Here's a look at five things we learned from week 4 of the high school football season...
1. Kwon Williams was the best kept secret in the area
We say "was," because after the last two weeks, there's no way that the fleet-footed West Hall standout can be a secret any longer. In fact, he may just be the most explosive weapon in northeast Georgia -- at least over the last two weeks. Doubt it? Just look at the numbers. On Friday, Williams torched Banks County for 180 yards rushing and four touchdowns on a measly six carries. That came one week after rushing for 202 yards and three touchdowns on a work-horse night of seven carries. So, over the last two weeks, that's 29.3 yards per carry and seven touchdowns. Over that span, the Spartans have also won both games by a combined 97-34, and Williams has been a big part of that. West Hall is hoping to make its first state playoff appearance since 2002 and if they do, you can bet that Williams will be a big reason why.
2. Chestatee may have little "flash" -- but plenty of "substance"
We're not selling the War Eagles short here -- they like the fact that they are blue-collar, and, frankly, who can blame them -- you certainly can't based on Friday's result (a 33-23 win at Eastside). And the best teams establish an identity early and own it; Chestatee certainly seems to have done that. And, by the way, Chestatee's working-man's version of football bludgeoned its way to 33 points on the road in a key region battle on Friday -- so relying on a physical line of scrimmage and rotating an equally-physical group of backs can make for plenty of success. The War Eagles also have big play ability -- especially in special teams. This week it was a 70-yard fake punt that turned the game on its ear. In Chestatee's previous outing, a 15-14 win over West Hall, the War Eagles converted a two-point run to seal the victory. Chestatee will face Stephens County this Friday -- if you're looking for a slugfest between two teams that pride themselves on hitting, look no further.
3. What is it about the name Watson and the quarterback position?
We already knew that Deshaun Watson was a ridiculous talent, historically so -- but, as we've seen over the past few weeks, there's another budding star D. Watson at quarterback in Hall County -- as in Devin. This Watson is leading an East Hall offense that is in historic territory of its own, steering a Vikings attack that is averaging 49 points through four games -- 56.3 through its last three games, all wins. Devin Watson is thriving in East Hall's switch to a more wide open attack based around the pass -- he threw and ran his way to six touchdowns in last week's 54-14 defeat of Johnson. The junior and his teammates will face possibly their toughest test to date this week, taking on a White County team that is sure to be ticked off and ready to bounce back following last week's 30-0 defeat to Blessed Trinity. It will be interesting to see how both respond.
4. North Forsyth's old-school approach yields results
We've already noted that first-year head coach Jason Galt was working hard to turn around the Raiders football program -- and history says he's on the right track. In fact, North Forsyth just opened 4-0 for the first time since 2005 after last week's 24-6 win over Chattahoochee. The incredible thing is that the Raiders are winning after a sea-change in style. With just one offseason under their belts, North Forsyth has gone from a speed-based offense to a physical, run-first double-wing. And the Raiders are doing it with aplomb. They certainly had some pieces in place in running back Jamal Davenport and quarterback Harris Roberts -- who is a more than capable passer -- but Galt seems to be fitting all the pieces together quickly. Win again this week against a 1-3 Lambert, and people in Coal Mountain might be talking playoffs.
5. Falcons are doing better than just fine, thanks
Anyone who thought Flowery Branch was in trouble after an 0-2 start just wasn't paying attention. The Falcons feature plenty of talent but needed some time for an inexperienced defense to coalesce -- as well as some new skill position players. That all looks to be falling in to place now, however, as evidenced by two straight wins by a combined 87-39 -- including a notice-serving 48-14 win at Loganville last week. The victory saw the Falcons out-gain the Red Devils 406-67 in the first half. Flowery Branch won Region 8-AAAAA last season after opening 0-2; while there is a lot of football left to play, who would bet against the Falcons being in position to do that again on the last day of the regular season now (in other words, Gainesville and Flowery Branch playing for the title again)?
AREA FOOTBALL FINALS, SEPT. 20
Blessed Trinity 30, White County 0
Chestatee 33, Eastside 23
East Hall 54, Johnson 14
Flowery Branch 48, Loganville 14
Gainesville 49, Apalachee 6
Jackson County 38, East Jackson 6
Monroe Area 49, Lumpkin County 3
Mountain View 27, Habersham Central 0
Murphy, N.C. 65, Fannin County 25
North Forsyth 24, Chattahoochee 6
North Gwinnett 63, Meadowcreek 0
Peachtree Ridge 31, Mill Creek 30
Pinecrest Academy 43, Lakeview Academy 3
Rabun Gap Nacoochee School 34, Towns County 14
Rabun County 28, Commerce 0
Salem 60, Winder-Barrow 37
Stephens County 41, Walnut Grove 20
Washington-Wilkes 50, Riverside Military 14
West Hall 48, Banks County 13
AREA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE, SEPT. 27
Apalachee at Clarke Central
Banks County at Buford
Dawson County at North Hall
Elbert County at East Jackson
Gainesville at Heritage, Conyers
George Walton at Commerce
Greene County at Jefferson
Habersham Central at Peachtree Ridge
Jackson County at North Oconee
Lakeview Academy at Athens Academy
Lambert at North Forsyth
Oglethorpe County at Riverside Military
Salem at Flowery Branch
Social Circle at Rabun County
Stephens County at Chestatee
Union County At Washington-Wilkes
Walnut Grove at Lumpkin County
West Hall at Fannin County
White County at East Hall
Mill Creek at Norcross