It was a night for big scores and two slugfests for area football teams.
Buford and North Hall showed they are still the lead dogs in Region 7-AAA -- though East Hall pushed the Trojans every step of the way -- while Gainesville and Flowery Branch tightened their grip on Region 8-AAAAA.
Commerce also continued its fight back, winning in overtime, while Jefferson suffered a Region 8-AA setback on the road -- the outcome could be big for Rabun County, which dominated at home.
Chestatee also stayed in the groove, while Lakeview Academy put up a tough fight before falling on the road.
There may be no tougher team in the area than Commerce, the Tigers have fought back from two tough losses to post two huge Region 8-A victories, including Friday's 22-21 win over Athens Christian on the road. Commerce went for two in the first overtime to secure the win and have set up a huge showdown with Prince Avenue Christian next week in Commerce.
Meanwhile, Rabun County could be the hottest team in the area, moving to 5-0 after a dominating 63-7 defeat of Riverside Military in Tiger. The Wildcats will face a Jefferson squad looking to bounce back next week after a tough, 21-14 setback to Washington-Wilkes on the road. The game will be huge for a Region 8-AA race that also saw Union County win on Friday.
Two northeast Georgia regions have been cast as two-team races for much of the season, and those squads continued to roll up wins on Friday.
Top-ranked Buford stamped its authority on Region 7-AAA foe West Hall, upending the Spartans 63-0 in Oakwood. Meanwhile, at The Brickyard, North Hall needed plenty of effort but finally overcame a tenacious East Hall 56-31. White County is also undefeated in 7-AAA but was on a bye, and will face Buford and North Hall in each of the next two weeks. Dawson County also won in 7-AAA play on Friday, running away from Banks County 42-19.
In Region 8-AAAAA, Gainesville and Flowery Branch slammed their opponents on home turf, the Red Elephants rolling up 532 yards of offense in a 51-6 win over Cedar Shoals, while the Falcons sprinted to a 42-0 lead before prevailing 42-20 over Apalachee. Clarke Central will still have its say in the 8-AAAAA race, but Gainesville and the Branch are both finding their stride at the right time.
Chestatee also kept up its impressive run, winning a fourth straight game, 48-7 over Johnson. The War Eagles scored on offense, defense and special teams.
Jackson County also picked up its second region victory, hammering Franklin County 56-12 in Region 8-AAA play.
Mill Creek also rebounded from two straight heartbreaking losses with a storming shutout of Meadwocreek, 47-0, while Towns County picked up its first win of the season, 17-8 over Copper Basin, Tenn.
Be sure to check our Sports, High School Sports and Friday Game Night pages for complete game stories and video highlights of Friday's game action.
OCT. 4 AREA FOOTBALL FINALS
Buford 63, West Hall 0
Chestatee 48, Johnson 7
Commerce 22, Athens Christian 21 OT
Dawson County 42, Banks County 19
Flowery Branch 42, Apalachee 20
Gainesville 51, Cedar Shoals 6
Hart County 57, East Jackson 20
Heritage, Conyers 23, Winder-Barrow 13
Jackson County 56, Franklin County 12
Mill Creek 47, Meadowcreek 0
Norcross 49, Habersham Central 3
North Gwinnett 52, Duluth 21
North Hall 56, East Hall 31
Rabun County 63, Riverside 7
Towns County 17, Copper Basin, Tenn. 8
Union County 46, Oglethorpe County 26
Washington-Wilkes 21, Jefferson 14
Wesleyan 28, Lakeview Academy 7