At the end of week 10, all Hall County teams have played nine games and had a bye week. Region 8-AAA teams Gainesville and Johnson have play-in games, with Gainesville at White County for the region title and the top seed in the Class AAA playoffs. Johnson plays Stephens County and if the Knights win, they become a No. 4 seed.
North Hall, West Hall, Chestatee and East Hall are all out the playoffs and each finishes the season with a region crossover game.
Flowery Branch hosts Clarke Central — both teams are 9-0 — in a game we could see become a rematch down the road in the state playoffs, as both schools have dominated their opponents. The winner is Region 8-AAA champ and earns the top seed heading into the Class AAAA playoffs.
1. Flowery Branch (9-0-0) Power Rating 3.59, points scored 355 (39.44), points allowed 99 (11):
Last Friday night, the Falcons dominated Salem 40-14. Salem entered the matchup on a two-game winning streak.
Flowery Branch, behind some great running by Jeremy Haley, jumped into to an early lead. Haley averaged over 9 yards a carry on the first drive, carrying the ball six times.
Haley’s running, aided by great offensive line play and the bend-but-don’t-break defense, showed Salem early who was boss. Haley’s running forced single coverage on the receivers, which quarterback Austin Brown took advantage of, completing passes to Logan Conley, Casey Osborne and Brody Thomas.
Headed into its matchup with No. 1-ranked Clarke Central, Flowery Branch has a slightly better power rating, 3.59 to 3.36. Clarke Central has a slightly more productive offensive average at 44.44 points to the Falcons 39.44. On defense the Falcons have a slight edge — 11 to 13.12.
2. Gainesville (8-1-0) Power Rating 2.50, points scored 353 (39.22), points allowed 141 (15.67):
Last Friday night, the Red Elephants once again dominated the West Hall Spartans in every phase of the game.
The Red Elephants ran the ball 27 times and averaged 10.78 yards per carry, while the 3-4 defense allowed only 1.4 yards per carry. Deshaun Watson completed 90percent of his pass attempts and averaged 11.73 yards per attempt. Senior wide receiver Michael Lorentz caught two TD passes early in the game and Stephen Mason caught another just at the end of the first half.
Devon Pierce, who had another big night running the ball, carried five times for 113 yards for an average of 23.20 per carry.
The Red Elephants’ pass defense completely shut down what had been a pretty good West Hall passing game, allowing only 3.41 yards per pass attempt.
3. North Hall (4-5-0) Power Rating 1.01 - Points Scored 235 (26.11) –Points Allowed 233 (28.88):
Last Friday night the Trojans lost to Stephens County team in a seesaw battle, with the Indians winning 43-37 and earning a playoff spot while eliminating the Trojans. This is the first time since 2005 North Hall has not been in the playoffs.
The Trojans once again won the ground games, carrying the football 47 times for 439 yards (9.35 yards per carry), while the Trojans defense allowed 6.4 yards per carry. The Trojans have a number of good runners and behind an exceptional blocking offensive line, Imani Cross rushed 15 times for 137 yards (9.13 YPC). Just as dangerous, Mack VanGorder carried the ball 13 times for 135 yards for an average of 10.38 yards per carry.
When it came to throwing the ball, neither team had a great completion percentage, but the Indians averaged 10.78 yards per attempt and North Hall averaged 4.5.
On Friday, the Trojans host Oconee County (3-7).
4. West Hall (3-6-0) Power Rating 0.62, points scored 166 (18.44), points allowed 268 (29.77):
I was at the Gainesville-West Hall game, and in spite of being dominated, the Spartans played hard, ran hard, blocked hard and pursued hard. But on that night they were playing a better team.
Gainesville had 420 total yards to West Hall’s 110. Gainesville rushed for 291 yards and West Hall rushed for 35 yards.
Gainesville completed over 90-percent of its passes and averaged 10.78 yards per attempt.
Those of you who have seen West Hall play this season know they have been able to mount a formidable passing game, not last Friday against Gainesville.
On Friday, West Hall finishes the season in Carnesville, playing Franklin County (3-4-1), which has a power rating of 1.07 and has averaged 18 points a game on offense 16.9 points on defense.
5. East Hall (3-6-0) Power Rating 0.67, points scored 193 (21.44), points allowed 287 (31.89)
Last Friday night, East Hall lost to Banks County 53-28.
The Viking Offense averaged 5.85 yards per carry on 33 rushing attempts and allowed on defense 8.58 yards per carry.
East Hall completed 42 percent of its passes and averaged 6.33 per attempt.
On Friday, East Hall hosts Jefferson (5-4), which has averaged 27.11 points per game on offense and has allowed an average of 23.11 points on defense. Its power rating is 1.17.
6. Chestatee (2-7-0) Power Rating .62, points scored 166 (18.44), points allowed 268 (29.77)
Last Friday night, the War Eagles lost to Lumpkin County 31-6.
The War Eagles had 278 yards of total offense while their defense allowed only 169 yards. The War Eagles completed 61 percent of their pass attempts and averaged 5.61 yards per attempt.
Chestatee averaged 4.05 yards per carry while the defense allowed only 2.48 yards per carry. The War Eagles recovered one Lumpkin County fumble and lost no fumbles themselves.
Friday night, Chestatee hosts Walnut Grove (1-9).
7. Johnson (2-7-0) Power Rating 0.56, points scored 183 (20.33), points allowed 328 (36.44)
Last Friday night, the Knights lost to Monroe Area 41-0. The Knights travel to Toccoa to play Stephens County Friday (7-2), which has a power rating of 1.45.
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.