As of Wednesday, August 29, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
North Gwinnett's National Football Challenge likely will feature just two games after Pine Forest (Fla.) withdrew from the annual showcase, leaving Stephenson without an opponent this Saturday.
With Hurricane Isaac approaching, the Pensacola school district postponed school and all of the Pine Forest players evacuated to different areas. The exodus made it nearly impossible for Pine Forest to reassemble its team and travel to North.
North Gwinnett Touchdown Club officials tried to fill the void with Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln, which also lost a game because of the Pensacola situation, but a deal couldn't be reached.
"We have one other (school) that is a real long shot, so we're moving forward as if there will be no opponent for Stephenson," said Ken Manning, who organizes the event for North.
The other two games Saturday won't be affected by the cancellation of the 3 p.m. game. Valdosta will still play North Augusta (S.C.) at noon and host North will play A.C. Flora (S.C.) at 6 p.m.
"We feel awful for Stephenson," Manning said. "Through no fault of their own, they don't have a game. We're obviously disappointed for them. We're taking it personal. We feel bad that this happened."