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ICYMI: Week 11 caps: A dozen teams still alive for playoff berths around the area

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

More than a dozen playoff spots are still up for grabs around the northeast Georgia area as the regular season of the high school football season rolls into its next-to-lst week Friday night.

Only one region champion has been decided in the seven northeast Georgia regions in the AccessWDUN coverage area -- Jefferson in Region 8-3A.

Meanwhile, with 16 games scheduled on Friday night, half-a-dozen dozen teams can set themselves up for a shot at region titles next week while another half-dozen can stay alive or clinch playoff berths.

For a look at all of the weekend's contests involving area teams, simply scroll down. And be sure to check back with AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night throughout Friday and Saturday 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 of visiting team)
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: City Park Stadium, Gainesville
-- RADIO: 94.5 FM The Lake
-- APALACHEE (2-6, 0-3 Region 8-6A): Lost 43-13 to No. 5 Lanier last week
-- GAINESVILLE (4-4, 2-1 Region 8-6A): Defeated Winder-Barrow 38-29 last week
-- NOTABLE: Gainesville leads series 7-0. The Red Elephants won 7-6 in 2018 in Bethlehem. Last year’s game marked the only one in the series decided by less than 23 points. ... No team is out of the playoff race in 8-6A but Gainesville can clinch a spot and knock the Wildcats out at the same time with a win. But the Wildcats can still make the playoffs if they win out over the final two weeks. ... GHS is riding high with a 2-game win streak while Apalachee is on a 3-game losing streak. But last year’s game came down to the final play and the Wildcats are sure to throw the kitchen sink at the Red Elephants. ... Both teams are in the bottom-third in defense. GHS is 42nd (217 points, 27.1 ppg) out of 58 6A teams while the Wildcats sit 40th (207, 25.8 ppg). But GHS is near the top-third in 6A on offense (210, 26.2 ppg) and Apalachee is near the bottom in 53rd (107, 13.3 ppg) in 6A. ... The Red Elephants ground game has begun to find its groove averaging over 300 yards the two weeks and averaging 43 ppg during the win streak.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Warriors Stadium, Walnut Grove
-- BUFORD (8-0, 3-0 Region 8-5A): Ranked No. 1 in Class 5A; off last week; defeated Loganville 30-7 two weeks ago 
-- WALNUT GROVE (0-8, 0-3 Region 8-5A): Off last week; lost 56-3 to Clarke Central two weeks ago
-- NOTABLE: Buford leads series 3-0. The Wolves won 61-0 in 2018 in Buford. ... The Wolves are 20-0 in 8-5A play since joining the region in 2016. ... Buford can clinch at least a top-two spot in the region with a win and can clinch the region title outright with a win and a Clarke Central loss to Johnson. However, wins by Buford and Clarke Central on Friday would set up a showdown for the region title next week in Athens. ... Buford is in the top 10 in both offense and defense in Class 5A. Walnut Grove has allowed the 2nd-most points (315, 39.3 ppg) and scored the 3rd-fewest points (58, 7.2 ppg)  in 5A.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium, Oakwood
-- CLARKE CENTRAL (5-3, 2-1 Region 8-5A): Off last week; defeated Walnut Grove 56-3 two weeks ago
-- JOHNSON (4-4, 1-2 Region 8-5A): Off last week; lost 26-21 to Cedar Shoals two weeks ago
-- NOTABLE: Clarke Central leads series 19-1-1. The Gladiators won 55-3 in 2018 in Athens. Johnson won the very first meeting 23-12 in 1972. Clarke has 18 straight going back to 1975 with only one game being decided by 7 points or less. ... The series has not been kind to the Knights but they have shown they are ready to be competitive in a tough region. They took the Jaguars down to the wire two weeks ago. ... The key will be if the Knights can get their ground game going behind Jack Luttrell and Nolan Bulloch against a Gladiators defense that has struggled at times. The Gladiators have allowed 36 or more points four times this season, the most such games in any one season since the 1947 team did it four times when the school was the Athens Trojans.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Maginnis Field, Gainesville
-- COMMERCE (6-2, 2-1 Region 8-A North): Ranked No. 7 in Class A-Public; defeated Towns County 56-16 last week 
-- RIVERSIDE MILITARY (4-4, 1-2 Region 8-A North): Lost 49-21 to Hebron Christian last week
-- NOTABLE: Commerce leads series 4-2. Riverside won 20-19 in 2018 in Commerce. Last year’s win for the Eagles was their first in the series since 1944. ... It’s a big game for both teams as they try to finish high in the subregion for next week’s crossover game. But it’s a HUGE game for the Eagles, who currently find themselves on the outside-looking-in for a playoff spot. ... RMA has lost two straight and has dropped from a season-high 4th in the Class A Private power ratings early in the season to a season-low 27th after last week’s loss. They face an almost must-win this week, or next week against a projected rematch with No. 7 Prince Avenue, which beat them 70-27 earlier in the season. ... The Tigers, who sit 13th in Class A-Public, can still climb into the top 8 with a win this week and next in the crossover game. ... The key matchup may be the Commerce offense, which is averaging 39.3 ppg, against an RMA defense that has allowed 30.2 ppg over its last five games. ... The Eagles offense also has been slumping scoring just 42 points (21.5 ppg) the last two weeks after averaging 34.8 ppg over their first six games. Commerce is yielding just 16.3 ppg on the season.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Bears Stadium, Flowery Branch
-- DAWSON COUNTY (6-2, 3-1 Region 7-3A): Defeated Fannin County 51-7 last week
-- CHEROKEE BLUFF (3-6, 2-3 Region 7-3A): Lost 35-0 to No. 4 GAC last week
-- NOTABLE: Dawson County leads series 1-0. The Tigers won 41-7 in 2018 in Dawsonville. ... It is the season-finale for Cherokee Bluff. ... The Tigers haven’t officially clinched a playoff spot but would need a calamity of events to happen to not advance. A win over the Bears would clinch a spot and also set up a showdown with North Hall next week for the No. 2 spot in the region. ... The Bears, just in their second season, are still alive for a playoff spot but they must beat the Tigers and have Fannin County lose out to advance. ... The Dawson County offense has found its identity with So. QB Zach Holtzclaw, who has thrown for over 600 yards the last two games. They are averaging 34.8 ppg but have scored 45 or more in 3 of their last 4 games. The Bluff defense is much-improved. After giving up 42 ppg in 2018 they have allowed just 23.4 ppg in 2019. ... So. Bears RB Jayquan Smith is having a breakout season. He has 843 yards, over 500 coming in the past three weeks, with 4 100-yard games and 8 TDs.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: The Brickyard, Gainesville
-- RADIO: WDUN 102.9 RM
-- EAST HALL (1-7, 0-4 Region 7-3A): Off last week; lost 41-12 to Cherokee Bluff two weeks ago
-- NORTH HALL (5-3, 3-1 Region 7-3A): Defeated Lumpkin County 59-0 last week
-- NOTABLE: East Hall leads 33-21-1. The Trojans won 76-0 in 2018 in Rabbittown. North Hall has won 11 straight in the series. The last East Hall win came in 2001, 10-7. ... The Vikings have been eliminated from playoff contention but can play spoiler to their rivals. North Hall is still fighting for the No. 2 seed in the region and is also trying to continue momentum on a two-game win streak. The offense has found its groove scoring 97 points over the past two games while the defense has regained its swagger pitching back-to-back shutouts. ... East Hall again is struggling on defense giving up the 3rd-most in 3A (352, 44.0 ppg). North Hall is averaging 31.0 ppg. The Vikings’ Clete Cooper is still among the top 20 in the state in passing but the offense is averaging 18.3 ppg. The Trojans are yielding just 16.3 ppg on defense.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Jefferson
-- JACKSON COUNTY (2-6, 0-4 Region 8-3A): Lost 23-16 to Franklin County last week
-- JEFFERSON (7-1, 5-0 Region 8-3A): Ranked No. 7 in Class 3A; defeated Monroe Area 26-7 last week
-- NOTABLE: Jefferson leads series 9-0. The Dragons won 38-3 in 2018. ... It’s the regular-season finale for Jefferson ... There’s very little drama in this one. Jefferson clinched the region title last week while the Panthers were eliminated from the playoffs last week. ... The Dragons’ Colby Clark rushed for 232 yards and 3 TDs last week as part of 371 yards rushing as a team. ... Jefferson has won 6 straight and has surrendered 12 points or less in five of those games while averaging 40.8 ppg during the win streak. ... The Panthers have dropped 5 straight and been outscored 169-61 in that span.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Frank McClure Stadium, Hiawassee
-- LAKEVIEW ACADEMY (1-6, 1-2 Region 8-A North): Lost 55-0 to No. 7 Prince Avenue last week
-- TOWNS COUNTY (0-8, 0-3 Region 8-A North): Lost 56-16 to Commerce last week
-- NOTABLE: Lakeview Academy leads series 7-5. The Lions won 21-20 in 2018 in Gainesville. ... Despite last year’s loss, the Indians have won 4 of the last 6 in the series. Towns County is 3-0 in the last three meetings in Hiawassee. ... Both teams are virtually eliminated from any postseason play. Lakeview is 32nd in the Class A Private power ratings while Towns County is 39th in the Public ratings. ... It has been a tough year for first-year Towns coach Jason Roquemore as they try to avoid their first winless season since 2007. ... Both teams have struggled on offense with Lakeview scoring just 82 points (11.7 ppg) and Towns County just 81 points (10.1 ppg). But the Indians have given up the most points in Class A (440, 55.0 ppg). The Lions have yielded 43.1 ppg on the season.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Rebel Stadium, Blue Ridge
-- LUMPKIN COUNTY (1-7, 0-4 Region 7-3A): Lost 59-0 to North Hall last week
-- FANNIN COUNTY (5-3, 2-2 Region 7-3A): Lost 51-7 to Dawson County last week
-- NOTABLE: Fannin County leads series 14-5. The Rebels won 35-14 in 2018 in Dahlonega. The two teams have split the last four meetings. ... Lumpkin has been eliminated from the playoffs but like East Hall can play the spoiler role. Fannin County is battling for a playoff spot and possible seeding with Dawson County, North Hall, and Cherokee Bluff. One win by the Rebels would clinch a second straight playoff berth. ... The Fannin offense has struggled of late scoring just 7 total points the past two weeks after averaging 33.5 ppg over the first six weeks of the season. The Lumpkin defense, however, has allowed the 6th-most points (324, 40.5 ppg) in Class 3A. ... The Indians have lost four straight and have been outscored 198-20 in that span.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Leopard Stadium, Homer
-- MONTICELLO (1-7, 1-4 Region 8-2A): Lost 35-18 to Elbert County last week
-- BANKS COUNTY (3-5, 2-3 Region 8-2A): Lost 24-13 to Putnam County last week
-- NOTABLE: Monticello leads series 11-5. The Hurricanes won 36-33 in 2018 in Monticello. Banks County has won 2 of the last 3 in the series. ... This game last year decided the final playoff spot in 8-2A. This year, the Leopards are still alive while Monticello already has been eliminated. ... Banks County cannot afford a letdown and needs to win out to have a chance at the final spot. Both teams are averaging 17 ppg on offense but the Hurricanes defense has yielded 32.6 ppg while Banks County has given up just 20.3 ppg.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Eagles Stadium, Commerce
-- MORGAN COUNTY (6-2, 3-1 Region 8-3A): Off last week; lost 47-12 to Jefferson two weeks ago
-- EAST JACKSON (3-5, 0-4 Region 8-3A): Lost 49-0 to Hart County last week
-- NOTABLE: Morgan County leads 7-0. The Bulldogs won 45-0 in 2018 in Madison. ... The Eagles have lost five straight after opening the season with three straight wins. The averaged 31 ppg in their first three games but have scored just 34 points (6.8 ppg) during their losing streak. They have allowed 245 points (49.0 ppg) during their current losing streak. ... Offense has been the issue for the Bulldogs. In their two losses, they have scored just 18 points. In their six wins, they have averaged 30.5 ppg on offense.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Patriot Stadium, Lexington
-- RABUN COUNTY (8-0, 5-0 Region 8-2A): Ranked No. 5 in Class 2A; defeated Social Circle 61-20 last week
-- OGLETHORPE COUNTY (2-6, 1-4 Region 8-2A): Lost 43-0 to Union County last week
-- NOTABLE: Rabun County leads series 16-9. The Wildcats won 63-6 in 2018 in Tiger. Rabun has won 7 straight in the series. The last Patriots win came in 2010, 23-7 in Tiger. ... Rabun has won 14 straight road games going back to a quarterfinals loss to Fitzgerald in 2016.  ... In just over a half last week Rabun So. QB Gunner Stockton was passed for 186 yards and 6 TDs. RB Cory Keller rushed for 136 yards on 9 carries. ... It should be a favorable matchup for the Wildcats, who have the No. 1 offense in Class 2A (385, 48.1 ppg) while the Patriots are yielding 32.5 ppg on defense. ... Oglethorpe has scored just 96 points (12.0 ppg). Rabun is giving up 13.5 ppg on defense. 

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Redskins Field, Social Circle
-- UNION COUNTY (8-0, 5-0 Region 8-2A): Ranked No. 8 in Class 2A; defeated Oglethorpe County 43-0 last week
-- SOCIAL CIRCLE (2-6, 0-5 Region 8-2A): Lost 61-20 to Rabun County last week
-- NOTABLE: Union County leads series 5-2. The Panthers won 42-7 in 2018 in Blairsville. Union County has won five straight in the series. ... The Panthers are still on a collision course with Rabun County for a matchup next week for the Region 8-2A title. Social Circle already has been eliminated from the playoffs. ... Union County sits 5th in offense in Class 2A (361, 45.1 ppg) while the Redskins are 49th out of 59 Class 3A teams in defense (295, 36.8 ppg). ... Jr. RB Jonah Daniel has put together a monster season for the Panthers rushing for 1,126 yards and 11 TDs with 6 100-yard games. Sr. QB Pierson Allen and Sr. WR Sawyer Drake are among the top 10 in the state, all classifications, in passing and receiving yards.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Falcon Field, Flowery Branch
-- WEST HALL (0-8, 0-4 Region 7-4A): Off last week; lost 42-0 to White County last week
-- FLOWERY BRANCH (6-2, 2-2 Region 7-4A): Ranked No. 8 in Class 4A; lost 27-0 to No. 1 Marist last week
-- NOTABLE: Flowery Branch leads series 7-2. The Falcons won 27-7 in 2018. The Falcons have won 6 straight in the series. ... The brutal schedule for West Hall continues. The Falcons are the 6th ranked team in nine games. The Spartans already have been eliminated from the playoffs and will have nothing to lose as they try to play spoiler. The Falcons are coming off back-to-back losses but still are in line to finish third in the toughest region in the state. ... It’s a tough matchup for the Spartans are 53rd  out of 54 4A teams in scoring (64, 8.0 ppg) while the Falcons are 4th in defense allowing just 11.8 ppg on the season. ... The Branch is still averaging 28.1 ppg after last week’s shutout loss but West Hall is 52nd in defense allowing 43.5 ppg

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: War Eagle Stadium, Gainesville
-- WHITE COUNTY (4-4, 1-3 Region 7-4A): Lost 28-21 to Denmark last week
-- CHESTATEE (1-7, 0-4 Region 7-4A): Lost 59-15 to No. 4 Blessed Trinity last week
-- NOTABLE: White County leads series 12-3. The Warriors won 49-20 in 2018 in Cleveland. The Warriors have won two straight and 9 of the last 10 meetings. ... Both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs but the Warriors may be one of the best 4-4 teams in Class 4A. They played No. 1 Marist closer than anyone in the region and had a chance late last week to send the game with Denmark to overtime. ... Chestatee still has QB Christian Charles and WR Seth Pressley, who is in the top 5 in the state in receiving. But the War Eagles have been plagued by turnovers averaging just 19.3 ppg. ... White County is 3rd in the region in scoring (30.1 ppg) while Chestatee has continued to struggle on defense yielding the 2nd-most points in 4A (352, 44.0 ppg).

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Raider Stadium, Mt. Airy
-- WINDER-BARROW (2-6, 1-2 Region 8-6A): Lost 35-29 to Gainesville last week
-- HABERSHAM CENTRAL (3-5, 0-3 Region 8-6A): Lost 41-0 to No. 1 Dacula last week
-- NOTABLE: Habersham Central leads series 16-8. The Raiders won 34-17 in 2018 in Winder. Habersham has won 8 of the last 11 going back to 1997. ... The Bulldoggs won 40-28 in 2017 the last time the two played in Mt. Airy but the Raiders have won 5 of the last 6 at Raider Stadium in the series. ... Despite riding a 3-game losing streak Habersham is still very much alive for a playoff berth. If they win out they will grab the No. 4 spot. Winder still has No. 1 Dacula left and the Raiders finish against Apalachee. ... Defense has been the issue for Habersham of late. During the losing streak, they have given up 131 points (43.6 ppg) after allowing just 121 points (24.2 ppg) in their first five games. ... The Bulldoggs offense is averaging 23.2 ppg. They are 2-7 in their last 9 road games.

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