Buford and Commerce both clinched region titles Friday night to close out the 2020 regular season.
The Class 6A No. 2-ranked Wolves, who already had clinched their 22nd straight postseason slot, routed No. 5 Dacula in a stunning 35-0 win at Tom Riden Stadium in a battle for the Region 8-6A crown. It was the renewal of a rivalry that had spanned 30 years but had been dormant since 1995.
Habersham Central, playing a rare Saturday afternoon game, staged a huge rally to beat Shiloh 45-37 to clinch the No. 3 seed in Region 8-6A. The Raiders trailed 28-0 in the first half but outscored the Generals 45-9 from the second quarter on.
The Tigers, meanwhile, held off Lincoln County 17-7 at home to claim the Region 8-A Public title and snap a nine-game losing streak to the Red Devils. It also was the first region title for Commerce, which is in its 24th straight playoffs, since 2003.
Gainesville made it 21 straight playoff appearances with a dominating 17-0 win over North Forsyth at City Park Stadium. It was the first-ever win for the Red Elephants (6-4, 4-2 Region 6-7A) over the Raiders.
Jefferson (8-0, 4-0 Region 8-4A) completed a perfect regular season, just the fourth in its storied history, with a 47-0 rout of Madison County in Danielsville. The Dragons' Kam Robinson put on an early show returning three punts for touchdowns in the first half.
North Hall grabbed the No. 2 seed in Region 7-3A with a 34-21 win over Dawson County at The Brickyard. The Trojans held down Class 3A's leading passer in Zach Holtzclaw while 3A's top rusher in Clark Howell got things rolling early for the Trojans. Also in 7-3A, senior quarterback J. Ben Haynes exploded for five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) to lead White County to a stunning 48-7 win over region champ Cherokee Bluff.
In Region 8-2A, Banks County dropped its regular-season finale with a 36-6 loss to Elbert County. But the Leopards will still be in the playoffs next week as all four region teams advanced to the postseason.
West Hall completed a four-game turnaround in 2020 with a 56-13 win over Lumpkin County in Dahlonega. The Spartans went winless in 2019 and went 4-4 over their final eight games in 2020.
Towns County in a 34-0 loss to No. 8 Washington-Wilkes saw its playoff hopes dashed on the road.
One last regular-season game remains, however, as Habersham Central will take on Shiloh on Saturday afternoon with a chance to clinch a playoff spot in Region 8-6A.
You can check AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night page for game stories and video highlights.
NOVEMBER 19 SCORES
Flowery Branch 55, East Hall 14*
NOVEMBER 20 SCORES
Buford 35, Dacula 0*
Cedar Shoals 48, Chestatee 7*
Commerce 17, Lincoln County 7*
Elbert County 36, Banks County 6*
Gainesville 17, North Forsyth 0*
Jackson County 21, Apalachee 17*
Jefferson 47, Madison County 0*
Lakeview Academy 35, Providence Christian 16
North Hall 34, Dawson County 21*
Stephens County 61, East Jackson 12*
Washington-Wilkes 34, Towns County 0*
West Hall 56, Lumpkin County 13*
White County 48, Cherokee Bluff 7*
NOVEMBER 21 SCHEDULE
Habersham Central 45, Shiloh 37*
(* -- denotes region contest)