The rumble in the mountains lived up to its billing for much of the night, while Week 3 of high school football provided plenty of other intriguing finals around northeast Georgia.
Rabun County and White County slugged it out toe-to-toe for three-plus quarters only to see the Wildcats pull away in the final minutes for a 49-26 victory that kept fifth-ranked Rabun undefeated at 3-0 and hand the Warriors their first loss of the season at 3-1.
(NOTE: For video highlights, in-depth game stories and summaries from throughout northeast Georgia, visit our Friday Game Night page.)
On the other end of the area, Mill Creek made a late fightback but could not manufacture enough offense to get the better of Archer, as the Hawks fell 16-13 in a Class AAAAAAA showdown in Hoschton. Mill Creek is now (3-1) as it preps for the start of region play.
Flowery Branch is still undefeated, however, as the Falcons (3-0) maintained their strong defense and running game in a 31-6 defeat of Stephens County (1-2) that sets up a tasty showdown next week at Jefferson, as former Dragons coach Ben Hall leads his team into a showdown with his former squad.
Union County is also 3-0 after rolling over Andrews, N.C., in the second half, 42-14. Meanwhile, West Hall ripped off its third straight victory, moving to 3-1 courtesy a 31-21 defeat of a determined Jackson County in Oakwood. The loss kept the Panthers from starting 4-0 for the first time in program history.
Commerce is also 3-0 after cruising to a 55-21 defeat of Lakeview (1-2) at home.
East Hall moved to 2-1 with a 60-7 defeat of Johnson (0-4) in Oakwood. Quarterback Austin Parker surpassed 1,000 yards passing for the season in the win. North Gwinnett also impressed in a 35-14 defeat of old rival Norcross to move to 3-1.
Apalachee also broke through to nab its first win of the season in impressive fashion, fighting back to force overtime before winning 29-28 over Discovery via a 2-point conversion in the extra period. Habersham Central, however, could not do the same, missing out on a 2-point attempt to fall to Franklin County, 46-45 in overtime. East Jackson also got its first win of the season in emphatic fashion, 33-0 over Oglethorpe County.
Elsewhere, Chestatee got back on the winning side with a 31-7 defeat of Fannin that moved the War Eagles to 2-2.
North Hall, Lumpkin County, Towns County and Riverside Military also fell in contests Friday.
AREA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCORES, SEPT. 8
Apalachee 29, Discovery 28 OT
Archer 16, Mill Creek 13
Chestatee 31, Fannin County 7
Commerce 55, Lakeview Academy 21
East Hall 60, Johnson 7
East Jackson 33, Oglethorpe County 0
Flowery Branch 31, Stephens County 6
Franklin County 46, Habersham Central 45 OT
George Walton Academy 16, Riverside Military Academy 13
Madison County 28, Lumpkin County 7
North Gwinnett 35, Norcross 14
Northside, Warner Robins 22, Lanier 7
Pickens 42, North Hall 35
Prince Avenue Christian 28, Towns County 6
Rabun County 49, White County 26
Union County 42, Andrews (N.C.) 14
West Hall 31, Jackson County 21