Friday April 16th, 2021 3:25AM

Region schedules get going in earnest with huge games on tap

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
After weeks of undercard games, the main event of the high school football season is finally upon us as most of the teams in the area begin the all-important region schedules.

Whether a team is winless or undefeated, the only thing that matters for qualifying for the playoffs are their region records. And there are some huge matchups Friday that will most certainly will help decide several region titles.

None is bigger than in Region 7-AAAAAA where current-No. 1-ranked North Gwinnett will travel to take on defending 7-AAAAAA and state champion Norcross. The winner of this game has decided the last two region champs and three of the last five.

Also in 7-AAAAAA, Habersham Central will travel to Collins Hill looking to snap a five-game losing streak.

Region 8-AAAAA also cranks up with a full slate of games, highlighted by Cedar Shoals visiting Flowery Branch and Winder-Barrow coming to Bobby Gruhn Field in Gainesville. The Falcons are still looking for their first win of the season but were in the same position a year ago and knocked off the Jaguars on the way to eight-straight wins to finish the regular season.

The Class AAAAA sixth-ranked Red Elephants are wanting to bounce back after a tough loss to Class AAA No. 1 Buford last week. Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson needs just 64 yards passing to become the first 10,000-yard passer in Georgia high school history. He is already the state's all-time leading passer.

The biggest non-region tilt on tap will be Class AAA sixth-ranked North Hall traveling to Class AA fourth-ranked and defending state champion Jefferson. The two teams played a thrilling game last year that saw the Dragons pull out a late victory at The Brickyard. It will be another classic contrast in styles as the Trojans employ a punishing wing-T offense and Jefferson will throw the ball early and often in its spread attack.

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.

Games listed in alphabetical order by visiting team

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Falcons Field, Flowery Branch
-- RADIO: 550 AM
-- CEDAR SHOALS (0-2, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost to Elbert County 27-19 last week.
-- FLOWERY BRANCH (0-2, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost to West Forsyth 35-21 last week.
-- HISTORY: Flowery Branch won the last meeting 45-27 last year in Athens. Flowery Branch leads the series 3-0, all coming in the last three seasons. Jaguars are 3-3 in their last six road games. Falcons have dropped their last two games at Falcons Field.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Leopard Stadium, Homer
-- COMMERCE (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-A): Defeated East Jackson 19-7 last week.
-- BANKS (0-2, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Lost to Athens Christian 38-7 last week.
-- HISTORY: Commerce won the last meeting 28-14 last year in Commerce. The Tigers lead the series 25-2 and have won 10 straight going back to 1993. The Leopards' only two wins in the series have come in Homer in 1990 and 1992.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: East Jackson Stadium, Commerce
-- EAST HALL (1-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated Chattooga 48-12 last week on the road.
-- EAST JACKSON (1-1, 0-0, Region 8-AAA): Lost 19-7 to Commerce last week.
-- HISTORY: East Hall won the only meeting between the two schools 50-20 last year. East Hall leads the series 1-0.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: White County Stadium, Cleveland
-- RADIO: 1350 AM,
-- FANNIN (1-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated Union County 43-35 last week.
-- WHITE (2-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated Lumpkin County 31-0 last week.
-- HISTORY: White County won the last meeting 35-28 last year in Blue Ridge. The Warriors lead the series 16-9. White County has won five of the last eight meetings, including three of the last four at home in the series.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tiger Stadium, Dawsonville
-- FORSYTH CENTRAL (0-2, 0-0 Region 7-AAAAA): Lost to South Forsyth 38-10 last week.
-- DAWSON (2-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Lost to North Forsyth 31-0 last week.
-- HISTORY: Dawson County won the last meeting 48-29 last week. The Bulldogs lead the series 6-4.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Maginnis Field, Gainesville
-- GEORGIA MILITARY (1-1, 1-0 Region 7-A): Defeated Glascock County 28-7 last week in Region 7-A action.
-- RIVERSIDE (0-1, 0-0 Region 8-AA): Lost to Whitefield Academy 26-24 last week.
-- HISTORY: Georgia Military won the last meeting 24-0 last year. Riverside leads the series 14-10-3 going back to 1911.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Fahring Field, Suwanee
-- HABERSHAM (0-2, 0-0 Region 7-AAAAAA): Lost to Stephens County 49-14 last week.
-- COLLINS HILL (2-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAAAAA): Defeated Dacula 21-13 last week.
-- HISTORY: Collins Hill won the last meeting 52-0 last year. Habersham leads the series 2-1.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford
-- HANCOCK (2-0, 0-0 Region 7-A): Defeated East Laurens 38-6 last week.
-- BUFORD (2-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated Gainesville 38-14 last week. The Wolves are ranked No. 1 in Class AAA.
-- HISTORY: Buford won the last meeting 43-0 last year. The Wolves lead the series 1-0.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: The Reservation, Toccoa
-- HART (2-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAA): Defeated Blessed Trinity 28-16 last week.
-- STEPHENS (2-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAAA): Defeated Habersham Central 49-14 last week.
-- HISTORY: Stephens County won the last meeting 49-39 last year. The Indians lead the series 34-17-1 and have won three straight and nine of the last 10 meetings overall.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Eagle Field, Athens
-- JACKSON COUNTY (0-2, 0-0 Region 8-AAA): Lost to Jefferson 49-0 last week.
-- ATHENS CHRISTIAN (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-A): Defeated Banks County 38-7 last week.
-- HISTORY: Jackson County won the only meeting between the two schools 39-21 last year. Jackson County leads the series 1-0.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Chatsworth
-- JOHNSON (1-2, playing a non-region schedule): Lost to North Hall 63-6 last week.
-- NORTH MURRAY (0-2, 0-0 Region 5-AAA): Lost to dade County 30-26 last week.
-- HISTORY: North Murray won the only meeting between the two schools 27-13 last year. The Mountaineers lead the series 1-0.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Ed Bryant Stadium, Carnesville
-- LANIER (2-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAAA): Defeated Oconee County 24-7 last week.
-- FRANKLIN (0-2, 0-0 Region 8-AAA): Lost to Madison County 28-14 last week.
-- HISTORY: Lanier won 23-0 in the only meeting between the two schools last year. Lanier leads series 1-0.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Mountain View Stadium, Lawrenceville
-- MILL CREEK (2-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAAAAA): Defeated Brookwood 44-10 last week. The Hawks are ranked No. 8 in Class AAAAAA.
-- MOUNTAIN VIEW (0-2, 0-0 Region 7-AAAAAA): Lost to Pebblebrook 17-13 last week.
-- HISTORY: Mill Creek won the last meeting 49-0 last year. The Hawks lead the serie 2-1.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tommy Baker Field, Canton
-- NORTH FORSYTH (2-0, 0-0 Region 6-AAAAAA): Defeated Dawson County 31-0 last week.
-- CHEROKEE (2-0, 0-0 Region 5-AAAAAA): Defeated Sequoyah 34-14 last week.
-- HISTORY: North Forsyth won the last meeting 28-12 last year. The Raiders lead the series 2-1.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Norcross Stadium, Norcross
-- NORTH GWINNETT (2-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAAAAA): Defeated Grayson 35-0 last week. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA.
-- NORCROSS (1-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAAAAA): Defeated Parkview 21-7 last week.
-- HISTORY: Norcross won the last meeting 31-21 last year. Norcross leads the series 11-7 but the Bulldogs have won five of the last eight meetings. The road team has won five of the last nine meetings, including the past two seasons.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Jefferson
-- RADIO: 102.9 FM
-- NORTH HALL (2-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated Johnson 63-6 last week. The Trojans are ranked No. 6 in Class AAA.
-- JEFFERSON (2-0, 0-0 Region 8-AA): Defeated Jackson County 49-0 last week. The Dragons are ranked No. 4 in Class AA.
-- HISTORY: Jefferson won the last meeting 27-21 last year. Jefferson leads the series 9-2 and has won two straight in the series.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Frank McClure Stadium, Hiawassee
-- RABUN (1-0, 0-0 Region 8-AA): Defeated Hayesville, (N.C.) 55-7 last week.
-- TOWNS (0-3, playing non-regon schedule): Lost to Fellowship Christian 49-14 last week.
-- HISTORY: Rabun won last meeting 45-7 last year. The Wildcats lead the series 12-1. The only Towns County win in the series was in 2008 in Hiawassee.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- UNION (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-AA):
-- ANDREWS (0-3): Lost to Rabun Gap 38-20 last week.
-- HISTORY: Union County won the last meeting 40-14 last year. Union County leads the series 11-1-1.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: The Burial Grounds, Dahlonega
-- WEST HALL (1-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Lost to Chestatee 15-14 last week.
-- LUMPKIN (0-2, 0-0 Region 8-AAAA): Lost to White County 31-0 last week.
-- HISTORY: West Hall won the last meeting 27-11 last year. The Spartans lead the series 7-5 but last year's win snapped a four-game losing streak for West Hall in the series.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Bobby Gruhn Field, Gainesville
-- RADIO: 1240 AM
-- WINDER (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost to Class AAAA No. 7 Monroe Area 40-14 last week.
-- GAINESVILLE (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost 38-14 to Class AAA No. 1 Buford last week. The Red Elephants are ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAA.
-- HISTORY: Gainesville won the last meeting 69-0 last year. Gainesville leads the series 25-5-1 but last year's game was the first in the series since 1993.
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