Sunday October 22nd, 2017 11:35AM

Week 11: Season to finish with a bang in several regions

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
  Contact Editor
GAINESVILLE -- For at least one more week, many eyes will be on Gainesville as two of northeast Georgia's toughest regions will be decided Friday night in Hall County.

The biggest showdown will be between Region 8-AAAAA unbeatens Flowery Branch and fourth-ranked Gainesville, who will meet at City Park Stadium for the outright region title. It's a carbon-copy of 2012 when the two teams met at Falcons Field in Flowery Branch on the final night of the regular season. The Falcons pulled off the upset then. The Elephants are definitely looking for some payback.

At The Brickyard, Class AAA No. 7 North Hall will play host to No. 1-ranked Buford in a crucial Region 7-AAA battle. For Buford it's easy: win and the Wolves are region champs. For North Hall, the Trojans will need to beat Buford by more than 12 points to become region champs. North Hall can win but still finish third in the region.

In Region 8-AA, Union County will play host to Jefferson in a battle for second place in the region.

In other playoff-deciding games, Dawson County will play host to West Hall with the winner taking the No. 4 seed in Region 7-AAA. The loser will be eliminated.

North Forsyth will play host to South Forsyth in Region 6-AAAAAA with the winner moving on to the playoffs.

Morgan County will travel to Jackson County with the winner taking the final spot in Region 8-AAA.

Region 7-AAAAAA has several possible scenarios in the final week. Collins Hill travels to Mill Creek needing a win to win the region. Meanwhile, North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge will do battle in Suwanee with the Bulldogs needing a win and a Collins Hill loss to capture the title.

However, if both Collins Hill and North Gwinnett lose and Norcross knocks off Meadowcreek, the Blue Devils would win the region.

Keep track of all the games on throughout the night to see how things turn out.

For a look at all of the night's contests involving area teams, simply scroll down. And be sure to check back with Access North Georgia and our Friday Game Night page throughout the night for score updates and game stories and video highlights. You can also check for scores and highlights on our Twitter feed @FridayGameNight


-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: The Brickyard, Gainesville
-- RADIO: 550 AM
-- BUFORD (9-0, 6-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated East Hall 70-6 last week. The Wolves are ranked No. 1 in Class AAA.
-- NORTH HALL (8-1, 5-1 Region 7-AAA): Defeated Banks County 63-7 last week. The Trojans are ranked No. 7 in Class AAA.
-- HISTORY: Buford won 45-16 last year. The Wolves lead the series 7-1-1. . .The region title is on the line in this one. If Buford win, the Wolves are champs. If North Hall wins, things get complicated. The Trojans need to win by more than 12 points to take the title. They could win and still finish third, however, based on losing to White County earlier in the year. . .On paper, both teams figure to score with Buford averaging 52.4 ppg and North Hall averaging over 45 ppg on the season. Both defenses have been sold, however. Buford has given up just 51 points all season while North Hall has allowed just over 16 ppg on the season. . .It may be a battle of quarterbacks between North Hall's Andrew Smith and the Wolves' two-headed monster of Montgomery VanGorder and Taylor Mitchell. Tim of possession and ball control will be the key to this one.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Pinecrest Academy Stadium, Cumming
-- COMMERCE (6-3, 41- Region 8-A): Defeated Hebron Christian 48-12 last week.
-- PINECREST ACADEMY (5-4, 2-3 Region 8-A): Lost 42-6 to Prince Avenue last week.
-- HISTORY: Pinecrest won 31-21 last year in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. . .Commerce is almost assuredly in the playoffs with a ninth-place ranking in the Class A public power rankings. But, the Tigers would like to be things rolling. After a 2-2 start they have wonfour of their last five. . .The Tigers already have the most wins in a season since 2007. . .The Paladins are headed in the opposite direction having lost three of their last four overall. . .Commerce is averaging over 29 ppg in its six wins but has just 14 total points in its three losses.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Mill Creek Community Stadium, Hochston
-- COLLINS HILL (8-1, 6-1 Region 7-AAAAAA): Defeated Duluth 49-14 last week.
-- MILL CREEK (6-3, 4-3 Region 7-AAAAAA): Defeated Habersham Central 61-0 last week.
-- HISTORY: Mill Creek won 17-14 last year. Collins Hill leads the series 5-2. . .The Hawks have been eliminated from the playoffs but can play spoiler. A Mill Creek could knock Collins Hill out of a shot at a region title. A Collins Hill win, however, would seal the title for the Eagles. . .Collins Hill has its offense rolling averaging 56 ppg during its three-game win streak. The 53 points the Eagles scored against then-No. 1 North Gwinnett two weeks was the most points scored against the Bulldogs since 1994. . .Defense is the key for the Hawks. In the six wins they have allowed just 44 total points with two shutouts. In the three losses they have yielded 108 points (36 ppg).

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Warrior Stadium, Watkinsville
-- EAST JACKSON (1-8, 0-6 Region 8-AAA): Lost 27-18 to Franklin County last week.
-- OCONEE COUNTY (1-8, 1-5 Region 8-AAA): Lost 46-29 to North Oconee last week.
-- HISTORY: Oconee County won 41-7 last year. The Warriors lead the series 3-0. . .The loser of this game will finish last in Region 8-AAA. . .The Eagles have struggled since winning their season-opener. They have allowed 43 ppg in their eight-game losing streak. They have scored seven points or fewer four times. East Jackson has lost 12 straight road games going back to the 2011 season. . .Oconee County has lost five straight home games going back to last season. The Warriors have allowed 37 ppg on defense this season. But, their offense, which scored just 84 total points over the first six games has come to life averaging 31 ppg over the past three games.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: East Hall Stadium, Rabbittown
-- FANNIN COUNTY (2-7, 1-5 Region 7-AAA): Lost 45-14 to Dawson County last week.
-- EAST HALL (4-5, 1-5 Region 7-AAA): Lost 70-6 last week to No. 1 Buford.
-- HISTORY: East Hall won 34-0 last year. The Vikings lead the series 5-4. . .The East Hall offense has been inconsistent over the past five games scoring just 77 points (15.4 ppg) in that span and going 1-4 after averaging 49 ppg the first four games and going 3-1. . .The Fannin County defense has allowed 41 ppg and yielded 45 or more points six times this season. The Rebels have scored just 42 points over their last five games.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: City Park Stadium, Gainesville
-- RADIO: 1240 AM/102.9 FM
-- FLOWERY BRANCH (7-2, 7-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Bye last week. Defeated Clarke Central 37-7 two weeks ago.
-- GAINESVILLE (8-1, 7-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Defeated Loganville 63-0 last week. The Red Elephants are ranked No. 4 in Class AAAAA.
-- HISTORY: Flowery Branch won 35-34 last year. Gainesville leads the series 7-3. . .Expect another shootout in what is becoming one of the best rivalries in northeast Georgia. Nearly half of their meetings have been for a region title and this year is no exception. . .Both teams are riding seven-game win streaks. The winner will win Region 8-AAAAA while the loser will finish second. . .Both offenses have been rolling with Gainesville averaging 56 ppg and Flowery Branch averaging just over 40 ppg during their win streaks. . .Defensively the Falcons have yielded 11.4 ppg and the Elephants just 7.8 ppg during the streaks. . .The Falcons will need to find a way to stop Deshaun Watson, who has been putting huge numbers running and passing this season. . .The Falcons' Jackson McDonald has turned into a dual threat as well.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Mike Colwell Memorial Stadium, Blairsville
-- JEFFERSON (7-2, 5-1 Region 8-AA): Defeated Riverside Military 62-23 last week. The Dragons are ranked No. 10 in Class AA.
-- UNION COUNTY (6-3, 4-2 Region 8-AA): Defeated Social Circle 47-6 last week.
-- HISTORY: Jefferson won 42-7 last year. The Dragons lead the series 12-1. . .The Dragons have won eight straight in the series. The Panthers last win in the series came in 1992 in Blairsville. This could be one of the best chances Union has had to break the streak. . .The Panthers are averaging 36 ppg at home and are 7-2 at home over the past two seasons. . .Jefferson has been solid on defense all year allowing just 13.8 ppg with four shutouts. . .A win for the Panthers would put them in a three-way tie with the Dragons and Rabun County. A Jefferson win give them the No. 2 seed.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium, Oakwood
-- LAFAYETTE (1-8, 1-4 Region 7B-AAAA): Lost 77-0 to Northwest Whitfield last week.
-- JOHNSON (2-7, playing non-region schedule): Bye last week. Lost 21-14 to Pickens two weeks ago.
-- HISTORY: First-ever meeting between the two schools. . .Johnson has really improved on defense the past three games. After surrendering 40 ppg over the first six weeks the Knights have allowed just 55 total points (18 ppg) over the last three games. . .Lafayette is averaging just 13 ppg and has been shutout three times.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: The Reservation, Toccoa
-- LUMPKIN COUNTY (1-8. 1-5 Region 8-AAAA): Lost 41-7 to Lanier last week.
-- STEPHENS COUNTY (5-4, 3-3 Region 8-AAAA): Defeated Eastside 30-14 last week.
-- HISTORY: Stephens County won 42-3 last year. Stephens County leads the series 3-0. . .Lumpkin County could play spoiler against the Indians, who have been up-and-down this year. Stephens County can clinch the fourth seed with a win or a Eastside loss to Monroe Area. A Stephens loss and an Eastside win would knock Stephens out of the playoffs for the first time since 2009. . .Stephens is 5-0 when scoring 21 or more points. They have averaged just 5.2 ppf in their four losses with two shutouts. . .Lumpkin County has yielded 33.7 ppg on defense this season. Offensively Lumpkin has scored 13 points or fewer six times.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: War Eagles Stadium, Gainesville
-- MADISON COUNTY (4-5, 2-5 Region 8-AAAA): Defeated Walnut Grove 41-6 last week.
-- CHESTATEE (7-2, 5-1 Region 8-AAAA): Lost 28-21 to Monroe Area last week.
-- HISTORY: Chestatee won 48-7 last year in first-ever meeting between the two schools. . .The War Eagles already have clinched the No. 2 seed in the playoffs but would like to finish on an upswing after last week's tough loss for the region title. . .The Red Raiders have motivation as they look for their first non-losing season since 2009. Defense has been the key for both teams. Madison County has allowed just 13.7 in its four wins compared to 42 ppg in five losses. . .The War Eagles have allowed just 14 ppg on the season. . .Chestatee also is looking to avoid its first two-game losing streak since 2011.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Panther Stadium, Jefferson
-- MORGAN COUNTY (6-3, 3-3 Region 8-AAA): Lost 27-8 to Hart County last week.
-- JACKSON COUNTY (3-6, 3-3 Region 8-AAA): Lost 48-27 to Elbert County last week.
-- HISTORY: Morgan County won 44-28 last year. The Bulldogs lead the series 4-1. . .It's simple here: the winner is in the playoffs and the loser is out. Jackson County is looking for its first-ever back-to-back state playoff appearances and will need to have another big offensive night. The Panthers are averaging 30 ppg and the Bulldogs are allowing 24 ppg on defense. . .Jackson County is 6-3 in its last nine home games. Morgan County, however, is 7-3 in its last 10 road games.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium, Suwanee
-- PEACHTREE RIDGE (7-2, 5-2 Region 7-AAAAA): Defeated Meadowcreek 47-0 last week.
-- NORTH GWINNETT (8-1, 6-1 Region 7-AAAAA): Defeated Mountain View 40-7 last week. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 7 in Class AAAAAA.
-- HISTORY: North Gwinnett won 24-20 last year. The Bulldogs lead the series 8-1. . .Both teams have already clinched a playoff berth but the seeding is far from decided. North Gwinnett could still win the region with a win and a Collins Hill loss. They also could finish as low as fourth with a loss and a Norcross win. . .Peachtree Ridge cannot win the region but could finish third with a win. . .Expect points to be scored with North Gwinnett averaging 42 ppg and the Lions averaging 35 ppg. The Bulldogs defense, despite allowing just 17 ppg on the season, has been an issue lately. They have yielded 100 points (50 ppg) against the last two opponents with a winning record. . .The Lions have allowed just 16 ppg on the season.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Patriot Stadium, Lexington
-- RABUN COUNTY (7-2, 4-2 Region 8-AA): Defeated Greene County 40-14 last week.
-- OGLETHORPE COUNTY (1-8, 1-5 Region 8-AA): Lost 62-7 to Washington-Wilkes last week.
-- HISTORY: Rabun County won 49-27 last year. The Wildcats lead the series 10-9. . .Rabun County can clinch the No. 3 seed with a win tonight. A loss and a Union County win, however, would put them in the No. 4 slot. . .On paper it looks like a mismatch with the Wildcats averaging 41 ppg and the Patriots allowing more than 31 ppg on defense. . .The Wildcats' Charlie Woerner has been one of the most dynamic players in northeast Georgia this year with more than 1,000 yards rushing and over 300 yards receiving.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Greensboro
-- RIVERSIDE MILITARY ACADEMY (4-5, 2-4 Region 8-AA): Lost 62-23 to Jefferson last week.
-- GREENE COUNTY (3-6, 2-4 Region 8-AA): Lost 40-14 to Rabun County last week.
-- HISTORY: Riverside Military won 35-3 last year in first-ever meeting between the two schools. . .A win for the Eagles would give them their first non-losing season since 2008. . .Riverside has cranked up the offense the last month averaging 42 ppg over its last four games. In their four wins, however, the Eagles have allowed 20 points or less in each game on defense. The Tigers have scored 16 points or less in their last four games.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Raider Valley, Coal Mountain
-- SOUTH FORSYTH (7-2, 4-2 Region 6-AAAAAA): Lost 45-20 to West Forsyth last week.
-- NORTH FORSYTH (6-3, 3-3 Region 6-AAAAAA): Defeated Johns Creek 38-21 last week.
-- HISTORY: South Forsyth won 35-14 last year. The War Eagles lead the series 10-5. . .North Forsyth can clinch the No. 4 seed with a win by 5 or more points over South Forsyth. The Raiders are also routing for a Lambert win over West Forsyth, which make any victory over South Forsyth a clincher for the playoffs. . .A win for North Forsyth also would give the Raiders their most wins since 2009. . .The War Eagles have struggled on defense lately allowing more than 30 ppg over their last five games after allowing just 17 ppg their first four games. . .Offense is the key for North Forsyth. In the Raiders' six wins they've averaged 31 ppg. In their three losses they've scored just 26 total points.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Dacula
-- TOWNS COUNTY (3-6, playing non-region schedule): Defeated Lakeview Academy last week.
-- HEBRON CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (2-7, 0-6 Region 8-A): Lost 21-7 to Athens Academy last week.
-- HISTORY: Towns County won 28-13 last year. The Indians lead the series 3-2. . .Hebron has lost seven straight while the Indians have won three of their last four after an 0-5 start. . .Hebron has averaged just 10.0 ppg during its losing streak. Towns County has stepped up its defense. After yielding 39.8 ppg the firs five games, the Indians have given up just 13 ppg since. . .A win for Towns County would give the Indian their most wins in a season since winning seven in 2008.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Longhorn Stadium, Sugar Hill
-- WALNUT GROVE (1-8, 0-6 Region 8-AAAA): Lost 41-6 to Madison County last week.
-- LANIER (7-2, 4-2 Region 8-AAAA): Defeated Lumpkin County 41-7 last week.
-- HISTORY: Lanier won 42-0 last year in first-ever meeting between the two schools. . .Lanier already has locked up the No. 3 seed for their first-ever playoff appearance. The Longhorns are trying to end the season with a three-game winning streak. . .The Warriors have lost six straight. . .Lanier is averaging 31 ppg and Walnut Grove is allowing a region-high 40 ppg on defense.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tiger Stadium, Dawsonville
-- WEST HALL (5-4, 3-3 Region 7-AAA): Lost 14-0 to White County last week.
-- DAWSON COUNTY (5-4, 3-3 Region 7-AAA): Defeated Fannin County 45-14 last week.
-- HISTORY: Dawson County won 42-14 last year in the first meeting between the two schools since 1991. The series is tied 2-2. . .This one is simple as well: the winner is in the playoffs as the No. 4 seed and the loser is out of the playoffs. . .Dawson County is looking for its first back-to-back playoff appearances since 1999-2000. . .West Hall is looking for its first playoff appearance since 2002. The Spartans also are looking for their first winning season since 2002. They already clinched their first non-losing season since 2008.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Leopards Stadium, Homer
-- WHITE COUNTY (7-2, 5-1 Region 7-AAA): Defeated West Hall 14-0 last week.
-- BANKS COUNTY (0-9, 0-6 Region 7-AAA): Lost 63-7 to North Hall last week.
-- HISTORY: White County won 41-7 last year. The Warriors lead the series 8-2. . .The Warriors already has wrapped up the No. 2 seed and is looking to roll into the playoffs with a four-game win streak. . .Banks County has lost 12 straight games going back to last season. The Leopards are trying to avoid their first winless season since 1998. It will be a tough challenge for the Leopards, who averaging just 8.0 ppg while the White County defense is limiting opponents to just 12 ppg. . .The Warriors are averaging just 19 ppg but Banks County has yielded 37 ppg on defense.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: W. Clair Harris Stadium, Winder
-- WINDER-BARROW (1-8, 0-7 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost 43-21 to Heritage, Conyers last week.
-- APALACHEE (0-9, 0-7 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost 13-7 to Clarke Central last week.
-- HISTORY: Apalachee won 42-20 last year. The Wildcats lead the series 6-3. Apalachee has won five straight in the series. . .The Battle of Barrow County sees both teams really struggling. Apalachee is trying to avoid its first winless season in school history while Winder-Barrow has lost eight straight. . .It could be a high-scoring affair or a defensive struggle. Apalachee is averaging 14 ppg and Winder just 12 ppg on offense. The Bulldoggs are yielding 34 ppg while Apalachee has allowed more than 40 ppg on defense.
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