Saturday April 20th, 2024 6:42AM

FGN 2nd round playoff wrap: Gainesville, Rabun move to quarterfinals; Buford upset by Walton

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

Gainesville and Rabun County moved into the quarterfinals of the Georgia High School Association playoffs with home wins on Friday.

Meanwhile, Lanier Christian Academy fell short of the GAPPS 11-man state championship game on the road Friday night. The Lightning (8-4) fell to Cherokee Christian, 24-14, in the semifinals.

Buford also was upset by 2021 semifinalist Walton, 42-35, despite a great showing from Justice Haynes. The Wolves (11-1) had their streak of 23 consecutive second-round games snapped with the loss at Tom Riden Stadium.

As for Gainesville and Rabun County, the duo looked impressive.

Gainesville handled South Paulding 42-21 at City Park as the Red Elephants' defense also was stingy, holding down Class 6A leading rusher Jamarion Wilcox to well below his nearly 200 yards/game average. The win puts Gainesville (12-0) into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.

Rabun County did not suffer a slow start this week as the Wildcats routed Social Circle, 42-0, in Tiger in the Class A Division 1 playoffs behind another huge game from Keegan Stover and Jaden Gibson. It was the Wildcats' (12-0) eighth straight win in second-round playoff games.

North Forsyth and Union County, however, saw their seasons come to an end on Friday.

The Raiders ran into a buzzsaw in No. 1-ranked and state title favorite Hughes, falling 77-16 in Fairburn in the Class 6A playoffs.

The Panthers also pushed South Atlanta early before succumbing, 42-14, at Lakewood Stadium in the Class 2A playoffs.

(Games listed by classification, highest to lowest, in alphabetical order of visiting team)
(Area teams listed in BOLD)

Class 7A
Walton 42, Buford 35

Class 6A
Gainesville 42, South Paulding 21
Langston Hughes 77, North Forsyth 16

Class 2A
South Atlanta 42, Union County 14

Class A Division 1
Rabun County 42, Social Circle 0

GAPPS 11-man
Cherokee Christian 24, Lanier Christian 14

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