Friday February 22nd, 2019 5:45PM

Week 7: Upset bids denied, but several area teams take big steps toward playoffs

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor

The race for region titles and playoff spots is rounding into shape after another big Friday night of high school football action around northeast Georgia.

Greater Atlanta Christian remained on top of the hill in Region 7-3A in a fight to the finish with Dawson County, 23-20, while Flowery Branch put itself in a strong position entering next week's showdown with Blessed Trinity with a big, 69-13, win over Chestatee. Meanwhile, Habersham Central fended off Gainesville 49-32 in its bid to get back into the postseason for the first time since 2011.

(NOTE: To see a round-up of Friday's scores from around the area scroll down. And visit our Friday Game Night page for video highlights and game stories.)

The Tigers led early and then scored late and recovered an onside kick to scare the Spartans but could not finish off the upset bid, as Greater Atlanta Christian, fended off Dawson to take a commanding lead in the 7-3A race after defeating North Hall last week. Also in the region, Lumpkin County bounced back from a slow start to pull away from Cherokee Bluff 42-19 and stay in the playoff race, while Fannin County did likewise, defeating East Hall 59-36 in Blue Ridge. North Hall was on a bye this week.

In Region 8-5A, Buford continued its dominance, hammering Cedar Shoals 55-6, while Johnson saw its bid for a region victory upended in a 35-14 loss to Walnut Grove.

While the Branch put up 333 yards passing in its win over Chestatee in Region 7-4A, West Hall suffered a 51-14 loss at Marist. White County was on a bye this week.

Habersham also came up with several big plays on offense to halt a two-game losing skid and get in the playoff race in Region 8-6A. Gainesville, meanwhile, remained winless on the season. Elsewhere in the region Lanier and Dacula won.

In Region 8-3A Jefferson shrugged off injury and a tough Hart County team for a 35-7 victory after a close first half. Monroe Area, meanwhile, dominated Jackson County 63-0.

And in Region 8-A Commerce and Riverside Military each notched subregion victories. The Tigers blanked Lakeview 42-0, while the Eagles throttled Providence Christian 34-0. Meanwhile, Towns County fell to Hebron Christian 47-0.

Buford 55, Cedar Shoals 6

Commerce 42, Lakeview Academy 0

Fannin County 59, East Hall 36

Flowery Branch 69, Chestatee 13

Greater Atlanta Christian 23, Dawson County 20

Habersham Central 49, Gainesville 32

Hebron Christian 47, Towns County 0

Jefferson 35, Hart County 7

Lumpkin County 42, Cherokee Bluff 19

Marist 51, West Hall 14

Monroe Area 63, Jackson County 0

Riverside Military 34, Providence Christian 0

Walnut Grove 35, Johnson 14

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