clearn.png
Wednesday November 20th, 2019 11:02PM

ICYMI: Week 12 caps: Final playoff slots, region titles on the line in season finales

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

With the final week of the regular season finally here, the final push for playoff spots is also here for northeast Georgia area teams.

Eight area teams already have qualified for the playoffs with two more still alive for the postseason. Three teams are still alive for region titles.

Only five of the 16 games on tap this week will have playoff implications but several teams are looking to finish on a strong note as they look ahead to the 2020 season.

For those that are looking for region titles, Buford takes on Clarke Central in Athens with the Region 8-5A crown on the line. The Wolves have won three consecutive 8-5A titles and six straight region crowns overall. The Gladiators have not won a region title since 2011.

In Blairsville, Union County will play host to Rabun County with the  Region 8-2A title up for grabs. It is a winner-take-all with the loser finishing as the No. 2 seed. The Wildcats are looking for their sixth consecutive 8-2A crown while the Panthers are looking for their first region title of any kind since 1973.

Meanwhile, Johnson takes on Loganville on the road looking for its first playoff spot since 2004 in a winner-take-all battle for the final playoff spot in Region 8-5A.

Riverside Military Academy takes on Providence Christian in a Region 8-A crossover game needing a win and a lot of help as the Eagles try to crack back into the top 24 in the Class A Private power rankings. The Eagles sit in the 27th position but are just .26 points out of the final spot.

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

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE FOR Nov. 8
(Games listed in alphabetical order of visiting team)
ATHENS CHRISTIAN at TOWNS COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Frank McClure Stadium, Hiawassee
-- ATHENS CHRISTIAN (3-6, 1-3 Region 8-A South): Defeated Providence Christian 47-26 last week
-- TOWNS COUNTY (0-9, 0-4 Region 8-A North): Lost 41-0 to Lakeview Academy last week
-- NOTABLE: Athens Christian leads series 11-1. Towns County won 28-27 in 2017 in Hiawassee. ... Neither team has a realistic chance of cracking the top 24 in the power rankings for a playoff berth. The Eagles sit 30th in Private and the Indians are 43rd in Public. ... Defense has been the issue for both teams. Towns has allowed the most points in Class A (483, 53.7 ppg) while the Eagles have given up the 11th most in Class A (338, 37.5 ppg). ... The Indians are looking to avoid their first winless season since 2007.

BANKS COUNTY at ELBERT COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: The Granite Bowl, Elberton
-- BANKS COUNTY (3-6, 2-4 Region 8-2A): Lost 28-0 to Monticello last week
-- ELBERT COUNTY (5-4, 4-2 Region 8-2A): Defeated Putnam County 56-7 last week
-- NOTABLE: Elbert County leads series 2-1. The Blue Devils won 41-0 in 2018. ... The last two years this game helped decide a playoff spot. That will not be the case in 2019. Elbert County already is in, while Banks County was eliminated last week. ... Defense is the key for Elbert County. The Blue Devils are 5-0 when giving up less than 19 points and 0-4 when allowing more than 19 points. ... However, Banks County has struggled most of the season on offense scoring 13 or less seven times, been shut out three times, and is averaging just 15.3 ppg. Defensively the Leopards have been solid surrendering just 21.2 ppg in an offensive-minded region.

BLESSED TRINITY at WHITE COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: White County Stadium, Cleveland
-- RADIO: www.wrwh.com 
-- BLESSED TRINITY (8-1, 5-0 Region 7-4A): Ranked No. 4 in Class 4A; defeated No. 1 Marist 33-30 in OT last week
-- WHITE COUNTY (5-4, 2-3Region 7-4A): Defeated Chestatee 34-14 last week
-- NOTABLE: Blessed Trinity leads series 7-0. The Titans won 42-7 in 2018 in Roswell. ... Nothing will be decided in this one as Blessed Trinity captured the region title with last week’s victory. White County was essentially eliminated two weeks ago with its tough loss to Denmark. ... The Warriors have been a tough matchup for the top-tier teams in the region. They played Marist tough into the fourth quarter and were driving for a tying score against the Danes until a late interception. ... Offense may be the key matchup for the Warriors, who are averaging 30.5 ppg behind Jr. QB J. Ben Haynes. The Titans have yielded 16.4 ppg on defense.

BUFORD at CLARKE CENTRAL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Billy Henderson Stadium, Athens
-- BUFORD (9-0, 4-0 Region 8-5A): Ranked No. 1 in Class 5A; defeated Walnut Grove 49-0 last week
-- CLARKE CENTRAL (6-3, 3-1 Region 8-5A): Defeated Johnson 48-14 last week
-- NOTABLE: Buford leads series 3-0. The Wolves won 45-3 in 2018 in Buford. ... There are several scenarios that could shape how Region 8-5A finishes depending on this one. Foremost, this one will decide the region title. The winner takes the No. 1 seed. Buford can finish no worse than No. 2. ... A Buford win could throw the Gladiators into a 3-way tie with Loganville and Cedar Shoals, depending on their games on Friday. If all three finish tied, Loganville would be 2nd, Clarke Central 3rd, and Cedar Shoals 4th. ... However, a Johnson win over Loganville would knock the Red Devils out and the Gladiators then would finish no worse than 2nd. If the Glads and Loganville both lose and the Jaguars win then Glads take 2nd, Cedar is 3rd, Johnson 4th.

DAWSON COUNTY at NORTH HALL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: The Brickyard, Gainesville
-- RADIO: WDUN FM 102.9
-- DAWSON COUNTY (7-2, 4-1 Region 7-3A): Defeated Cherokee Bluff 52-9 last week
-- NORTH HALL (6-3, 4-1 Region 7-3A): Defeated East Hall 44-6 last week
-- NOTABLE: Dawson County leads series 3-2. The Tigers won 17-10 in 2018 in Dawsonville. Dawson County has won three straight in the series. The last North Hall win came in 2013, 51-6, at The Brickyard. ... For the second consecutive season this one will decide the No. 2 seed in 7-3A. The loser will be the No. 3 seed. ... Great matchups all over the field. The Dawson County offense (337, 37.4 ppg) is 6th in Class 3A but the Trojans defense has allowed just 15.2 ppg on the season. ... The North Hall offense (292, 32.4 ppg) is 12th in 3A while the Tigers defense is yielding just 18.1 ppg. ... But the Tigers have scored a region-high 207 points (41.7 ppg) in region play while North Hall has given up just 65 points (13.0 ppg) in region play.

FLOWERY BRANCH at DENMARK
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Denmark Stadium, Alpharetta
-- RADIO: WDUN AM 550
-- FLOWERY BRANCH (7-2, 3-2 Region 7-4A): Ranked No. 8 in Class 4A; defeated West Hall 44-0 last week
-- DENMARK (6-2, 3-2 Region 7-4A): Off last week; defeated White County 28-21 two weeks ago
-- NOTABLE: Flowery Branch leads series 1-0. The Falcons won 28-19 in 2018 in Flowery Branch. ... Both teams already have punched playoff tickets, which is a program-first for the Danes in just their second season. This winner of this one will be the No. 3 seed. The loser will take the No. 4 seed. ... The big matchup will be a Denmark offense that is 12th in Class 4A (310, 34.4 ppg) vs. a Falcons defense that is tied for 3rd in defense in Class 4A (95, 10.5 ppg) and allowed the fewest points in region play (74, 14.8 ppg). ... The Falcons offense will have a challenge against a Danes defense that is 6th in Class 4A (102, 11.3 ppg) and is allowing 15.6 ppg in region play. But the Branch offense is churning out 237 yards rushing a game behind Jaizen Ellington, who has 818 yards and 14 TDs on the season.

GEORGE WALTON at COMMERCE
-- WHEN: 8 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Tiger Stadium, Commerce
-- GEORGE WALTON (6-3, 2-2 Region 8-A South): Lost 41-13 to Prince Avenue last week
-- COMMERCE (7-2, 3-1 Region 8-A North): Ranked No. 6 in Class A Public; defeated Riverside Military 52-21 last week
-- NOTABLE: Commerce leads series 5-3. The Tigers won 24-13 in 2017 in Monroe. ... Commerce has won five straight in the series. The last George Walton win came in 2012, 26-14, in Monroe. ... Commerce is 3-1 all-time at home vs. the Bulldogs. ... Both teams are probably a lock for the playoffs. But a Commerce win could vault the Tigers, who sit in 11th just .77 behinds the No. 8 spot, into the top 8 in Class A Public. The Bulldogs are in 20th in Private but are 1.53 points ahead of the No. 24 team. ... The five straight wins for the Tigers have all come with Michael Brown as coach. Defense has been the key. They have held George Walton to just 49 total points (9.8 ppg). The Bulldogs have averaged right at 30 ppg against everyone else over that span. ... Commerce rushed for 478 yards last week with Sam Roach (102) and Tyelon Brock (101) each eclipsing the 100-yard mark. 

HABERSHAM CENTRAL at APALACHEE
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: R. Harold Harrison Stadium, Bethlehem
-- HABERSHAM CENTRAL (3-6, 0-4 Region 8-6A): Lost 41-40 to Winder-Barrow last week
-- APALACHEE (2-7, 0-4 Region 8-6A): Lot 51-21 to Gainesville last week
-- NOTABLE: Habersham Central leads series 4-3. The Raiders won 28-21 in 2018 in Mt. Airy. Habersham has won four straight in the series. ... Both teams were eliminated from the playoffs last week, the Raiders in heartbreaking fashion as they had a game-tying extra point blocked in the final minute. ... Both offenses have struggled in region play and both defenses have surrendered over 40 ppg. Habersham has scored 219 points (24.3 ppg) while the Wildcats have scored just 128 points (14.2 ppg). The Raiders have given 292 points (32.3 ppg) and Apalachee has allowed 260 points (28.8 ppg). ... The winner will avoid finishing last place in the region.

JACKSON COUNTY at EAST JACKSON
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Eagle Stadium, Commerce
-- JACKSON COUNTY (2-7, 0-5 Region 8-3A): Lost 55-0 to Jefferson last week
-- EAST JACKSON (3-6, 0-5 Region 8-3A): Lost 45-31 to Morgan County last week
-- NOTABLE: Jackson County leads series 6-3. The Panthers won 55-14 in 2018. ... Both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs and both teams currently are riding 6-game losing streaks. ... The Eagles have a chance to match their best season since their only playoff season in 2009. They last won four games in a season in 2016. ... The key matchup may be the Jackson offense, which has scored the 7th-fewest points in Class 3A (98, 10.8 ppg), against an Eagles defense that has allowed the 12th-most points in 3A (318, 35.3 ppg). ... Last week Jefferson held Jackson County to 47 total yards and intercepted four passes, including 2 pick-6s. ... Last week the Eagles had their 2nd-best offensive output of the season against a Morgan County defense that had allowed just 22 ppg on the season.

JOHNSON at LOGANVILLE
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Red Devil Stadium, Loganville
-- JOHNSON (4-5, 1-3 Region 8-5A): Lost 48-14 to Clarke Central last week
-- LOGANVILLE (2-7, 2-2 Region 8-5A): Lost 14-7 to Cedar Shoals last week
-- NOTABLE: Loganville leads series 7-2. The Red Devils won 27-10 in 2018 in Oakwood. Loganville has won all three meetings since the series resumed in 2016 and has won 6 straight going back to 1997. The last Johnson win was in 1996, 27-10 in Oakwood. ... It’s pretty simple for both teams: the winner takes the No. 4 seed, the loser is out. Johnson is looking for its first playoff spot in 15 years. ... The Knights have been plagued by turnovers in their losses. They had 5 in last weeks loss, not including a blocked punt and a botched fake punt attempt that gave the Glads short fields and turned into 24 points. ... The Johnson defense could be the key. They are allowing 29.7 ppg but Loganville is averaging just 18.7 ppg. The Knights only gave up two long drives against the Gladiators. 

LANIER at GAINESVILLE
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: City Park Stadium, Gainesville
-- RADIO: 94.5 FM The Lake 
-- LANIER (8-1, 3-1 Region 8-6A): Ranked No. 5 in Class 6A; lost 34-10 to No. 1 Dacula last week
-- GAINESVILLE (5-4, 3-1 Region 8-6A): Defeated Apalachee 51-21 last week
-- NOTABLE: Lanier leads series 5-0. The Longhorns won 6-2 in 2018 in Sugar Hill. The series has been close despite the Longhorns dominating the series producing three games that were decided a touchdown or less. ... A lot is riding on this one as the winner takes the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game. The loser will be the No. 3 seed and have to hit the road. ... The key matchup will be a GHS offense that has pounded out over 1,000 yards rushing during a current 3-game win streak against a Lanier defense that is allowing just over a 100 yards rushing a game on the season. The Longhorns remain one of the best defensive units in Class 6A giving up just 128 points (14.2 ppg) which is 8th-best in the classification. ... The Red Elephants defense has faced some of the state’s best offenses this season and has allowed 31.5 ppg over their past 6 games. ... Lanier’s Taj Barnes, a 1,000-yard rusher, was held to 57 yards on 24 carries vs. Dacula. The Longhorns are averaging 29.7 ppg on the season.

LUMPKIN COUNTY at EAST HALL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: East Hall Stadium, Rabbittown
-- LUMPKIN COUNTY (1-8, 0-5 Region 7-3A): Lost 35-14 to Fannin County last week
-- EAST HALL (1-8, 0-5 Region 7-3A): Lost 44-6 to North Hall last week
-- NOTABLE: East Hall leads series 23-7-1. The Vikings won 32-31 in 2018 in Dahlonega. East Hall has won 3 of the last 4 overall. Three of the last 5 games have been decided by 3 points or less. ... Both teams have been eliminated for the playoffs and now are fighting to stay out of finishing last in the region. ... The Vikings already have posted their fewest losses since finishing 1-9 in 2009. The Indians already will finish with their 8th straight losing season overall, including the playoff season of 2014. ... Despite both offenses struggling this season, expect some points to be scored. The East Hall defense has allowed the 3rd-most points in Class 3A (396, 44.0 ppg) while the Indians have given up the 6th-most points in 3A (359, 39.8 ppg).

PRINCE AVENUE CHRISTIAN at LAKEVIEW ACADEMY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Jock Horner Stadium, Gainesville
-- PRINCE AVENUE CHRISTIAN (7-2, 3-1 Region 8-A South): Defeated George Walton 41-13 last week
-- LAKEVIEW ACADEMY (2-6, 2-2 Region 8-A North): Defeated Towns County 41-0 last week
-- NOTABLE: Prince Avenue leads series 10-0. The Wolverines won 55-0 in Week 8, two weeks ago. ... Prince Avenue is a lock for a playoff spot and is battling for a top 8 seed in Class A Private currently sitting 9th. Lakeview is 33rd in Private but is only 1.56 out of the No. 24 spot and an upset could give them an outside shot. ... However, it has not been a good matchup for the Lions. Prince Avenue has averaged 49.0 ppg in the series and given up just 60 total points. ... Brock Vandagriff, one of the nation’s top QB prospects, was 20-of-27 passing for 338 yards and 4 TDs for the Wolverines.

PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN at RIVERSIDE MILITARY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Maginnis Field, Gainesville
-- PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN (2-7, 0-4 Region 8-A South): Lost 47-26 to Athens Christian last week
-- RIVERSIDE MILITARY (4-5, 1-3 Region 8-A North): Lost 52-21 to Commerce last week
-- NOTABLE: Riverside leads series 3-1. The Eagles won 37-5 in Week 6 at home. RMA has won two straight in the series.. ... Despite a 3-game losing streak, Riverside still has plenty to play for. The Eagles sit 28th in the Private power rankings but are just .26 points out of the final playoff spot. They will need a win and get some help with four teams to potentially have to jump over. ... Providence is 35th out of 37 teams in the power rankings. ... Riverside is the 5th-highest scoring team in 8-A but the defense has struggling during the losing streak allowing 122 points (40.6 ppg) after yielding just 24.1 ppg in its first 6 games. ... The Storm is giving up 34.7 ppg on the season. ... Providence is 0-3 on the road in 2019 but was 3-2 on the road in 2018. Riverside is just 1-3 at home this season

RABUN COUNTY at UNION COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Blairsville
-- RABUN COUNTY (9-0, 6-0 Region 8-2A): Ranked No. 5 in Class 2A; defeated Oglethorpe County 49-0 last week
-- UNION COUNTY (9-0, 6-0 Region 8-2A): Ranked No. 8 in Class 2A; defeated Social Circle 41-6 last week
-- NOTABLE: Rabun County leads series 36-16. The Wildcats won 56-28 in 2018 in Tiger and have won five straight. Union County won five straight from 2007-11. ... Union County coach Brian Allison has more wins against Rabun County than any other Panthers coach (6-7 record). ... This one is for all the marbles in Region 8-2A. The winner will claim the title while the loser will be the No. 2 seed. ... It will be a showdown of two of the state’s best QBs. Rabun So. Gunner Stockton (35 TDs, 4 INT) is in or near the top 5 in the state with 2,399 yards passing, which leads Class 2A. Panthers’ Sr. Pierson Allison (26 TDs, 2 INT) is right behind with 2,361 yards, which is 2nd in Class 2A. ... The offenses follow their lead. Rabun County is 2nd in Class 2A in scoring at 48.2 ppg and the Panthers are 3rd at 44.6 ppg. The Wildcats have scored 44 or more in seven straight games while Union County has a 74 and a 60 point output already this season. ... But it may be the defenses that decide this one. Rabun is yielding just 12.0 ppg while the Panthers are giving up just 14.8 ppg. The Wildcats have produced 18 takeaways, including 11 INTs, for a plus-12 ratio. The Panthers have snagged 19 takeaways, including 13 INTs, for a plus-13 ratio.

WEST HALL at CHESTATEE
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: War Eagle Stadium, Gainesville
-- WEST HALL (0-9, 0-5 Region 7-4A): Lost 44-0 to Flowery Branch last week
-- CHESTATEE (1-8, 0-5 Region 7-4A): Lost 34-14  to White County last week
-- NOTABLE: West Hall leads series 9-6. The Spartans won 62-19 in 2018 in Oakwood. The Spartans have won five straight in the series. The last Chestatee win came in 2013. ... Both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs and both have struggled most of the season. West Hall has scored the 2nd-fewest points (64, 7.1 ppg) and given up the 2nd-most points (392, 43.5 ppg) in Class 4A on the season. Chestatee has been better on offense averaging 18.7 ppg but has allowed the 3rd-most points in 4A (386, 42.7 ppg) on defense. ... War Eagles’ QB Christian Charles and WR Seth Pressley still are among the state leaders in passing and receiving.

© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Week 12 caps: Final playoff slots, region titles on the line in season finales
With the final week of the regular season finally here, the final push for playoff spots is also here for northeast Georgia area teams...
8:04AM ( 7 seconds ago )
One race left to decide who makes the Championship 4
Kevin Harvick’s victory Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway not only earned him a guaranteed position among the Championship 4 drivers to challenge for the...
6:00AM ( 2 hours ago )
Rabun, Union ready again for seemingly annual region title battle
Rabun County coach Jaybo Shaw and Union County coach Brian Allison have probably broken bread together before. They’re probably friends off the field. But every time this year, there are no niceties. No socializing. It’s all about one thing: beating the other...
8:04AM ( 1 day ago )
Sports
Gaining the Edge: Brooks churning out yards and TDs for Gainesville
JD Brooks has become a leader out of the Gainesville backfield.
9:00AM ( 1 day ago )
Key season-finale region showdowns highlight FGN on Jacobs Media airwaves
The Jacobs Media family of stations on Friday night will have three big matchups on air, and streaming, on the final week of the prep football regular season...
8:04AM ( 2 days ago )
5 Things: What we learned from Week 11 of high school football
While most of Week 11's action featured blowouts, there were some heavy playoff implications to the results
7:30AM ( 3 days ago )
High School Sports
Stockton leads Rabun to rout of Oglethorpe
Rabun County made sure nothing would keep it from a date with Union County next week for the Region 8-2A title...
11:17PM ( 5 days ago )
Commerce ground game too much for Riverside in 52-21 loss
Despite putting up 417 total yards of offense, Riverside couldn't stop the Commerce rushing attack, falling 52-21 at Maginnis Field on Friday.
11:14PM ( 5 days ago )
Dawson blows past Cherokee Bluff, 52-9
Dawson County put on an offensive show in a 52-9 blowout win over Cherokee Bluff Friday night at Bears Stadium.
10:58PM ( 5 days ago )
Friday Game Night
Area football region standings
Updated
By AccessWDUN Staff
7:00AM ( 1 month from now )
GSWA latest high school rankings
Updated
By AccessWDUN Staff
7:00AM ( 1 month from now )
Rabun, Union ready again for seemingly annual region title battle
Rabun County coach Jaybo Shaw and Union County coach Brian Allison have probably broken bread together before. They’re probably friends off the field. But every time this year, there are no niceties. No socializing. It’s all about one thing: beating the other...
8:04AM ( 1 day ago )
Key season-finale region showdowns highlight FGN on Jacobs Media airwaves
The Jacobs Media family of stations on Friday night will have three big matchups on air, and streaming, on the final week of the prep football regular season...
8:04AM ( 2 days ago )
5 Things: What we learned from Week 11 of high school football
While most of Week 11's action featured blowouts, there were some heavy playoff implications to the results
7:30AM ( 3 days ago )