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Posted: Saturday, October 27th 2012 at 5:00am

Week 9: Big night brings focus to area playoff and region battles

By Morgan Lee Editor
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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Flowery Branch's Quinton Mayfield, left, wraps up a Clarke Central ball carrier on Friday night in Athens, as the Falcons pulled away for a 24-13 win. / photo: Brian Oliver
The playoff picture still is still a little blurry, but things certainly began to come into focus after Week 9 of high school football on Friday night.

For instance, Region 8-AAAAA will come down to a battle at The Branch on Nov. 9, after the Falcons defeated Clarke Central for the first time in school history, coming from behind to win 24-13 in Athens. The victory sets up a huge showdown between Flowery Branch and Gainesville, which was on a bye this week, in two weeks.

And in Dahlonega, Chestatee plowed past Lumpkin County 49-17, setting the War Eagles up for a season-defining battle with Monroe Area next week in Gainesville. It wonít be the final game of the regular season for either team, but it will decide the region crown. Chestatee will play for its first championship on the strength of a seven-game win streak Ė which matches the programís most-ever victories in a season.

North Hall, meanwhile, brought its own region championship on to the horizon courtesy a 48-10 defeat of West Hall in Oakwood. The Trojans can take the 7-AAA title with a victory over Banks County in Gainesville.

Elsewhere in 7-AAA, Buford showed no ill effects from learning it had to forfeit two games this week, slamming Fannin County 51-0. East Hall also bowled over Banks County 56-20 in Homer, while White County laid down a big marker for its postseason future in a thrilling 47-42 defeat of Dawson County on the road. The Tigers are still in the playoff picture but will need to rebound to ensure a state berth, while the Warriors are eyeing at least a No. 3 seed.

Meanwhile, in Region 8-AA, Jefferson took one step closer to clinching the region crown, hammering Social Circle 47-10 on the road. The Dragons can seal the title next week with a defeat of Riverside Military.

In Tiger, Rabun County took a big step toward its goal of reaching state for the first time since 1998 with a 38-10 defeat of Union County. The Wildcats will still need to close strong against Greene County and Oglethorpe County, while Union must rebound quickly to stay in the race.

There were some other huge victories around northeast Georgia on Friday, including Jackson Countyís 48-32 defeat of Oconee County to clinch the Panthersí highest win total since 1992 -- when Jackson County went 8-2-1 and reached the state playoffs.

Meanwhile, Winder-Barrow busted one of the stateís longest losing streaks, fending off Cedar Shoals 31-21. The victory halted a 31-game slide that stretched into 2009.

In Gainesville, Lakeview Academy also throttled North Cobb Christian 63-28 to move to 5-2 and clinch the programís first-ever winning season. The Lions will take on Towns County next week fresh off the Indians' second straight win, 35-33, over St. Francis.

Commerce also halted a losing streak on Friday, blasting Hebron Christian 42-11 after leading 35-8 at the half. The Tigers had dropped four straight prior to the win.

And in Toccoa, Stephens County sealed an important 27-18 defeat of Lanier, as the Indians prepare to play another team that appears playoff bound in Eastside next week.

Be sure to check our sports and high school sports stories for complete game stories from around the area.

AREA FOOTBALL FINALS, Oct. 26

Apalachee 20, Salem 0

Buford 51, Fannin County 0

Centennial 27, North Forsyth 9

Chestatee 49, Lumpkin County 17

Commerce 42, Hebron Christian 11

Duluth 56, Habersham Central 14

East Hall 56, Banks County 20

Flowery Branch 24, Clarke Central 13

Glascock County 22, Riverside Military Academy 13

Jackson County 48, Oconee County 32

Jefferson 47, Social Circle 10

Lakeview Academy 63, North Cobb Christian 28

Pickens 49, Johnson 21

North Gwinnett 38, Collins Hill 24

North Hall 48, West Hall 10

North Oconee 57, East Jackson 0

Rabun County 38, Union County 10

Stephens County 27, Lanier 18

Towns County 35, St. Francis 33

White County 47, Dawson County 42

Winder-Barrow 31, Cedar Shoals 21
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