Posted: Saturday, October 19th 2013 at 4:33am
Week 8: 7-AAA shake-up, and OT win highlight action-packed night
By Morgan Lee Editor
White County's Dalton Whitfield busts through the line in the Warriors' win over North Hall on Friday in Cleveland.
White County pulled off its biggest victory of the Bill Ballard era on Friday, downing No. 4 North Hall 21-7 to ensure that it is not just a two-team race for Region 7-AAA.
And that wasn't even the most exciting finish on the night, as week 8 of high school football also brought us another flourish from Chestatee.
This time the War Eagles used a last-gasp blocked punt return to force overtime and an eventual 20-17 defeat of Lanier on the road. The victory kept the War Eagles tied with No. 4 Monroe Area for the lead in Region 8-AAAA and showed that Chestatee has developed a knack for winning close contests.
Meanwhile, the race for Region 8-AAAAA does now look very much a two-team race, as Gainesville raced past Clarke Central 56-28 in Athens and Flowery Branch stonewalled Heritage 33-0 in Conyers.
The Red Elephants and Falcons are the only two teams undefeated in 8-AAAAA play, and while Flowery Branch must still navigate a home contest with the Gladiators next week, a win there would ensure a region championship match-up between the two intra-county rivals when they meet up on Nov. 8 in Gainesville.
The race for the Region 8-AA crown also became clear on Friday, as Washington-Wilkes powered past Rabun County 52-7 to give the fourth-ranked Tigers a big lead over the rest of the league. Jefferson also solidified its hold on second place in 8-AA, hammering Oglethorpe County 41-0. Meanwhile, Union County dominated Greene County 42-0 to set up a key showdown with rival Rabun County next week in Blairsville, the winner taking a big step toward the state playoffs.
Commerce also continued to make its case for a state playoff in Class A, ripping off four unanswered touchdowns in a 28-7 win over Athens Academy.
Speaking of the postseason, the race for 7-AAA's top four spots got a lot more intriguing on Friday thanks to White County's win over the Trojans. Buford is now alone in first place after a 42-10 defeat of Dawson County that saw the Wolves lead 14-3 at the half.
Thanks to its bounce back, 27-7 win over East Hall on Friday, West Hall is now tied with White County and North Hall with 3-1 records in 7-AAA -- though the Warriors own the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Trojans now. North Hall and West Hall will face off next Friday in The Brickyard. The Spartans impressed against the Vikings, using a dominating line of scrimmage to hold the ball for 32 minutes, 12 seconds -- compared with East Hall's 15:48.
The results certainly set up for a must-see week 9 -- one that will have to go some way to live up to week 8.
Be sure to check our sports, high school sports and Friday Game Night pages for in-depth game stories and video highlights.
AREA FOOTBALL FINALS FOR OCT. 18
Buford 42, Dawson County 10
Cedar Shoals 35, Apalachee 6
Chestatee 20, Lanier 17, OT
Commerce 28, Athens Academy 7
Druid Hills 13, Johnson 9
Eastside 28, Lumpkin County 12
Fannin County 6, Banks County 0
Flowery Branch 33, Heritage-Conyers 0
Gainesville 56, Clarke Central 28
Hart County 54, Jackson County 14
Jefferson 41, Oglethorpe County 0
Loganville 18, Winder-Barrow 0
Morgan County 38, East Jackson 19
Mill Creek 43, Duluth 3
North Gwinnett 41, Habersham Central 0
Riverside Military Academy 56, Social Circle 14
St. Francis 14, Lakeview Academy 7
Stephens County 35, Madison County 13
Towns County 48, North Cobb Christian 10
Union County 42, Greene County 0
Washington-Wilkes 52, Rabun County 7
West Hall 27, East Hall 7
White County 21, North Hall 7
West Forsyth 28, North Forsyth 7
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