By Mark Turner
For the Forsyth County News
CLEVELAND — The Denmark Danes stayed in the state playoff hunt with a 28-21 win over White County on Friday in the Danes’ first trip to Cleveland.
The Danes looked ready to run away from the Warriors in the first quarter as Jordan Brunson ripped off a 74-yard scoring run on the first play of the game, and Aaron McLaughlin scored on a 1-yard run later in the quarter to give the Danes a 14-0 advantage.
But the Warriors got things going late in the quarter, with quarterback J. Ben Haynes connecting with Jesse Thomas to make it 14-7.
The Danes struggled offensively in the second quarter, as the Warriors limited Denmark to 20 yards and two first downs, but White County couldn’t take advantage as they only managed 45 yards in the quarter.
Zach Ogbogu ripped off a 58-yard touchdown five minutes into the quarter for a 21-7 lead, but White County answered with a big pass play, with Riley Stancil hooking up with Cooper Turner on a halfback pass for a 79-yard touchdown with 2:52 to go in the quarter.
Brunson found the end zone for the second time of the game on the opening play of the fourth quarter, scoring on a 14-yard run for a 28-14 lead. But White County wouldn’t go away, putting together a 79-yard drive that was capped off with 14-yard pass from Haynes to Turner on a fourth-and-goal play from the 14-yard line to cut the Danes’ lead to 28-21.
The Warriors got the ball back late in the quarter and moved down the field, getting into Danes’ territory on a 28-yard pass from Haynes to Thomas. On a fourth-and-3 play from the Danes’ 28-yard line, the Warriors’ hopes for the tying touchdown ended with an incomplete pass with just over a minute left on the clock.
Brunson ripped off a 40-yard run to seal the deal, and the Danes ran out the clock.
The Danes finished with more than 330 yards on the ground, led by Brunson with 203 yards on 12 carries. Ogbogu added 86 yards on nine carries, while McLaughlin had 50 yards on 11 attempts.
The Danes, who improved to 6-2 overall, and 3-2 in region play, finish off the regular season schedule next week with a home game against Flowery Branch.