Week five of high school football in Northeast Georgia provided the start of a few regions and some very intriguing results.
Here are five things we learned from Week 5:
Lumpkin County gets past a big hurdle and Gainesville makes a statement to the rest of 8-6A. Cherokee Bluff and North Hall will match up at the perfect time. Commerce has a lot of fight and Jackson County might have a second dimension on the offensive side.
1. Lumpkin County overcomes a mental block
The Indians are 4-0 for a second straight season. That part isn't very surprising with the talent that is up in Dahlonega. What was impressive about this year's 4-0 start was that the fourth win was against a traditional powerhouse in 8-3A, Hart County. Yes it was a slow start on the scoreboard, but that offensive line wore down the Bulldog defense to allow Mason Sullens to score three touchdowns in the second half. The next hurdle for Lumpkin County comes in the 7-3A opener next week at Pickens and if that test is passed, look out for the rematch with Wesleyan in Dahlonega in two weeks.
2. Gainesville opens region play with massive statement
The Red Elephants are the front runners for the 8-6A title. We knew that from the jump this season. What we aren't sure we really knew was how dominant they would be. Yes, it was Apalachee, but even the non-region games saw teams give Gainesville their best shot and the Red Elephants pass those tests with flying colors. Now, Lanier looms in two weeks. That game is shaping up to be another game that will tell us a lot about where the Red Elephants can get to in the postseason.
3. The Bears and Trojans are clicking, and now they play each other
A game that we have had circled on our calendars since the schedule was put together is North Hall at Cherokee Bluff. It's become a rivalry that we can't stay away from, even if there is a discrepancy in the records. North Hall is 4-0. Cherokee Bluff is 1-3. But the Bears have figured out a lot since the bye week two weeks ago, falling in overtime to Madison County before routing Chestatee. North Hall's offense has been clicking since week 1. This could be a shootout in Flowery Branch Friday night, and we can't wait to watch.
4. Commerce never quits
The Tigers had a really, really long road trip down to Lincoln County Friday night, and maybe that's why the Red Devils jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead. But that didn't stop Commerce from fighting, and they went on to come all the way back to win, 17-10. While Jaiden Daniels didn't find the endzone, Tysean Wiggins did twice, while Ivy Tolbert hit a big field goal late to push the lead to seven. Now, Commerce will take on Banks County in a big game for both teams. Regardless of what happens early on in the game, rest assured the Tigers are going to battle for all 48 minutes.
5. Has Jackson County found a passing game?
RJ Knapp made his first varsity start Friday night against North Forsyth and he showed out in the second half to finish with 207 yards on 16-of-32 passing. That could prove to be dangerous in 8-6A, especially when coupled with MJ Spurlin's rushing attack. If those two things come together for the Panthers, Jackson County could find themselves in the hunt for a home playoff game when we reach the last week of the regular season.