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Sunday November 18th, 2018 9:27AM

Week 11: Overtime thriller, region titles highlight final night of regular season; playoffs beckon

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor

The final week of the 2018 regular season went out with a bang in for northeast Georgia prep football, including a showdown that proved as good as advertised.

(NOTE: Visit our Friday Game Night page for game stories and video highlights from contests around northeast Georgia.)

Plenty of postseason fates were decided on a chilly night -- including for Dawson County and North Hall, who fought their way to a standstill in regulation before the Tigers held on for a 17-10 win in overtime to clinch the No. 2 seed from Region 7-3A. The Trojans will take to the road for the first round of the state playoffs as the No. 3 seed.

Meanwhile, Rabun County and Buford sewed up their respective region crowns. The Wildcats pulled away in the second half for a 56-28 win over Union County in Region 8-2A's penultimate contest. The Panthers finished as the No. 2 seed.

The Wolves, meanwhile, also exploded in the second half en route to a 45-3 defeat of Clarke Central that wrapped up the Region 8-5A title and a No. 1 seed.

Commerce could not clinch the Region 8-A championship, however, falling 21-14 to Athens Academy in Watkinsville.

There were some area teams that lost but still came out on the positive side, as both Gainesville and White County suffered defeats but saw other results fall the right way to help the Red Elephants and Warriors get into the postseason -- both as No. 4 seeds -- from Region 8-6A and Region 7-4A, respectively.

Habersham Central's 28-21 fightback defeat of Apalachee helped clinch the Raiders' first state playoff berth since 2011, as Habersham notched the No. 3 seed from 8-6A. Gainesville fell 6-2 at Lanier after leading 2-0 for much of the contest but still clinched the fourth seed thanks to the Raiders' victory.

And, in Region 7-4A, Flowery Branch's 28-19 win over Denmark clinched a No. 3 seed for the Branch. The Falcons have won two straight -- and certainly the Warriors were happy to see it, as Friday's win helped send White back to the playoffs for the second straight season.

Elsewhere, East Hall, Jackson County, West Hall and Towns County ended their respective seasons with victories.

Now it is on to the state playoffs for a number of area programs next week, while Class A teams await their postseason seeding and fate with the release of the power ratings.

FRIDAY'S AREA PREP FOOTBALL FINALS
Athens Academy 21, Commerce 14

Athens Christian 24, Lakeview Academy 21

Blessed Trinity 42, White County 7

Buford 45, Clarke Central 3

Dawson County 17, North Hall 10 OT

East Hall 32, Lumpkin County 31

Elbert County 41, Banks County 0

Flowery Branch 28, Denmark 19

Habersham Central 28, Apalachee 21

Jackson County 55, East Jackson 14

Lanier 6, Gainesville 2

Loganville 27, Johnson 10

Prince Avenue Christian 48, Riverside Military 27

Rabun County 56, Union County 28

Towns County 20, Providence Christian 17

West Hall 62, Chestatee 19


FIRST ROUND STATE PLAYOFF MATCH-UPS FOR AREA TEAMS
Area teams in bold

CLASS 6A
Habersham Central (Region 8, Seed No. 3) at Douglas County (R5, S2)
Gainesville (R8, S4) at Creekside (R5, S1)

CLASS 5A
Miller Grove (R5, S4) at Buford (R8, S1)

CLASS 4A
Flowery Branch (R7, S3) at Ridgeland (R6, S2)
White County (R7, S4) at Pickens (R6, S1)

CLASS 3A
Haralson County (R6, S3) at Dawson County (R7, S2)
North Hall (R7, S3) at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (R6, S2)
Westminster (R5, S3) at Jefferson (R8, S2)

CLASS 2A
Spencer (R5, S4) at Rabun County (R8, S1)
Bremen (R5, S3) at Union County (R8, S2)

CLASS A
Will be determined following publication of final power ratings

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