Wednesday, April 14

Regional High School Football Week 9 review/ Week 10 Preview

We’ve hit the final turn and started for home in the race to the playoffs for all of the teams in our area, and there are many big games left to decide which teams advance to participate in post season play and which ones  start the long off season. With just three weeks left in the regular season, every region is full of games that will have major playoff and post season implications for many of our high school teams. It’s not to late to get out and enjoy a high school game while the season draws to a conclusion.
Before we look at playoff scenarios in our area, let’s look back at a couple of big games that took place last weekend.
The first stop is the Granite Bowl in Elberton, where the Blue Devils entertained Rabun County, in a game that featured Gunner Stockman. Stockman, the Rabun quarterback, is considered to be one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in the United States in the Class of 2022. Stockman did not disappoint, as he was 16 of 23 against Elbert for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Cory Kellar added 128 yards rushing for Rabun as they defeated the Blue Devils 52-14.
Speaking about the game, Elbert’s Brad Waggoner said,”We battled with them for 2 1/2 quarters, it was 24-14 and we forced a fumble but missed a field goal that would have made it a one score game. They are a real good football team.”He added, “we did some really good things against Rabun, we moved the ball and forced them to turn it over, but they are a really good football team. The quarterback (Stockman) is really good.” Waggoner added, “ we control our own destiny as far as getting into the playoffs, we have 3 games left and need to win all three in order to get the 3rd seed from our region. These young men have worked really hard and we’re a much better team now than we were at the beginning of the year.” 
At Jefferson, the Dragons broke open a close game at the half a defeated Morgan County 47-12, to take the lead in Region 8-AAA. “Morgan County had a really good game plan, and did a good job slowing the game down and keeping our offense on the sideline for the first half. We were able to make a stand at the end of the second quarter, and make some plays in the second half,” according to Gene Cathcart of Jefferson. “Colby Clark continues to play well for us at quarterback,” Cathcart added. Clark had 5 touchdowns for Jefferson with 4 on the ground as Jefferson moves to 6-1 on the year and 4-0 in region play.
The Monroe Area Purple Hurricanes used big plays in the passing game and a special teams block punt to defeat Hart County by the score of 28-21. Monroe Area and Morgan County are currently tied for second place in region 8-AAA, while Hart County, who lost for the first time last week against Jefferson falls into a tie with Franklin County for 4th in the region. “We still have a lot of football left in this season, 3 big games with a lot to play for”, said Coach Rance Gillespie. “We still have a lot to say in regards to how this region comes out over the next three weeks. We have the opportunity to host a first round playoff game and we need to come ready to work, and put the last two weeks behind us.”
Speaking of Franklin County, congratulations to the Lions for getting their first win of the year, defeating East Jackson by the score of 35-14 in a game played in Carnesville. The Lions  travel to Jefferson on Friday to face Jackson County.
In region 8-AAAAAA, the Gainesville Red Elephants opened a 14-0 lead after the first quarter, and defeated Habersham Central 47-21 in a game at Gainesville. Habersham Central will take on Dacula, the state’s 2nd ranked AAAAAA team, at Dacula. This is a must win game for Habersham as they share the bottom of the standing in the region with Apalachee.
Games this weekend include; Hart County hosting East Jackson, Stephens County at North Oconee, Elbert County at Monticello, Franklin County at Jackson County, Madison County taking on St. Pius X in Atlanta, Jefferson at Monroe Area, Union County hosting Oglethorpe, Rabun County travels to Social Circle, and Banks County plays host to Putman County. 

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