Thursday February 25th, 2021 5:21AM

Bluff, North Hall, GHS highlight 1st round on Jacobs Media

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

To just get this far has been a monumental achievement for high school football teams. Now, the first round of the Georgia High School Association is actually upon us, and as usual, Jacobs Media's three radio stations and live streaming will be right alongside to give fans three big playoff games in the first round.

Cherokee Bluff did not get its undefeated regular season last week, but the Bears still won their frst-ever region title and will take the top seed from Region 7-3A into the opening round. It will be their first-ever playoff game in just their third season and they will play host to LaFayette, the No. 4 seed from Region 6-3A, at Bears Stadium on Friday night. You will be able to hear the action live on WDUN AM 550 (Click to listen live). Cherokee Bluff (9-1) has been one of the classifications best defensive teams and the offense, which is fourth in Class 3A (360, 36.0 ppg), has shown increasing balance with running back Jayquan Smith and quarterback Sebstain Irons. Wide receiver Shad Dabney has also taken on more of a role and gives the Bears a solid triple-threat. LaFayette (4-5) can counter with an offense that is 9th in Class 3A (307, 34.1 ppg).

North Hall pulled off perhaps one of its best, and most unexpected, seasons in recent memory. The Trojans, considered to be in a major rebuild in 2020, started off with three straight losses. But six wins over their final seven games earned them the No. 2 spot in Region 7-3A and a first round home playoff game. North Hall (6-4) will play host to North Murray (6-3), the No. 3 seed out of Region 6-3A, at The Brickyard on Friday night, You can hear that game on FM 102.9 WDUN (Click to listen live). The Mountaineers bring in a high-flying offense that is fifth in Class 3A (352, 39.1 ppg). The Trojans counter with their patented wing-T that is paced by senior Clark Howell (200 car., 1,483 yards, 21 TDs, 8 100-yard games) which put him in the top six in the state at the end of the regular season. Whichever defense can dig in the best may be able to carry their team into the second round.

Last week Gainesville played perhaps its best defensive game of the season shuttng out a potent North Forsyth offense to secure its 21st consecutive playoff berth and a No. 3 seed out of Region 6-7A. The Red Elephants will need a similar effort on Friday night when they travel to perennial power Archer (6-4). As always, you can hear the Red Elephants on FM 94.5 The Lake (Click to listen live). The Tigers are playoff veterans having been to the Class 7A quarterfinals or better, including a trip to the championship game in 2014, six times in the last seven years. Archer is sixth in 7A in scoring (328, 32.8 ppg) while Gainesville has allowed just 52 points over its past four games (13.0 ppg). Whichever unit wins that battle should propel them into the second round.

Friday Game Night will keep you in tune with all of these contests and the rest of the 14 area teams in action on Friday and Saturday. Be sure to check in with us throughout both days and keep up with live scoring on Twitter: @FridayGameNight.

(Games at higher seeded team)

Gainesville (Region 6, Seed 3) at Archer (Region 7, Seed 1) -- 94.5 FM The Lake

Douglas County (R5, S4) at Buford (R8, S1)
Habersham Central (R8, S3) at Rome (R5, S2)

Dawson County (R7, S3) at Adairsville (R6, S2)
LaFayette (R6, S4) at Cherokee Bluff (R7, S1) -- WDUN AM 550
North Murray (R6, S3) at North Hall (R7, S2) -- 102.9 FM WDUN
White County (R7, S4) at Rockmart (R6, S1)

Lakeview Academy (R6, S3) at North Cobb Christian (R7, S2)

Manchester (R5, S4) at Commerce (R8, S1), 8 p.m.

(Games at higher seeded team)

Luella (R5, S3) at Flowery Branch (R8, S2)
Mt. Zion-Jonesboro (R5, S4) at Jefferson (R8, S1)

Banks County (R8, S4) at Calloway (R5, S1)
Haralson County (R5, S4) at Rabun County (R8, S1)
Union County (R8, S3) at Heard County (R5, S2)

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