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Friday November 27th, 2020 5:37PM

FGN Week 8 wrap: Branch thriller highlights big night of region showdowns; Vikings take Saturday win

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

Friday night represented the first week where the entire schedule around the northeast Georgia area was comprised of region games (except for Rabun County, which played a Tennessee school in Chattanooga) and there were some huge results that will go a long way to determining some playoff implications.

None were bigger, however, than Flowery Branch's thrilling 42-35 win over North Oconee in double overtime in a crucial Region 8-4A showdown. The Class 4A No. 8-ranked Falcons got a stop on 4th-and-13 on the final play and Jaizen Ellingham scored four touchdowns in his first game back in nearly a month. Also in Region 8-4A, No. 2 Jefferson routed Cedar Shoals 49-0 behind Malaki Starks.

After a three-week layoff due to COVID issues, East Hall,jumped into Region 8-4A action and held off Chestatee 55-50 in a rare Saturday afternoon showdown at Valhalla.

Region 7-3A is beginning to take shape after three big matchups. Dawson County continued its strong play with a 35-0 victory over Gilmer, North Hall won its fourth straight game thumping Lumpkin County 33-10, and White County ended a two-game losing streak with a 35-0 shutout win over West Hall.

Jackson County won its second Region 8-5A contest with a 43-0 win over Johnson setting the Panthers up with a huge game next week against Loganville at home for a shot at second place in the region. They have not won more than two region games in a season since 2013.

In an unexpected defensive battle, Union County held off a late Banks County charge for a 19-7 win in both teams' Region 8-2A openers.

In Region 8-A Public, No. 4 Commerce scored the final 42 points in a 55-7 win over Towns County while in Region 6-A Private, Lakeview Academy beat King's Ridge 14-6 for its first region win of the season.

Habersham Central stayed closed early but eventually was worn down in a 50-14 loss to a physical Class 6A eighth-ranked Dacula squad. The Raiders trailed 13-7 at one point but the Falcons scored 30 unanswered points to blow it open.

In Region 8-3A, Monroe Area started fast and pulled away for a 42-13 win over East Jackson.

Rabun County, who was forced to drop Pacelli earlier in the week, found a late game against Columbia Academy (Tenn.) and took a 42-6 win in Chattanooga.

You can check AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night page for game stories and video highlights.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 23 SCORES
Commerce 55, Towns County 7*
Dacula 50, Habersham Central 14*
Dawson County 35, Gilmer 0*
Flowery Branch 42, North Oconee 35 2OT*
Jackson County 43, Johnson 0*
Jefferson 49, Cedar Shoals 0*
Lakeview 14, King’s Ridge 6*
North Hall 33, Lumpkin County 10*
Monroe Area 42, East Jackson 13*
Rabun County 42, Columbia Academy 6 (Tenn.)
Union County 19, Banks County 7*
White County 35, West Hall 0*

SATURDAY OCTOBER 24 SCORES
East Hall 55, Chestatee 50*

(* -- denotes region game)

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