The scores certainly mattered for all those involved, but state high school football teams just being able to finally get back out on the field in meaningful competition Friday night was probably victory enough.
And for most northeast Georgia area teams, it was a successful night on the gridiron as well.
In perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the night, Gainesville went on the road to take on perennial playoff power Stockbridge and came away with a 49-23 victory behind a big night from the special teams, defense and a revamped offense.
Habersham Central opened strong with a 27-6 win over Madison County, a Class 4A quarterfinalist in 2019. New quarterback Joshua Pickett and running back Jackson Cloatre combined for 334 yards and 3 TDs to lead the offense.
White County, which is running high on expectations for 2020, looked sharp behind senior quarterback J. Ben Haynes, who threw for a career-high 327 yards and 3 TDs while the defense held the Indians to 150 yards for the game in a 44-6 win.
Class 2A No. 1-ranked Rabun County and South Carolina-commit Gunner Stockton went on the road against Class 5A Ridgeland and showed they will be a player for a state title with an impressive 35-0 shutout victory.
In other action on opening night, Commerce, Jackson County and Cherokee Bluff all got wins on Friday. Towns County, Banks County, Dawson County, West Hall, Lumpkin County, and Johnson all dropped their openers. Lanier Christian Academy got its first win of the season shutting out Holy Spirit Prep, 30-0.
You can check AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night page for game stories and video highlights.
SEPT. 4 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCORES
Armuchee 10, Towns County 7
Cass 23, Dawson County 7
Cherokee Bluff 44, Johnson 0
Commerce 41, Banks County 18
Fannin County 24, Union County 20
Franklin County 33, Lumpkin County 3
Gainesville 49, Stockbridge 23
Habersham Central 27, Madison County 6
Jackson County 26, West Hall 18
Lanier Christian Academy 30, Holy Spirit Prep 0
Rabun County 35, Ridgeland 0
St. Pius 38, Flowery Branch 28
White County 44, Stephens County 6
SEPT 5 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Paulding at North Hall, 11 a.m.