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Posted: Monday, September 10th 2012 at 3:51pm

5 things: What we learned from Week 2 of high school football

By Morgan Lee Editor
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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Gainesville's defense looks to slow down Buford's ground game in Friday's 19-15 victory for the Red Elephants in Buford. / photo: David Weikel
Here's a look at five things we learned from Week 2 of the high school football season...

1. Don't sleep on Big Red's defense

Since going to a no-huddle, spread attack almost six years ago, Gainesville has been known for its offense -- but the Red Elephants’ defense has been just as impressive, especially since coordinator Jim Pavao brought his aggressive, blitzing style to Gainesville. That certainly proved the case on Friday, as the smaller Red Elephants swarmed to the ball against a powerful Buford rushing attack, holding the Wolves to 68 yards rushing on 30 carries and just 212 yards total for the game in a 19-15 win -- Gainesville's first over Buford. With the exception of one bad quarter against West Forsyth in the season opener -- the Wolverines scored 25 points in the second quarter of a 32-30 West Forsyth win -- “Big Red’s” defense has played impressively and should be a big strength in 2012.


2. North Hall's offense has plenty of spark

The Trojans may have graduated a Football Bowl Subdivision running back in Imani Cross, but North Hall still has plenty of talent and explosiveness in the backfield -- as it has showed in starting 2-0. Perhaps the most impressive performer has been TJ Tate, who possesses a combination of speed and shiftiness that can yield a touchdown on any play. Tate scored four of them in last week’s 55-7 domination of Johnson, adding to a three-touchdown performance in Week 1. Yet Tate’s far from alone, as North Hall also has two capable quarterbacks in Bradley Brown, who threw for two touchdowns, and Andrew Smith, who ran for two scores in Friday's win. Their ability, allied with a strong offensive line and a number of other talented backs, has helped North Hall score 87 points in its first two games of the season.


3. North Forsyth can persevere

Dawson County had most of the momentum, was playing at home and gunning for a 3-0 start to the season -- but North Forsyth showed it has plenty of gumption on Friday night, scoring 21 points over the final four minutes, including two touchdowns inside the final 2:10, to seal a comeback win. The Raiders snagged one onside kick and took advantage of two Tiger turnovers to pull off the victory, moving to 2-0 on the season. Both of the Raiders’ wins were close and showed that North Forsyth has grown plenty after last season’s 1-9 record.


4. White County is beyond improved; the Warriors are flat dangerous

Those outside the Warriors program figured that White County football would be improved in 2012 after playing a number of young starters under a new head coach and in a new system in 2011. We were only half right. The Warriors are improved -- but way beyond what we were expecting. White County has allowed just seven points over two wins so far this season, while averaging 32.5 points per game on offense. The Warriors are still fairly young, featuring a number of juniors and sophomores that are putting coach Bill Ballard’s system to work. Yet White County is already one victory removed from matching last season’s win total, and we’re keeping a close eye on the Warriors’ rapid ascent.


5. Lakeview Academy is on to something

Lions coach Matthew Gruhn has worked hard at the process of building a program from scratch, and it looks like things are beginning to come together for Lakeview. The Lions have put together back-to-back .500 seasons and are now off to their first ever 2-0 start. Lakeview also has its biggest roster in program history and has shown it has plenty of playmakers on both sides of the ball in standouts like Ted Reynolds, Caleb Faulkner, Jackson Strickland and John Cox. Lakeview has aspirations of moving to a region schedule in the near future. Keep playing like this, and the future may be here pretty soon.


AREA PREP FOOTBALL SCORES, Sept. 7
Athens Christian 22, Banks County 7
Brookwood 31, Mill Creek 21
Chestatee 42, West Hall 21
Commerce 28, East Jackson 14
Gainesville 19, Buford 15
Greater Atlanta Christian 31, Apalachee 21
Fellowship Christian School 17, Towns County 12
Jefferson 28, Jackson County 6
Lakeview Academy 42, Hebron Christian 0
Monroe Area 58, Winder-Barrow 14
North Forsyth 35, Dawson County 28
North Hall 55, Johnson 7
Rabun County 20, Hayesville (N.C.) 6
Stephens County 44, Habersham Central 8
Union County 23, Fannin County 7
West Forsyth 21, Flowery Branch 14
White County 34, Lumpkin County 7
Whitefield Academy 41, Riverside Military Academy 0


AREA PREP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE, Sept. 14
Flowery Branch at Cedar Shoals -- Radio: AM 550
Gainesville at Winder-Barrow -- Radio: 1240 AM
Jefferson at North Hall -- Radio: 102.9 FM
North Murray at Johnson
Lumpkin County at West Hall
Stephens County at Hart County
Banks County at Commerce
Hancock Central at Buford
Dawson County at Forsyth Central
East Jackson at East Hall
White County at Fannin County
Athens Christian at Jackson County
Towns County at Rabun County
Riverside Military at Georgia Military College
Andrews, N.C. at Union County
Cherokee at North Forsyth
Collins Hill at Habersham Central
Mountain View at Mill Creek
Norcross at North Gwinnett
Associated Categories: Sports News, High School Sports

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