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Friday November 27th, 2020 6:02PM

ICYMI: Week 4 caps: White-Hab Central showdown highlights busiest week of season

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

It’s the busiest week of the young season with 16 games involving northeast Georgia area teams around the state.

For the first time this season there isn’t that huge state-implication game on the schedule, however, Rabun County once again will be locking horns with a state-ranked team, this time Bremen in a Class 2A showdown. Class 4A No. 2-ranked Jefferson, fresh off its takedown of Rabun County last week, will play host to Class 7A Mountain View.

But the most intriguing game of the night may be in Mt. Airy, where Habersham Central and White County will battle in a county-border war. The Warriors are the top scoring team in Class 3A. The Raiders sit third in scoring in Class 6A. Both defenses will have to be on their toes in what should be an outstanding matchup.

Buford will try to avenge last year’s only blemish when the Wolves entertain Clarke Central at Tom Riden Stadium. The Gladiators handed Buford a 31-28 loss in last year’s season finale, which may also have acted as the catalyst for Buford’s run to the Class 5A state title.

Rabun County, now ranked third in Class 2A, will look to rebound against its third straght ranked opponent traveling to take on Class 2A eighth-ranked Bremen. Towns County will go for its first 3-1 start since 2008 taking on Mt. Zion-Carroll at home.

For a look at all of the weekend's contests involving area teams, simply scroll down. And be sure to check back with AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night throughout the night for score updates and game stories and video highlights. You can also check for scores and highlights on our Twitter feed: @FridayGameNight

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE FOR Sept. 25
(Games listed in alphabetical order of visiting team)
BANKS COUNTY at LUMPKIN COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: $7 at the gate; 100 percent
-- WHERE: The Burial Grounds, Dahlonega
-- BANKS COUNTY (0-3, 0-0 Region 8-2A): Lost 23-22 to East Jackson last week in overtime
-- LUMPKIN COUNTY (0-2, 0-0 Region 7-3A): Lost 43-14 to Towns County last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks are recommended, but no temperature checks. Concessions will be prepackaged.
-- NOTABLE: Lumpkin County leads series 10-4. Banks County won the last meeting, 48-31, in 2015 in Homer. The Leopards have won two straight in the series. The last Lumpkin victory was in 2005, 23-20, in Dahlonega. ... Both teams were hoping for better starts coming into the season. But both come in winless and riding identical 8-game losing streaks going back to the 2019 season. ... With region play looming in coming weeks for both teams, finding some confidence is paramount. ... Banks County’s first three opponents have been tough posting a 6-1 record collectively. The Leopards let one get away last week building a 16-point 4th quarter lead only to miss an extra point at the end after East Jackson stormed back to take the lead. ... The Indians are just young across the board and are still trying to find the right mix at several key positions. It was their first loss to Town County since 1996.


CENTRAL CHRISTIAN at LANIER CHRISTIAN
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Gainesville Middle School. Gainesville
-- CENTRAL CHRISTIAN: (0-1); Off last week; lost 40-22 to Piedmont Academy out of Monticello
-- LANIER CHRISTIAN (1-1): Off last two weeks; defeated Holy Spirit Prep 30-0 on Sept. 4
-- NOTABLE: Lanier Christian leads series 1-0. The Lightning won 28-0 in 2019 in Sharpsburg. ... A COVID cancellation caused LCA to miss its last game but they have had three weeks to work out the kinks. Central is the thid team LCA has scheduled for this week after their first two opponents could not play. ... LCA is averaging 32 ppg and has allowed just 36 points (18 ppg). ... Central typically plays in the GAPPS 11-man league but offered to play down to give the Lightning a game to schedule. Game ball to the Crusaders for offering to do that.


CHEROKEE BLUFF at GEORGIA MILITARY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: 
-- WHERE: Davenport Field, Milledgeville
-- CHEROKEE BLUFF (2-0. 0-0 Region 7-3A): Off last week; defeated Chestatee 49-14 two weeks ago
-- GEORGIA MILITARY (1-1, 0-0 Region 7-A Public): Off last week; defeated Central-Talbotton 34-0 two weeks ago
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks are recommended, but no temperature checks. Concessions will be prepackaged.
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two programs, ... The Bears once again in midseason form holding down Class 4A Chestatee two weeks ago. ... The Bears piled up 413 total yards of offense (223 on the ground and 190 through the air) and scoring on each of their five possessions. ... RB Jayqaun Smith ran for 113 yards with 3 TDs. QB Sebastian Irons was 7-for-9 with 142 yards and a TD pass to Kansas commit Shad Dabney. ... The Bluff defense held Chestatee to just 3-of-8 passing for 22 yards.


CHESTATEE at WEST HALL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: Pre-sale only at each school; 40 percent capacity
-- WHERE: West Hall Stadium, Oakwood
-- RADIO: FM 102.9 WDUN
-- CHESTATEE (0-2, 0-0 Region 8-4A): Lost 39-19 to Union County last week
-- WEST HALL (1-2, 0-0 Region 7-3A): Defeated Johnson 50-0 last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Mask/face coverings and temperature will be required to get into the stadium. Concessions will be prepackaged.
-- NOTABLE: West Hall leads series 9-7. Chestatee won 70-14 in 2019 to snap a 5-game losing streak to the Spartans. ... West Hall ended its 12-game losing streak in style last week. The Spartans held Johnson to under 100 yards of offense while getting balance from QB Clayton Jenkins and RB Josiah Henriques. Jenkins has 614 yards passing, which is 4th in Class 3A and 17th overall for QBs in the top 20 in the state. The Spartans' Rodrigo Lopez is tied for 18th in receving with 277 yards. ... Chestatee is battling some early-season injuries at several key spots. The normally potent offense is averaging a paltry 16.5 ppg while defense is yielding 44 ppg so far. ... West Hall has led in every game in the second half and is just three plays from being undefeated. ... West Hall LB Tilil Blackwell had a team-leading 13 tackles in a 50-0 victory over Johnson of Gainesville.


CLARKE CENTRAL at BUFORD
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: $7 at the gate
-- WHERE: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford
-- RADIO: WDUN AM 550
-- CLARKE CENTRAL (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-5A): Lost 24- to Oconee County last week
-- BUFORD (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-6A): Ranked 4th in Class 5A; defeated Carver-Atlanta 39-6 last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks are recommended, but no temperature checks. Concessions will be prepackaged.
-- NOTABLE: Buford leads series 3-1. Clarke Central won 31-28 in 2019 in Athens. All four meetings have come since 2016. ... Buford avoided its first 0-2 start since 1998 and now will look to avenge its only loss of 2019. The Gladiators knocked off Buford for the Region 8-5A title in Athens in the season-finale. ... After a rough outing in their opener, the Wolves rushing attack looked more like itself last week, racking up 228 yards rushing with 89 of those coming from Victor Venn (2 TDs). ... The Wolves defense also looked like its old self holding Carver to just 34 rushing yards and minus 1 passing. ... The typically high-flying Gladiators offense has struggled early scoring just 17 points after averaging 34.7 ppg in 2019. But several key pieces also graduated. ... It will be the final tune-up for Buford before entering Region 8-6A play in two weeks against Central Gwinnett.


DAWSON COUNTY at NORTHVIEW
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Northview Stadium, Johns Creek
-- RADIO: www. northgeorgiasportslink.com
-- DAWSON COUNTY (0-3, 0-0 Region 7-3A): Lost 63-49 to South Forsyth last week
-- NORTHVIEW (0-1, 0-0 Region 5-5A): Lost 56-39 to Chattahoochee last week in their season-opener
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two programs. ... The Tigers continue their brutal non-region schedule (opponents are 6-2) with their fourth Class 4A team or higher and third Class 5A team or higher with the Titans. ... The three straight losses (now four if you count the 2019 playoffs) are the longest for the Tigers since 2014 and the longest in the Sid Maxwell-era. However, they are just two plays from perhaps a 2-1 start. Last week’s game ended on a 100-yd INT return for the Eagles as the Tigers were going in for the potential tying score. But Jr. QB Zach Holtzclaw leads Class 3A with 840 yards and sits 3rd in the state overall. The Tigers' Jaden Gibson leads Class 3A in receiving with 320 yards and is 13th overall.... The defense, obviously, is the issue as they have allowed 130 points (43.3 ppg) so far. Maxwell said they were young and there would be growing pains. He was right. ... Northview is trying to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2017. Dawson County is the lowest classification team, and the first Class 3A team, the Titans have ever played since beginning region play in 2004.


DISCOVERY at GAINESVILLE
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: GoFan app only; 25 percent capacity
-- WHERE: City Park Stadium, Gainesville
-- RADIO: 94.5 FM The Lake 
-- DISCOVERY (1-2, 0-0 Region 8-7A): Lost 34-7 to Peachtree Ridge last week
-- GAINESVILLE (1-1, 0-0 Region 6-7A): Lost 29-22 to Flowery Branch last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks/face coverings will be required but no temperature check. Condensed concessions:
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two programs. ... The Red Elephants ran the gamut of emotions last week. They fell behind early, rallied to take a late lead, then suffered heartbreak when the Falcons stunned them in the final minute. ... This week they get a Titans team that is starting to show some signs of life. They were 3-27 in a 30-game stretch from 2016-19. They are 2-3 in their last five games since the end of last season and beginning of the 2020 season. ... After giving up more than 32 ppg in 2019, so far the Titans are yielding just 25.6 ppg. However, offense is the key. They are 1-10 when scoring 14 or less and 2-0 when scoring more than 15. But they have averaged just 7.1 ppg over their past 13 games. ... The GHS defense is yielding 26 ppg but fell victim to a career night from the Falcons’ David Renard. Offensively the Red Elephants looked strong in their opener but did not do much until the final few minutes against the Branch. They will need to get some of the kinks worked out with region play set to begin next week.


ELBERT COUNTY at COMMERCE
-- WHEN: 8 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: $7 at the gate; 100 percent
-- WHERE: Tiger Stadium, Commerce
-- ELBERT COUNTY (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-2A): Lost 23-7 to Hebron Christian last week
-- COMMERCE (2-1, 0-0 Region 8-A Public):Ranked 7th in Class A Public; lost 24-7 to Class A Private No. 2 Athens Academy last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks recommended, no temperature check. Concessions will be available.
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two programs. ... Shocking that these two traditional powers have never met. Both teams are coming off losses and would love to get back on track as region play continues to get closer. ... The Commerce offense, which is still averaging 26.6 ppg, suffered one of its worst outings in recent memory being held to just 67 total yards. The Blue Devils also have a solid front-7 and will pose another challenge for a young offense. They are yielding just 15 ppg. ... The Tigers have not started a season 2-2 since 2015 and have not suffered back-to-back losses since 2018. ... The Elbert offense has struggled in new coach Shannon Jarvis’s system managing just 21 points (10.5 ppg) while Commerce is giving up just 18.6 ppg on defense. ... Commerce is 2-0 against Region 8-2A teams (Banks County, Union County) so far this season. ... The Blue Devils are just 1-8 in their last 9 games vs. ranked opponents going back to 2015. Commerce is 12-1 (Hebron Christian, 2019) in its last 13 games vs. unranked opponents.


GILMER at EAST JACKSON
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: GoFan app; 50 percent capacity
-- WHERE: East Jackson Stadium, Commerce
-- GILMER (1-1, 0-0 Region 7-3A): Defeated Murray County 28-24 last week
-- EAST JACKSON (1-0, 0-0 Region 8-3A): Defeated Banks County 23-22 in OT last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks are recommended, but no temperature checks. Concessions will be prepackaged.
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two programs. ... The Bobcats under 2nd-year coach Kevin Saunders are making one of the remarkable turnarounds in the state in less than a year. Since a 31-game losing streak from 2016 to the opening game of the 2019 season, they are 5-6 since, with three of those wins coming on the road. ... The Eagles are hoping they can become another of those turnaround programs. They rallied from a 16-0 deficit last week to win in overtime to snap a 7-game losing streak to end the 2019 campaign. ... R.J. White had a TD run and Greg Huggs had a pair of TD runs for the Eagles last week. But it was the defense that sealed stopping a Leopards 2-point attempt to win the game. ... East Jackson is looking for its 2nd straight 2-0 start, something they have never done in program history.


JACKSON COUNTY at FRANKLIN COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: $7 at the gate, allowing 100 percent capacity
-- WHERE: Carnesville
-- JACKSON COUNTY (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-5A): Lost 24-10 to Stephens County last week
-- FRANKLIN COUNTY (3-0, 0-0 Region 8-3A): Defeated East Hall 31-21 last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks are not required but recommended, but no temperature checks. Concessions will be available.
-- NOTABLE: Franklin County leads series 12-4. The Lions won 23-16 in 2019 in Carnesville. They have won two straight over the Panthers. The last Jackson County win came in 2017, 28-21, in Carnesville. ... The Lions may be the talk of the state so far. They are 3-0 for the first time since 1983 and haven’t posted a winning season since 2015, and have not won more than five games since 2000. And they aren’t just squeaking out wins, either. They are averaging 33 ppg and have given just 30 points (10 ppg), including holding down a potent Vikings’ Air Raid attack last week. ... But Jackson County should also be coming into this one undefeated. They led into the fourth quarter when the Indians scored two TDs to take the lead. And, the Panthers had two TDs called back on penalties and two other times they drove deep into Stephens territory only to come away empty. ... The Panthers got their points last week from a 22-yard field goal from Ayden Griswold and a 2-yard TD run from La'travious Ransom.


JOHNSON at EAST HALL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: Pre-sale only at each school; 40 percent capacity
-- WHERE: East Hall Stadium, Rabbittown
-- JOHNSON (0-2, 0-0 Region 8-5A): Lost 50-0 to West Hall last week
-- EAST HALL (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-4A): Lost 31-21 to Franklin County last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Mask/face coverings and temperature will be required to get into the stadium. Concessions will be prepackaged.
-- NOTABLE: Johnson leads series 22-17-1. East Hall won the last meeting, 60-7, in 2017. The Vikings have won five straight and 7 of the last 8 overall going back to 2010. ... The Knights are still struggling after a rough offseason. They have been outscored 94-0 so far. ... The Vikings have looked much-improved in the early going. East Hall ran into another improved team last week in the Lions, but after allowing 42.7 ppg in 2019, a reworked defense is looking much better so far allowing just 26.5 ppg. ... Offensively the Vikings are averaging 25.5 ppg behind QB Clete Cooper, who is averaging just under 350/ypg with 5 TDs and just 1 INT. He is 2nd in Class 4A behind Branch's David Renard and 11th overall in the state. The Vikings' Macere Walker is 15th overall in receiving with 312 yards.


MOUNTAIN VIEW at JEFFERSON
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: GoFan app, 300 tickets available for visiting fans; 50 percent capacity
-- WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Jefferson
-- MOUNTAIN VIEW (1-2, 0-0 Region 8-7A): Lost 27-20 to Class 6A Lanier last week
-- JEFFERSON (2-0, 0-0 Region 8-4A): Ranked 2nd in Class 4A; defeated Class 2A No. 1-ranked Rabun County 28-14 last week on the road
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks recommended, required for students, no temperature check. Concessions will be prepackaged.
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two programs. ... Jefferson is looking for its first 3-0 start since 2015. The Bears are trying to avoid their first 1-3 start since 2015. ... The win for Jefferson last week marked the first time in school history the Dragons knocked off a No. 1-ranked team in a true road game. ... The Dragons defense showed just how powerful it is holding down one of the state’s premier offenses and QBs. Jr. South Carolina-commit Gunner Stockton finished with less than 150 yards of total offense for only the second time in his 28 career varsity starts. ... Mountain View’s Nathan Payne tossed 3 TD passes but their ground game was stymied by a solid Lanier defense as Jergotti Wilcox and David Gethers combined for less than 100 yards on the ground. ... The Bears blocked two punts and picked off a Lanier pass. ... The Jefferson offense has been nearly unstoppable. One week after rushing for 576 yards, the Dragons churned out 337 against Rabum, with Malaki Starks finishing with 157 yards, Jordan Perry 81 yards, and Kolton Jones 71 yards for the game.  ... DE Paxton Corkery had two sacks of Stockton last week for Jefferson.


MT. ZION-CARROLL at TOWNS COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: $7 at the gate; 100 percent
-- WHERE: Frank McClure Stadium, Hiawassee
-- MT. ZION-CARROLL (2-0, 0-0 Region 6-A Public): Defeated Landmark Christian 28-21 last week
-- TOWNS COUNTY (2-1, 0-0 Region 8-A Public): Defeated Class 3A Lumpkin County 43-14 last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks are recommended, but no temperature checks. Concessions will be prepackaged.
-- NOTABLE: Mt. Zion leads series 7-1. The Eagles won the last meeting, 18-7, in 2007 in Carrollton. The Indians’ only win on the series came in 2004, 16-0, in Hiawassee. ... Last week’s win for the Indians may have been the biggest in program history considering higher-classification teams and them being projected as a 14-point underdog at home. ... It is the second time in three seasons Towns has started a season 2-1. But the Indians have won two straight for the first time since the 2017 campaign and just the fifth time since 2009. The last 3-1 start for Towns County came in 2008. ... The Indians showed outstanding balance on offense last week. Sr. QB Mason Thomas was 8-of-10 passing for 215 yards and 3 TDs. WR Hayden McClure had 3 catches for 162 yards, but 140 coming after the catch. WR Garrett Oakes had 3 catches for 31 yards. Jr. RB Kyle Oakes had 152 yards on the ground. In fact, Kyle Oakes leads Class A Public with 478 yards rushing and is 8th overall. ... It should be good matchups on both sides. Towns is averaging 26 ppg and allowing just 12.6 ppg on defense. The Eagles are scoring 34 ppg and giving up just 10.5 ppg so far on the season. ... They had a pair of 100-yard rushers and 368 total yards with Jayden Perkins going for 131 yards and Antron Thompson 109 yards on the ground.


RABUN COUNTY at BREMEN
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: GoFan app preferred but tickets will be available at the gate; 100 percent capacity
-- WHERE: Bremen Athletic Field, Bremen
-- RABUN COUNTY (2-1, 0-0 Region 8-2A): Ranked No. 3 in Class 2A; lost 28-14 to Class 4A No. 2 Jefferson last week
-- BREMEN (2-1, 0-0 Region 6-2A): Ranked No. 8 in Class 2A; lost 30-8 to Pepperell last week
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks are required to enter the stadium, but no temperature checks. Concessions will be prepackaged.
-- NOTABLE: Rabun County leads series 2-1. The Wildcats won 34-13 in 2019 at Paulding Stadium in Statesboro. Bremen got its only win in the series in 2018, 13-10. ... This has developed into a solid Class 2A rival with all four meetings taking place since 2015. The last two meetings have been in Statesboro. Both teams come in after suffering losses. ... Rabun County is looking to avoid its first 2-game losing streak since 2013 (67 games). They will need to find some production on offense. Jefferson held all-state QB Gunner Stockton to less than 150 yards of total offense for only the second time in his 28 varsity starts. ... The 14 points also are the lowest with Stockton under center since his first varsity game, a 13-10 loss to Bremen in 2018. The other previous low was 17 in a 2018 Class 2A quarterfinal loss to Fitzgerald. ... After shutting out Class 5A Ridgeland to open the season, the Wildcats’ defense has been exploited for 59 points (29.5 ppg) the most given up in a 2-game stretch since allowing 64 against Jefferson and Habersham Central to open the 2014 season. ... Despite scoring just 8 points last week, the Blue Devils are still averaging 35 ppg on offense. Much like Rabun, they pitched a shutout on defense in their opener but have allowed 52 points (26 ppg) in their last two games.


WALKER at LAKEVIEW ACADEMY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: Students and parents only, partial capacity
-- WHERE: Gainesville
-- WALKER (0-3, 0-0 Region 7-A Private): Lost 52-12 to Mount Pisgah last week
-- LAKEVIEW ACADEMY (0-1, 0-0 Region 6-A Private): Off last week; lost 32-7 to Class A Private No. 10 Darlington two weeks ago
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks are required,but  no temperature checks. Concessions will be available.
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two programs. ... Lakeview will be dedicating its brand-new football facilities on Friday and they may have just the opportunity to grab that first win of the season and start the stadium off as a winner. ... The Wolverines are still acclimating to new coach Michael Gunn and have lost 6 straight going back to last season. They have been outscored 101-26 on the season. ... The Lions are looking for their first win for new coach Lee Shaw. They have had a roller coaster beginning missing their first game due to COVID and only playing one game in the first three weeks. ... But that also means the Lions have had time to work out some kinks since their opener. They need a positive move forward  because the next month will be a huge test as they face a pair of hot teams in Towns County (2-1) and Coosa (2-0) before opening region play against No. 5-ranked Fellowship Christian.


WHITE COUNTY at HABERSHAM CENTRAL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- TICKETS: $7 at the gate; 100 percent
-- WHERE: Raider Stadium, Mt. Airy
-- RADIO: WRWH 93.9 FM; www.wrwh.com
-- WHITE COUNTY (3-0, 0-0 Region 7-3A): Ranked 9th in Class 3A; defeated Pickens 42-7 last week
-- HABERSHAM CENTRAL (2-0, 0-0 Region 8-6A): ff last week; defeated Apalachee 56-35 two weeks ago
-- COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks are not required. Concessions will be available.
-- NOTABLE: Habersham Central leads series 7-3. The Raiders won 42-28 in 2019 in Mt. Airy. It is the fifth straight season the two neighbors have played with Hab Central winning two straight and 3 of last 4 overall. ... This should be one of the best matchups of the season in NEGa the way both teams have come out of the gate. It is the first 2-0 start for the Raiders since 2016 (Benji Harrison’s 2nd season) and the first 3-0 start for the Warriors since 2017 (Tim Cokely’s 1st season). ... The Warriors are the top scoring team in Class 3A (136, 45.3 ppg) and sit 5th in the state all classifications in scoring for teams that have played 3 or more games. Sr. QB J. Ben Haynes has thrown for 670 yards, which is 3rd in Class 3A and 13th overall. ... The Raiders are the 3rd highest scoring team in Class 6A (41.5 ppg) by average. Sr. RB Jackson Clouatre has pounded out 480 yards, which leads Class 6A and is 7th overall.... The two offenses work differently and should offer a great contrast in styles and to the opposing defenses. The Warriors are doing most of their damage through the air behind J Ben Haynes (last week he rushed for 113 yards on 12 carries and was 15-of-21 passing for 190 yards). The Raiders ground game has been devastating behind QB Joshua Pickett and RB Jackson Clouatre. The two are averaging over 377 yards a game combined and will posie a huge challenge for a White defense (20 ppg) that gave up 47 points and nearly 400 yards to a similar Hart County offense. ... The Raiders are yielding just 20.5 ppg.

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