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Posted: Friday, September 5th 2014 at 7:55pm

Week 2: Region schedule starting for some, others still warming up

By Jeff Hart Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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Jefferson's Dalton Hill, left, hauls in a catch in the Dragons' win over Rabun County on Aug. 22.
While Regions 8-AAAAA and 6-AAAAAA get their region schedules cranked up this week, most eyes will be turned to Buford on Friday night when the Class AAAA No. 1 Wolves play host to Class AAAAAA No. 6 McEachern in what is expected to be a tremendous battle between two of the state’s top teams.

The game will be broadcast live on WDUN AM 550 beginning with the Tailgate Show at 6 p.m.

Buford has not allowed a point all season and just 100 total yards combined in two games while the Indians bring a fast-paced and high-scoring offense to Tom Riden Stadium. McEachern, however, will be without Oregon-commit Taj Griffin, who injured his knee on the final play against North Gwinnett two weeks ago and is out for the season.

In 8-AAAAAA, the premier matchup of the night will be Lanier traveling to take on Clarke Central in Athens. The Longhorns are considered one of the favorites in the region but it is always tough to win at Billy Henderson Stadium. Winder-Barrow and Apalachee open 8-AAAAA play with their annual Battle of Barrow County.

In 6-AAAAAA, North Forsyth will try to get off to a good start against a Chattahoochee team that has struggled since the midpoint of last season. Habersham Central also opens region play traveling to Northview. The Raiders are trying to snap a 14-game losing streak.

Of course, those aren’t the only compelling match-ups on the night. A fun contrast of styles has East Hall taking its spread offense to Jasper to take on Pickens and its bruising ground game.

Look for fireworks in Hoschton when Mill Creek entertains Dacula in a game that could see both offenses score 50 points. Jefferson travels to North Hall, as the Trojans begin a new era under David Bishop, who took over for Bob Christmas.

For a look at all of the night's contests involving area teams, simply scroll down (Games are listed in alphabetical order by visiting team). And be sure to check back with Access North Georgia and our Friday Game Night page throughout the night for score updates and game stories and video highlights. You can also check for scores and highlights on our Twitter feed @FridayGameNight

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE FOR date
APALACHEE at WINDER-BARROW
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: W. Clair Harris Stadium, Winder
-- APALACHEE (0-1, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost 48-26 to Woodland (Stockbridge) last week:
-- WINDER-BARROW (0-1, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost 41-7 to Jefferson last week.
-- NOTABLE: Apalachee leads series 6-4. Winder-Barrow won 27-20 last year. ... The Bulldoggs win last year snapped a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats. ... Both teams could use a strong start to region play with tough games to follow. Neither team was overly impressive on defense last week but both were playing against two outstanding offenses. ... The Bulldoggs new spread attack should be improved after a game under their belts. The 28 points for Apalachee was its biggest output since scoring 42 against Winder to end the 2012 season. ... The Winder defense could be tested again by the Apalachee wing-T. The Bulldoggs allowed over 400 yards rushing to Jefferson. ... The Wildcats are mired in the longest losing streak in program history (11).

BANKS COUNTY at JOHNSON
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium, Oakwood
-- BANKS COUNTY (0-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Lost 28-21 to Commerce last week.
-- JOHNSON (0-2, non-region schedule): Lost 28-0 to West Hall last week.
-- NOTABLE: Johnson leads series 2-0. However, the two teams have not met since 1959, a 7-0 Johnson win. ... Something will have to give in this one. Bank County has lost 14 straight going back to 2012 and Johnson is working on a five-game losing streak. ... The Leopards had a chance to beat Commerce but threw an interception in the end zone in the final seconds. They also had another interception returned for a touchdown by the Tigers. The Banks County defense also forced four fumbles last week. ... The Johnson offense has found the going tough against two solid defensive teams scoring just three points so far in 2014. The Knights have allowed 29.5 ppg in their first two contests. ... Travae Cain had 3 TDs last week for banks County.

CHATTAHOOCHEE at NORTH FORSYTH
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Raider Valley Stadium, Coal Mountain
-- CHATTAHOOCHEE (0-1, 0-0 Region 6-AAAAAA): Off last week. Lost 42-7 to Cherokee two weeks ago.
-- NORTH FORSYTH (0-1, 0-0 Region 6-AAAAAA): Lost 42-14 to Cherokee last week.
-- NOTABLE: North Forsyth leads series 3-1. The Raiders won 24-7 last year. ... Both teams have in common a lopsided loss to Cherokee so far in 2014. ... The Raiders are returning the bulk of their starters from last year and were exposed by a good Cherokee team last week. North Forsyth, which came in expecting to challenge for the region title, needs a strong start to region play. The Raiders are just 4-4 in their last eight games at home.

CHESTATEE at WEST HALL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Spartans Stadium, Oakwood
-- CHESTATEE (0-1, 0-0 Region 8-AAAA): Lost 29-0 to Flowery Branch last week.
-- WEST HALL (1-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Beat Johnson 28-0 last week.
-- NOTABLE: Chestatee leads series 6-4. Beat West Hall 15-14 last year. ... The War Eagles have won three straight and six of the last seven in the series. ... The Spartans, however, are a team on the rise. West Hall will have the two best players on the field with juniors Tyquan Statham and Kwon Williams, who combined for four touchdowns last week. Williams ran for 113 yards and scored twice. He added a INT for a touchdown. West Hall, however, had two turnovers and expect a hard-hitting Chestatee defense to try and force turnovers. ... The War Eagles struggled on offense last week against a good Flowery Branch defense netting just 91 total yards. They will face another tough task against a new-look West Hall defense that allowed just 162 yards to Johnson.

DACULA at MILL CREEK
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Mill Creek Community Stadium, Hochston
-- DACULA (1-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAAA): Beat Collins Hill 34-14 two weeks ago. Off last week.
-- MILL CREEK (1-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAAAAA): Beat West Forsyth 65-27 last week.
-- NOTABLE: Mill Creek leads the series 5-3. Mill Creek won 41-28 lead week. ... The Hawks have won three straight in the series. They are 2-2 at home against the Falcons. ... Mill Creek, which led Class AAAAAA in scoring last year is right back at it again this year averaging 39.5 ppg in their first two games. ... QB Daniel David, TE Jacob Lund, WRs David Curry and Joseph Hull have been tough to stop in the early going. Despite a loss against Colquitt County, they had the lead at halftime but the defense wilted late. They were practically unstoppable in the win over the Wolverines. ... Dacula avenged last year’s loss to Collins Hill and defensively should offer the Hawks one of their toughest challenges of the season. The Falcons are just 2-6, however, against teams from Region 7-AAAAAA, including last week’s victory.

EAST HALL at PICKENS
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Pickens Stadium, Jasper
-- EAST HALL (1-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Beat Wesleyan 20-13 last week on the road.
-- PICKENS (1-0, Region 7-AAAA): Beat White County 42-34 last week on the road.
-- NOTABLE: Series is tied 11-11. The last meeting was in 2009, a 10-7 Pickens win. ... A very streaky series. The Dragons have won six straight going back to 2002. The Vikings won six straight from 1985-1995 and the Dragons won 5-of-6 from 1970-75. ... East Hall will need another big game from dynamic QB Devin Watson, who threw for three touchdowns and engineered a game-winning drive last week in the final two minutes. ... The Dragons used a punishing ground attack behind Shannon Brooks to beat White County. ... The East Hall defense, however, may be the key if it can find a way to slow down Brooks and one of the best rushing attacks in the state. ... The Vikings have not started a season 2-0 since 2011. The Dragons have not started 2-0 since 2010, but finished that year just 3-7.

ELBERT COUNTY at STEPHENS COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: The Reservation, Toccoa
-- ELBERT COUNTY (1-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAA): Beat Cedar Shoals 42-20 last week.
-- STEPHENS COUNTY (1-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAAA): Beat Franklin County 34-7 last week.
-- NOTABLE: Stephens County leads the series 30-19-2. Elbert County won 29-28 in last meeting. ... The Blue Devils have won two straight. The last Indians win was in 2009, 23-17 in overtime. ... The Indians new-look spread attack put up some good numbers last week in their opening win. QB Mason Long threw for nearly 200 yards and one score and Desmond Wheeler and Tyrik Cunningham had three rushing TDs combined. ... The Blue Devils, the defending 8-AAA champs, are led by SR QB Mecole Hardman and SR RB/DB Rantious “Boochy” Reed.

GILMER at DAWSON COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tiger Stadium, Dawsonville
-- GILMER (1-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAAA): Beat Fannin County 41-7 last week.
-- DAWSON COUNTY (0-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Lost 27-7 to Forsyth Central last week.
-- NOTABLE: Gilmer leads series 6-0. Bobcats won 26-20 in overtime in 2011 in their last meeting. ... The Tigers need a win to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2010. It will be tough against a big, physical Gilmer team that is coming off back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in school history ... The Tigers wing-T attack had trouble against a bigger Bulldogs defense last week and will need to find some answers against a similar Bobcats unit. ... Dawson County is just 5-5 at home over the past two seasons. Gilmer is 8-4 on the road in that same span.

HABERSHAM CENTRAL at NORTHVIEW
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Northview Stadium, Duluth
-- HABERSHAM CENTRAL (0-1, 0-0 Region 6-AAAAAA): Lost 23-14 to Rabun County last week.
-- NORTHVIEW (1-0, 0-0 Region 6-AAAAAA): Beat Duluth 42-7 last week.
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting. ... The Raiders will get their first look at new Region 6-AAAAAA as both teams open region play. Habersham is looking to end a 14-game losing streak going back to 2012. ... The Raiders led at halftime last week but could not get things going in the second half. ... The Titans are looking to go 2-0 for the first time since 2005. The Raiders are trying avoid their third straight 0-2 start. ... Habersham has lost 13 straight road games. The Raiders last road win came in 2011 against Loganville. The Titans are 5-1 in their last six home games.

HEBRON CHRISTIAN at COMMERCE
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tiger Field at Ray Lamb Stadium, Commerce
-- HEBRON CHRISTIAN (2-0, 0-0 Region 8-A): Beat Mount Vernon Presbyterian 49-14 last week.
-- COMMERCE (1-0, 0-0 Region 8-A): Beat banks County 28-21 last week.
-- NOTABLE: Commerce leads series 2-0. The Tigers won 48-12 last year. ... Commerce overcame four turnovers last week to hold off Banks County, getting an interception in the end zone to seal the game. ... The Tigers will need cleaner play on offense this week against an improved Lions squad expected to challenge for the 8-A title. Cole Chancey had 110 yards and 2 TDs rushing last week for the Tigers. ... Hebron is putting up big offensive numbers so far averaging 42 ppg. ... Commerce is just 3-2 in its last five home games.

JEFFERSON at NORTH HALL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: The Brickyard, Murrayville
-- RADIO: 102.9 FM
-- JEFFERSON (2-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAA): Beat Winder-Barrow 41-7 last week; ranked No. 5 in Class AAA.
-- NORTH HALL (0-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAAA): Season-opener.
-- NOTABLE: Jefferson leads the series 9-3. North Hall won 41-34 last year. The two teams have split the last four meetings. ... The Trojans return just one starter and sport a new coach this season. Maddox Turner will open as the starting QB for the Trojans. North Hall will field its youngest team in years. ... Jefferson RB Sammy Williams has been a workhorse in the early going. The senior has nearly 400 yards rushing in the first two games. ... Evan Shirreffs has been efficient in leading the offense. The Dragons defense has yielded just 21 points in two games.

LAKEVIEW ACADEMY at ST. FRANCIS
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Peter Carriuolo Field, Alpharetta
-- LAKEVIEW ACADEMY (0-1, 0-0 Region 8-A): Lost 13-6 to East Jackson last week.
-- ST. FRANCIS (1-0, 0-0 Region 6-A): Beat Providence Christian 47-10 last week.
-- NOTABLE: Series is tied 1-1. St. Francis won 14-7 last year. ... The Lions played well in a close loss to the Class AAA Eagles but have a tough task again this week against a good St. Francis team. The new-look offense only produced six points but look for Lakeview to improve on that behind QB David Abee. ... It is the second of three consecutive road games for Lakeview, which opens region play next week against Towns County.

LANIER at CLARKE CENTRAL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Billy Henderson Stadium, Athens
-- LANIER (1-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Off last week. Defeated Lambert 27-14 two weeks ago.
-- CLARKE CENTRAL (0-1, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost 34-14 to Hart County last week.
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two schools. ... Interesting start to region play for both teams, who are expected to challenge for a region title. ... Lanier came out strong last week taking down Class AAAAAA Lambert on the road. Longhorns QB Tahj Tolbert had 182 yards passing in his first start but was plagued by several drops. The offense also had four turnovers. The defense, however, stymied Lambert and forced four turnovers. ... Lanier has a chance to make an early statement in the region if it can get a win tonight and then against Flowery branch next week. ... The Gladiators ran into a solid Hart County team expected to challenge for a region title in 8-AAA. They are trying to avoid going 0-2 for the second time in three seasons. Lanier is similar to HartCounty and Clarke Central will have to find a way to slow down Tolbert and their spread attack.

MCEACHERN at BUFORD
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford
-- RADIO: WDUN AM 550
-- MCEACHERN (0-1, 0-0 Region 4-AAAAAA): Off last week. Lost 52-49 to North Gwinnett two weeks ago; ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAAA
-- BUFORD (2-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAAA): Defeated Berkmar 56-0 last week; ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA
-- NOTABLE: Series is tied 2-2. The two teams have not met since 1963, a 56-0 Buford win. ... It should be the classic irresistible force vs. immovable object matchup. This was a game on the schedule that had most everyone within a 50-mile radius intrigued when the schedules came out. However, the loss of McEachern star RB Taj Griffin has taken some of the shine off. Griffin, an Oregon-commit, injured his knee on the final play of the Indian’s loss to North Gwinnett and is out for the season. ... The Indians are still plenty dangerous behind QB Bailey Hockman and WRs Tyler Smith and T.J. Rahming, who combined for nearly 300 yards receiving against North Gwinnett. ... The Wolves defense, however, has been a virtual brick wall in the early going. They have allowed less than 100 total yards combined in two games. ... Buford also has the advantage of playing at home, where it has won 17 straight. The last loss at home was against Gainesville and Deshaun Watson in 2012. ... The Wolves ground game has been solid with four different players scoring last week. The Indians defense, however, shutdown North Gwinnett’s rushing game. Buford will have to throw the ball to get by the Indians.

MT. PISGAH CHRISTIAN at RABUN COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE:
-- MT. PISGAH CHRISTIAN (0-1, 0-0 Region 6-A): Off last week. Lost 42-34 to Brookstone.
-- RABUN COUNTY (1-1, 0-0 Region 8-AA): Defeated Habersham Central 23-14 last week.
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two schools. ... Mt. Pisgah is coming off a trip to the quarterfinals last season. ... The Wildcats rallied from an early deficit last week to get the win. They answered some questions on both sides of the ball after a rough season-opening loss to Jefferson. ... Charlie Woerner rebounded from a tough game against Jefferson with 266 yards last week for Rabun County. ... The Wildcats are playing the second of four straight home games, which concludes with their region opener against Riverside Military Academy in two weeks.

MURRAY COUNTY at FANNIN COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Rebel Stadium, Blue Ridge
-- MURRAY COUNTY (0-1, 0-0 Region 6-AAA): Lost 22-21 to Southeast Whitfield last week.
-- FANNIN COUNTY (0-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Lost 41-7 to Gilmer last week.
-- NOTABLE: Murray County leads series 5-1. The two teams have not met since 1981, a 6-0 Fannin County victory. ... The Rebels struggled in their first game under new coach Jim Pavao and with a new spread attack. But teams usually make the most progress from weeks 1 to 2 so look for improvement across the board. ... The Indians, however, are just 1-29 in their last 30 games going back to the 2011 season. Fannin has a chance the next two weeks to pick up wins before taking on Union County in two weeks and then opening region play against Banks County.

NORTH GWINNETT at HILLGROVE
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Cobb Energy Hillgrove Stadium, Powder Springs
-- NORTH GWINNETT (1-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAAAAA): Lost 36-29 to North Cobb last week; ranked No. 9 in Class AAAAAA
-- HILLGROVE (2-0, 0-0 Region 4-AAAAAA): Defeated Shiloh 14-6 last week.
-- NOTABLE: North Gwinnett leads series 1-0. The Bulldogs won 35-31 last year in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. ... Hillgrove has shown early in can win in different ways. They beat Lassiter in a shootout (47-35) and then won a defensive battle last week. ... North Gwinnett was plagued by mistakes and blew a 16-point third quarter lead. QB John Urzua had another solid game passing for 251 yards. ... The Bulldogs defense has allowed 85 points in the first two games. They will need to find some answers with critical region games against Collins Hill, Mill Creek, Norcross, and Peachtree Ridge in consecutive weeks. ... The Hawks are led by RB Sonny Harris, who both of Hillgrove’s TDs last week. The Hillgrove defense allowed 327 yards passing to Lassiter two weeks ago and Urzua and the Bulldogs offer one of the best passing attacks in the state.

UNION COUNTY at LUMPKIN COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: The Burial Grounds, Dahlonega
-- UNION COUNTY (1-0, 0-0 Region 8-AA): Beat Towns County 57-14 last week.
-- LUMPKIN COUNTY (0-1, 0-0 Region 7-AAA): Lost to Model 15-8 last week.
-- NOTABLE: Union County leads series 20-15-1. The Panthers won the last meeting 28-13 in 2011. ... The Indians new split-veer offense had its moments last week. They will need to fine-tune things against a Panthers defense that can be vulnerable to strong rushing attacks. ... Union County, however, has an experienced spread offense, which returned all four leading receivers from last year’s playoff team. The Panthers scored early and often last week behind QB Joseph Mancuso and WR Robert Prunier.

WHITE COUNTY at JACKSON COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Panther Stadium, Jefferson
-- RADIO: www.wrwh.com
-- WHITE COUNTY (0-1, 0-0 Region 8-AAAA): Lost 42-34 to Pickens last week.
-- JACKSON COUNTY (0-1, 0-0 Region 8-AAA): Lost 27-21 to Madison County last week.
-- NOTABLE: Series is tied 2-2. Jackson County won last meeting 27-0 in 1993. ... Both teams are coming off tough losses. The Panthers lost in the final moments and White County had a late comeback stopped. ... A fun contrast in styles as the Panthers will throw it in their spread attack while the Warriors will try to control the ball with their triple-option attack. ... Sam Turner, Max Taylor, and QB A.J. Vandiver combined for nearly 200 yards rushing for White County last week. ... Jackson County QB Jacob Lewis threw for 174 yards and ran for another 49 yards. The Panthers led 21-7 last week but a late turnover returned for a touchdown was the difference. ... White County has not started a season 0-2 since 2011, coach Bill Ballard’s first season in Cleveland.


TOWNS COUNTY at MT. VERNON PRESBYTERIAN
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
-- WHERE: Mt. Vernon Stadium, Sandy Springs
-- TOWNS COUNTY (0-1, 0-0 Region 8-A): Lost 57-14 to Union County last week.
-- MT. VERNON PRESBYTERIAN (0-2, 0-0 Region 5-A): Lost 49-14 to Hebron Christian last week.
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting. ... Towns County will look for some momentum before heading into region play next week against Lakeview Academy. . .The Indians should have a chance to score some points. The Mustangs are allowing 45 ppg so far in 2014. ... Union County’s offense offered a big challenge for the Indians but expect a more conventional attack from the Mt. Vernon offense. ... The Mustangs have lost eight straight games going back to last season. ... Towns County is looking for its first non-0-2 start to a season since 2008.
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