1. Flowery Branch (8-0), PR 3.66, Average Points 48.50, Average Allowed 13.25: Loganville gave the Falcons a good night’s work and kept the game competitive through the first half last Friday, then the Falcons pulled away to remain Hall County’s only undefeated team.
Led by quarterback Kanler Coker, who rushed for four touchdowns and passed for three more scores, Flowery Branch was once again able to outscore another solid opponent.
The Falcons play good defense, but don’t look quite as dominant on defense as they have been in previous years.
Loganville was able to rush for 370 total yards and averaged almost 7 yards per carry. Balanced on offense, Flowery Branch ran for 278 yards on 25 carries and averaged over 11 yards per carry, while completing 14 passes on 21 attempts and averaging over 10 yards per pass attempt. Friday the Falcons host Salem (5-4) in another region game.
2. Gainesville (7-1), PR 3.14, Average Points 42.38, Average Allowed 13.50: The Red Elephants’ offense had another good night, scoring 48 points while one of Northeast Georgia’s better defenses pitched a shutout over Walnut Grove.
Sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is always a top running threat, was very efficient passing, completing 8 of 11 for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
The defense keeps building on their swarming style and frequently has all 11 defensive players within 4 yards of the football when the tackle is made. As Gainesville’s linemen start taking control up front, they tend to wear down an opponent and often by the middle of the fourth quarter, they have complete control of the line of scrimmage.
Gainesville visits West Hall on Friday. The Red Elephants have already clinched the Region 8-AAA South title.
3. North Hall (4-4), PR 1.21, Average Points 33.25, Average Allowed 27.50: North Hall lost a shootout (54-37) to a very good Franklin County team last Friday night.
I saw the game and it looked to me like Franklin County had a faster team, and when they could get a back into the open field, speed took over and Franklin County would win the foot race.
The North Hall defense allowed 547 yards rushing with many of those yards coming on long runs. North Hall’s wing-T offense moved the ball well and scored 37 points.
North Hall’s offense is built for ball control and not for shootouts.
Friday night, North Hall hosts Stephens County (7-1), who after losing their opener to Elbert County 29-28 has won seven straight games.
With a win, Stephens County will clinch the subregion title. A North Hall win and a Franklin County loss would move the Trojans into first.
4. East Hall (4-4), PR .93, Average Points 23.88, Average Allowed 25.63: East Hall is coming off of a 49-7 loss to Dawson County. This a game which should have been much closer than the final score, but East Hall buried themselves with turnovers, throwing three interceptions and losing three fumbles.
No team at any level wins when they turn the ball over six times. If they have, I have never seen it. Remove the turnovers and this could have been one of those close games decided late in the fourth quarter.
East Hall averaged 6.6 yards per carry on 32 runs, while their defense allowed an average of 5 yards per carry. Neither team passed the ball much, but
Dawson County was more effective when they did throw.
Almost any time we see an upset in pro football, it is almost always because of turnovers. When your team averages a yard per carry more than your opponents your big guys are winning the line-of-scrimmage battles. But they can’t make up for six turnovers. It never happens.
On Friday East Hall hosts Banks County. The Leopards are not a dominating team, but they are a solid team which seldom beats themselves.
5. Chestatee (3-5), PR 0.67, Average Points 20.38, Average Allowed 30.25: Last Friday Chestatee only managed 91 yards of offense in a 35-0 loss to White County.
After opening up the season with three wins, the War Eagles have lost their momentum and have lost five consecutive games. Turnovers once again put the War Eagles in a hole they could not get out of.
White County, who has a first year coach in Bill Ballard, seems to be one of those teams which has gotten better as the season has progressed.
The War Eagles seniors are down to their last two games, but they can play a winnable game Friday against a pretty good Lumpkin County team. Protecting the football will be key for Chestatee Friday.
Those hard working senior War Eagles need to lead their team to a couple of wins to end the season.
6. West Hall (2-6), PR 0.60, Average Points 19.13, Average Allowed 32.13: West Hall was shut out by Monroe Area 34-0, which was coming off a loss to Gainesville the week before. On Friday the Spartans host Gainesville in Oakwood.
7. Johnson (0-8), PR 0.40, Average Points 13.25, Average Allowed 33.88: The Knights lost to Oconee County last Friday night 35-8, Friday they host Monroe Area at Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium.
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.