The first round of the high school football playoffs provided plenty of success and a few upsets on Friday -- including a couple for area programs.
Perhaps, the biggest came at Flowery Branch, where the Region 8-AAAAA champion Falcons dug a deep early hole against fourth-seeded North Paulding and could not pull off the comeback despite a furious rally, 63-43.
Chestatee also took a bite from the upset bug, dropping a 59-46 decision to LaGrange in Gainesville. The second-seeded War Eagles also fell behind early against the third-seeded Grangers and saw their first-ever home playoff game come up short.
To see video highlights from tonight's playoff games at North Hall, Gainesville and Chestatee, simply scroll down and click "play" below.
There were also plenty of big wins in northeast Georgia, however, including an impressive bounce back 41-14 victory for Gainesville over Rome. The Red Elephants were coming off two straight losses but made a statement against the Bears, rolling up 477 yards while holding the visitors to 281.
North Hall also rebounded in fashion, storming back from last week's defeat at Buford with a convincing 38-7 victory over Woodward Academy at The Brickyard. The Trojans rushed for 299 yards and hit two touchdown passes in the win.
They will be joined in the second round by the Wolves, who fended off a dangerous Cedar Grove team 41-27 at Tom Riden Stadium. Buford rolled up 476 yards of offense in the win.
In Class AA, Jefferson drilled Kendrick 42-8, allowing just 128 yards to the visitors. The Dragons are through to the second round of state for the first time since 2009.
In Class AAAAAA, Mill Creek also scraped past Alpharetta 41-39, while North Gwinnett stormed past Johns Creek 49-19.
Of the 13 area teams playing on Friday night, seven saw their seasons come to an end, including White County, which fell 35-14 at Blessed Trinity, and Dawson County, which lost 72-28 at St. Pius. Jackson County also saw its first ever state playoff bid finished, 56-21 at Cartersville, while Rabun County fell 56-29 at Heard County. Stephens County also bowed out, 40-7 in Carrollton.
The second round of the postseason gets underway next week, as well as the first round for Class A, which will include Commerce's contest at Seminole County. For a look at next week's match-ups and this week's scores, simply scroll down. And visit our Sports and High School Sports pages for in-depth game stories from tonight's action.
FIRST-ROUND PLAYOFF SCORES FOR AREA TEAMS, Nov. 16
Blessed Trinity 35, White County 14
Buford 41, Cedar Grove 27
Carrollton 40, Stephens County 7
Cartersville 56, Jackson County 21
Gainesville 41, Rome 14
Heard County 56, Rabun County 29
Jefferson 42, Kendrick 8
LaGrange 59, Chestatee 46
Mill Creek 41, Alpharetta 39
North Gwinnett 49, Johns Creek 19
North Hall 38, Woodward Academy 7
North Paulding 63, Flowery Branch 43
St. Pius X 72, Dawson County 28
SECOND ROUND PLAYOFF MATCH-UPS FOR AREA TEAMS
North Gwinnett at Grayson
Brookwood at Mill Creek
Gainesville at Kell
Morgan County at North Hall
Buford at North Oconee
Westminster at Jefferson
Class A Public (First Round)
Commerce at Seminole County
NORTH HALL 38, WOODWARD ACADEMY 7
GAINESVILLE 41, ROME 14
LaGRANGE 59, CHESTATEE 46