HAMILTON -- State quarterfinal victories aren't supposed to come easy.
Gainesville football sure made it look that way on Friday, however, trampling Harris County 64-13 in Hamilton.
The Red Elephants (10-3) torched the Tigers for 684 yards of offense, including 448 through the air, as Gainesville secured its third state semifinal berth in four seasons and first in Class AAAAA.
After winning two straight road games -- and putting up 125 points in doing so -- the Red Elephants will head back on the road next week, traveling to face Whitewater in Fayetteville.
Gainesville would certainly like another performance like Friday's.
The Red Elephants sprinted to a 43-7 first half lead, thanks in large part to a 28-0 second quarter blitz that included three Deshaun Watson touchdown passes -- including two to Caleb Hayman. The duo thrived against the Tigers defense, as Watson found Hayman seven times for 129 yards and three scores.
Watson finished the night with 536 total yards and seven touchdowns -- 143 yards rushing and two scores, along with 393 yards passing while completing 29 of 36 attempts with five TDs.
Jay Gaudlock (8 rushes, 46 yards, TD; 6 receptions, 71 yards) and Michael Byrd (8 rushes, 35 yards; 6 catches, 91 yards, TD) also enjoyed big nights for Gainesville, while Tray Harrison caught five passes for 59 yards and a score.
Watson scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to open the game and then found Hayman for a 21-yard scoring strike -- a two point run from Chandler Newton yielded a 15-0 lead. Harris County running back Esaias Chapman with a 40-yard touchdown run to pull within 15-7, but it was all Red Elephants from there.
Gainesville did allow 233 yards rushing, including 117 from Chapman, but the Red Elephants kept the Tigers from sniffing the end zone for much of the night and held quarterback Justin Wright to just 75 yards passing.
After not winning a road playoff game since 2004, Gainesville has now claimed two straight road scalps and will go for a third against Whitewater -- which is in its first ever semifinal after defeating Allatoona 24-3.