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Thursday September 29th, 2016 11:18AM

Week 2: Major match-ups highlight exciting slate

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
  Contact Editor
We learned a good bit about high school football last week, but this week will tell us even more about what to expect this season in northeast Georgia.

There are some major match-ups this weekend, including a state-wide and nation-wide battle that will have outlets all over the southeast and beyond interested.

Check out our week 2 previews for all you need to know about tonight's contests...

GAINESVILLE at WHITE COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday
-- WHERE: White County Stadium, Cleveland
-- RADIO: 1240 AM; 105.1 FM
-- GAINESVILLE (0-1, 0-0 Region 8B-AAA): Lost to Buford 40-19 last week.
-- WHITE (1-0, 0-0 Region 8A-AAA): Defeated East Jackson 21-14 last week.
-- LAST MEETING: Gainesville won 42-20 on Sept. 11, 2009. The Red Elephants lead the series 11-1.
-- NOTABLE: Gainesville is looking to bounce back from last week's disappointing loss to Buford, while White County hopes to kick its season into overdrive with a win over the Red Elephants. The Warriors showed grit and determination last week in coming from behind against East Jackson, but coach Gregg Segraves knows that this week's game is a very different challenge. "They've got so much speed, and they're so dangerous," Segraves said of Gainesville. "We've always had the best success when we go right at them, and that's what we're going to try and do." White County certainly has size on its side and will look to make the most of that against a Red Elephants defense that features two Division-I caliber players in linebacker A.J. Johnson and defensive lineman Thomas Niles. "Both of those can make plays; they're so good," Segraves said. Yet the duo will face a tough challenge against the Warriors combination of running back Ashely Lowery and quarterback Cole Segraves. Lowery is a University of Kentucky commit that scored touchdowns on the ground and through the air last week and has the size to run through tacklers. "We've got to slow down Lowery and Segraves," Gainesville coach Bruce Miller said. The Red Elephants defense played well at times last week but were victimized by the big play, with three Buford touchdowns covering the length of 25 yards or more. "We've got to eliminate that," Miller said. Linebacker Kevin Hall and lineman Tim Rucker will also play key roles for Gainesville on Friday. On offense, the Red Elephants will look for continued maturation from freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was 19 of 34 for 182 yards, three interceptions and a touchdown last week, as well as rushing for 80 yards. Running back Devon Pierce also ran hard against the Wolves and should get the bulk of the carries, as Markece Robertson injured an ankle this week in practice and is doubtful to play. "There were a lot of positives last week, and we fought for four quarters," Miller said. "But we've got to keep improving and get better." White County's defense will be led by linebacker Levi London and defensive end Adam Hooper. "It's going to be an electric atmosphere," Segraves said.


WEST HALL at CHESTATEE
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday
-- WHERE: War Eagle Stadium, Gainesville
-- WEST HALL (1-0, 0-0 Region 8B-AAA): Defeated East Hall 18-6 last week.
-- CHESTATEE (0-0, Region 8A-AAA): The War Eagles went 4-6 in 2009.
-- LAST MEETING: Chestatee won 41-30 in 2007. The series is tied at 3-3.
-- NOTABLE: West Hall is coming off a solid opening-week victory, while Chestatee is just beginning its 2010 campaign. With a fairly inexperienced team taking the field this season, War Eagles coach Stan Luttrell was grateful for the extra days of preparation. "We have so many young guys that I think the extra week to prepare has helped us," Luttrell said. "I feel pretty good about it." Chestatee will be led by senior quarterback Scott Chewning in its split-back option attack. "Scott's got to lead the team," Luttrell said. "If he's having a good game, we'll be successful. He's a take-charge kind of guy." Chewning will be handing off to a young but talented duo at running back in Quan Clark and Montrai Tate. "They're our key younger guys," Luttrell said. Sophomore nose guard Johious Cantrell will also play a big role for Chestatee on a defense that will face a Spartans team led by standout quarterback Shunquez Stephens. Stephens ran and threw for a touchdown in last week's win over East Hall. Stephens has two dangerous targets to throw to in receiver Brandon Fuqua and tight end William Stroup and a sizable offensive line to protect him. The line is also big for the Spartans' defensive front, which features nose tackle Ryan Casey. "They're big up front defensively, and they run to the ball well," Luttrell said. "They're definitely an improved team from last season. And they're excited about getting the win last week." Chestatee is equally excited about getting its season underway
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