The pregame scene was much different than the one postgame last year for Hancock Central and Warren County.
After the Screaming Devils' 21-2 win in Sparta in 2011, a brawl broke out between the two teams outside the locker room.
During the melee, Warren Co. Head Coach David Daniel was allegedly struck in the face with a helmet, causing severe facial injuries.
In Warrenton Friday night, the two teams met on the field for the first time, figuratively and literally, since the brawl.
"Lord God, we ask that it dies tonight," says the coach leading the two teams in prayer.
Both sides say last year's postgame antics were an unfortunate incident.
"It was a perfect storm," says Hancock Central Head Coach Zackery Harris. "Everything that needed to happen for that situation to occur did."
But both sides are putting the ugly incident behind them.
Friday night's showdown was not about the past, they say, but about moving forward.
Quite simply, they add, it's just about football.
"[The fight] is by no means a picture of what these two teams are and what these kids are," says Harris. "This-today-is moving forward."
"If everybody sees that these kids are playing good, hard-nosed football, and they're helping each other up, then everything should be erased," says Warren Co. Head Coach Fred Blount, who took over after Daniel suddenly retired in August due to complications from his injuries sustained during the fight.
It was a strange atmosphere. Sheriff's deputy vehicles from three counties surrounded the field. Fans of each school were kept on their team's side of the field, banned from walking to the other during the game.
But, the game went on, something not even guaranteed even two months ago.
It wasn't until August that Warren Co. Superintendent Carole Jean Carey backed off her promise to not allow the Screaming Devils to play the Bulldogs.
She only allowed the game to go on after certain security measures were agreed upon.
And Harris is glad Friday's game will be contested.
"It had to happen," he says. "Had to. And I think it happening here, full circle."
For these two schools that are still fighting off the reputations and black eyes they've been saddled with after the nationally publicized brawl, Friday's game was seen as a chance for redemption and to show the world they've moved on.
"Hancock, Warren. Warren, Hancock. It doesn't really matter," the teams are told. "Tonight, it's about football."
Friday, May 24 2013 6:22 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:22:50 GMT
The Georgia-Carolina Council for the Boy Scouts of America voted against allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts. They say they voted against changing the membership standards because 85% of the 2,700 constituentsMore >>
The Georgia-Carolina Council for the Boy Scouts of America voted against allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:53 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:53:19 GMT
Ryan David Jones/Source: RCSO
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been investigatingMore >>
The Richmond County Sheriff Office has charged Ryan David Jones with 3 counts of Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:54 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:54:11 GMT
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.Robert Donald Holden, Jr, of Hephzibah, was pronounced dead at the scene on the 3500 blockMore >>
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:00:17 GMT
For 12 years Denise Glasford's sister fought in the Army, but died last year on Memorial Day. "Thinking about her and wishing she was still here with us," Glasford said. "It's been a tough year for the family." GlasfordMore >>
Glasford and her niece and nephew are three of dozens of family members paying tribute to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Here at Fort Gordon's Warrior Remembrance Memorial Day Ceremony, they're honoring those killed, and remembering those they left behind. Soldiers say the national holiday is much more than a day off from work to barbeque and celebrate.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:43:19 GMT
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.That's off of Deans Bridge Road.Residents in the area say that two people were shot and taken to the hospital.More >>
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:07 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:07:55 GMT
Praying and singing through their grief, dozens of people remembered the lives of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones Thursday evening. "It hit me hard because this was like another family to me," saidMore >>
Praying and singing through their grief, dozens of people remembered the lives of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones Thursday evening.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:53 PM EDT2013-05-24 02:53:59 GMT
An Aiken County man is in the hospital after being hit by a car in an alleged domestic dispute.The Aiken County Sheriff's Office received a call just after 7:30pm Thursday evening about a pedestrian beingMore >>
An Aiken County man is in the hospital after being hit by a car in an alleged domestic dispute.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:03 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:03:57 GMT
President Obama addressed the nation with the counter-terrorism policy which includes the controversial plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay. FOX54 has the exclusive interview with a former military defenseMore >>
President Obama addressed the nation with the counter-terrorism policy which includes the controversial plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay. FOX54 has the exclusive interview with a former military defense attorney who represented one of the GTMO prisoners. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:10 AM EDT2013-05-23 12:10:07 GMT
The images we're seeing in Oklahoma having a heavy impact on viewers around the country and here in the CSRA. Lindsay Findley says she was heartbroken when she found out about it. "It's just so sad toMore >>
Thirty disaster relief volunteers and vehicles have been sent to Oklahoma; three of them from the Palmetto region. And at any moment, volunteers with the Aiken chapter could be deployed.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:34 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:34:56 GMT
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it. The parking limit downtown has beenMore >>
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it.More >>