Region play got underway for several northeast Georgia teams and two programs started their 2020 playoff quests in positive fashion Friday night.
Gainesville opened its Region 6-7A schedule with a wild 33-28 win over Forsyth Central on the road. The Red Elephants let a 28-14 lead slip away but they got a 30-yard field goal and a safety on the final play to survive.
And Jackson County opened Region 8-5A play with an impressive 20-0 win over Walnut Grove at home. The Panthers defense also put in a dominant effort limiting the Warriors to less than 100 total yards. But Johnson's Region 8-5A opener did not fare as well as the Knights lost 47-7 to Eastside at home.
Meanwhile, Cherokee Bluff stayed unbeaten with a 42-0 win over Lakeside-DeKalb and Class 4A No. 2-ranked Jefferson also stayed perfect on the season taking a dramatic 26-19 win over Hart County on the road with a touchdown with just 20 seconds left.
North Hall earned its first win of the season knocking off arch-rival Chestatee 48-28. Both teams came in winless and battling injuries and COVID-19 issues.
Flowery Branch won its third straight game with a solid 34-7 road win over Hiram. East Hall's Air Raid attack was too much for East Jackson but the Vikings defense continued to show improvement as they knocked off the Eagles 49-34 in Commerce.
Habersham Central could not win its second straight over arch-rival Stephens County giving up 20 straight points in the second half to fall 27-12 at The Reservation. The Raiders still have not won two straight over the Indians since 1990. Lakeview Academy won its second straight game knocking off old Region 8-A foe Towns County 31-12 in Gainesville.
Union County stunned Class 4A Pickens 28-14 but Banks County lost 49-13 to Fannin County and Lumpkin County fell 35-7 to St. Francis on Friday night. Lanier Christian beat Fideles Christian 32-6 in 8-man football.
You can check AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night page for game stories and video highlights.
OCTOBER 2 SCORES
Cherokee Bluff 42, Lakeside-Dekalb 0
Eastside 47, Johnson 7*
East Hall 49, East Jackson 27
Fannin County 49, Banks County 13
Flowery Branch 34, Hiram 7
Gainesville 33, Forsyth Central 28*
Jackson County 20, Walnut Grove 0*
Jefferson 26, Hart County 19
Lakeview Academy 31, Towns County 12
Lanier Christian 32, Fideles Christian 6
North Hall 48, Chestatee 28
St. Francis 35, Lumpkin County 7
Stephens County 27, Habersham Central 12
Union County 28, Pickens 14
OCTOBER 9 SCHEDULE
Cedar Shoals at East Hall *
Central Gwinnett at Buford*
Commerce at Mount Paran Christian
Coosa at Lakeview Academy
Gilmer at Cherokee Bluff*
Habersham Central at Winder-Barrow*
Haralson County at Banks County
Hillgrove at Gainesville
Jackson County at Clarke Central*
Jefferson at Flowery Branch*
Johnson at Loganville*
North Hall at West Hall*
Rabun County at East Jackson
White County at Dawson County*
Woodland-Cartersville at Union County
(* -- denotes region game)