By Steven Watkins
For the Forsyth County News
Like any new program in any given first year, Denmark High School’s football team has spent their inaugural season notching off proverbial firsts as they wade their way through the unknowns that accompany the very first season of a newly-formed school.
Unfortunately, Friday night’s 47-6 home loss at the hands of undefeated Blessed Trinity marked the newly-minted squad’s first-ever pair of consecutive losses.
“They’re a very senior-laden football team coming off a state championship with a great staff and great players,” Denmark head coach Terry Crowder said following his squad’s loss at the hands of the reigining Class 4A state champions. “We knew there were going to be times where we might lose our composure a little bit, so we coached them hard, didn’t baby them, and told them that’s what we expect to look like next year.”
After an initial Denmark three-and-out, the high-powered Titan offense struck first when running back Steele Chambers used his team’s first play from scrimmage to sprint right and completely outrun any would-be tacklers for the first 69 of his 143 eventual rushing yards. Chambers then added a second score on an additional 37 yards to give the Titans a 14-0 lead just before the end of the first quarter.
Chambers would then eventually be outdone by teammate Carson Harof, whose own pair of rushing scores and additional receiving TD accounted for three of the final four Titan touchdowns.
Denmark’s defense responded strongly after the initial score and managed to corral the highly talented Titan offense for the majority of the first half, while even forcing and recovering a fumble toward the end of the second quarter to give their offense a chance to pull back within a pair of scores.
“We had some big plays on defense,” junior free safety/wide receiver Ze’vian Capers said. “When it came to the third and inches and fourth and inches, we just couldn’t seem to get the job done.”
On the other side of the ball, Capers’ 22 receiving yards led a Denmark offensive effort that came similarly close to success on a number of plays, yet never seemed to find its stride, finishing the night with 45 total yards and a lone score.
Following the forced fumble, Denmark’s sole points of the contest occurred on a sequence of plays that may have best encapsulated the evening beyond any others.
On a fourth-and-goal situation from the four yard line, Dane quarterback Ben Whitlock dropped back, side-stepped and fired a short pass to sophomore Teddy Davenport.
Davenport caught the ball near the one, maintained control through an initial hard hit to the head and continued to do so through a second while simultaneously and stubbornly fighting the ball across the endzone chalk.
Following their first losing streak in program history, the Danes (4-3, 1-2 Region 5-4A) will now look to continue conference play with yet another daunting matchup at 6-1 Marist next week.
“It’s just one loss,” Capers said. “Things happen. We’ve just got to move on from it.”