By Cole Rogers
For the Forsyth County News
Denmark opened the season Friday with a 41-0 victory over the Cherokee Bluff Bears in a dominating performance.
The Danes had complete control on both sides of the ball the entire game, and barely allowed Cherokee Bluff to get any positive yardage.
Denmark’s offense was firing on all cylinders the entire game. Aaron McLaughlin went 18 of 26 for 233 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bears defense was able to get in his face a few times, but he showed poise in the pocket and was still able to make some nice passes.
Jordan Brunson scored all over the Bears, ending the game with 119 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. The offensive line created some great holes all night, but he was a nightmare to try to bring down once he hit the open field.
Devin duCille also contributed to the Danes’ running attack before injuring his knee at the end of a play on the sideline.
He was carted off the field, but returned to the Denmark sideline later with ice around his knee while using crutches.
Cherokee Bluff relied on their running game to try to get its offense going, but the Danes swarmed to the ball every play. They finished the game with only 35 total rushing yards.
The Bears’ passing game didn’t fare much better. Denmark held them to fewer than 10 completions for only 25 yards. Despite the plethora of penalties during the game, the Bears couldn’t capitalize and majority of their drives ended up being three-and-outs.
“We came out and did what we’re supposed to do,” Denmark Terry Crowder said. “Moving forward, we just have to take it one game at a time.”
The big expectations for the Danes this season aren’t just coming from fans, but from the team themselves. Crowder makes sure his team knows the focus is on working and getting better every week.
“We’re gonna come out and try and do this every game,” Denmark quarterback Aaron McLaughlin said. “We set a good expectation here and a good standard.”
Looking back, nobody expected a first year varsity football program with no senior class to do well at all. Much less go 5-5, and barely miss out on going to the playoffs.
In year two, the Danes have multiple Division I prospects already committed to Power 5 colleges, and a varsity group with a lot of experience.
Their opener against Cherokee Bluff showed that not only are they getting better, but they aren’t going to settle for another 5-5 season.
Denmark (1-0) will host North Springs next week for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.