Warriors threw 22 passes, completed 14 for 128 yards, for an average of 5.81 yards per attempt and a completion percentage of 64. Warriors QB Cole Seagraves has more of a complete understanding of the passing game than most sophomores.

North Hall, on the other hand, threw 14 passes, completed five and threw one interception for a total of 67 yards. That’s an average of 4.7 yards per attempt and a completion percentage of 35.7.

Though North Hall won the ground game, this contest was decided through the air.

Friday night it’s another very competitive contest as the Trojans host Lumpkin County, who has 3 wins and 2 losses and a power rating of 1.91.

4. West Hall (3-3)
Power Rating 1.03, points scored 156 (26), points allowed 152 (25.33)

In what may be the most exciting game played this season, the Spartans lost when Johnson completed at 24-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left on the clock, and West Hall lost 33-31.

Trojans freshman Chandler Newton started his first game at quarterback and had a pretty impressive night. He completed 66 percent of his pass attempts and averaged 10 yards per attempt with no interceptions.

Shunquez Stephans played most of the game as a receiver catching three passes for 46 yards. He was one of seven receivers who caught a pass.

West Hall still didn’t exhibit much of a running game, carrying the ball 25 times and averaging 2.8 yards per rushing attempt.

The Knights won the game on the ground as the Spartan defense yielded 295 yards in 50 rushing attempts, an average of 5.9 yards per rush. It’s almost ironic that Johnson, who has relied almost completely on the running game, won with a touchdown pass at the end of the game.

Friday night, Oconee County plays at West Hall. Oconee County has one win and five losses and a power rating of .54

5. Chestatee (2-4)
Power Rating 0.94, points scored 169 (28.17), points allowed 179 (29.83)

Last Friday, the War Eagles lost to a very strong Stephens County team 53-14.

Running back Quan Clark and QB Scott Chewning each scored for Chestatee. Chestatee travels to Carnesville Friday to play Franklin County (2-3-1), which has a power Rating of .94.

6. East Hall (3-3)
Power Rating .80, points scored 152 (25.33), points allowed 190 (31.67)

East Hall got their third win last Friday against Union County and are 2-0 in subregion 8A-AA.

Last Friday night, the Vikings ran the ball 38 times for 292 yards, an average of 7.68 per carry. They threw the ball only four times and completed two for 30 yards, an average of 7.5 yards per attempt.

The Viking defense allowed 5.77 yards per rush on 31 runs. Union County threw the ball 18 times and averaged 4.67 yards per pass attempt.

East Hall was penalized six times for 61 yards.

East Hall travels to Blue Ridge on Friday to play Fannin County. The Rebels are 3-3 with a power rating of .95.

7. Johnson (1-5)
Power Rating 0.50, points scored 108 (18), points allowed 218 (36.33)

Against West Hall, the Knights run offense averaged 5.9 yards on 50 rushing attempts and they averaged 7.11 yards per pass attempt. But 24 yards on one pass attempt decided the winner.

Johnson travels to Walnut Grove on Friday, and the Warriors are 0-7 with a power rating of .18.

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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