By Robert Grubbs
For the Forsyth County News
TYRONE — The reward for the Denmark Danes’ impressive win last week against Flowery Branch was a matchup Friday with the Sandy Creek Patriots, the No. 2 team from Region 5-4A. The Patriots featured a high-powered offense led by quarterback and region player of the year Matthew Williams, but it was the Sandy Creek defense that frustrated the Danes all night in a 42-7 loss that ended their season.
After exchanging possessions in the first quarter, Sandy Creek scored the first touchdown of the night when Rashad Amos, a South Carolina commit pushed it in from the 3-yard line. With Denmark looking to answer, the Patriot defense forced a turnover and scored on the next play when Williams found Alabama commit Brian Branch, who took a pass away from the defender in the end zone for the 14-0 lead.
It was the Denmark defense that came up with next turnover, as they intercepted a Williams pass and made the Patriots pay when Aaron McLaughlin, an Auburn commit, scored on a quarterback keeper.
With two minutes left in the half, Denmark had cut the lead to 14-7 and would get the ball first in the third quarter.
But Sandy Creek got a big run from Amos when it looked as if they were going to play conservatively going into the half. After another first down, the Patriots where in the red zone and Williams found Amos wide open in the end zone for the 21-7 halftime lead.
The Patriots defense held on the Danes first possession of the second half and followed the defensive stand with an 82-yard drive that put the game out of reach. Amos scored two more touchdowns on the ground, and Branch added another TD on an interception return.
In the end, it was the Sandy Creek defensive line that made the difference, as they kept McLaughlin uncomfortable in the pocket all night, and he was never able to get into a rhythm.