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Football: What we learned after Week 12
Brayden Rouse
Denmark senior Brayden Rouse, left, celebrates with senior Ze'Vian Capers during Friday's 34-14 win against Flowery Branch. Photo by Jay Rooney

The regular season is over. Bring on the playoffs. Here's what we learned after Week 12.

Denmark no easy out in Class 4A playoffs

Those who counted Denmark out might want to check again.

The Danes blew out No. 8 Flowery Branch on Friday, 34-14, sending the Falcons to Cartersville for the first round of the Class 4A playoffs and allowing Denmark to clinch its first playoff appearance in school history. 

It was especially impressive given how similar the two teams' resumes were entering the game: Big wins against Chestatee, West Hall and White County; a close loss to Blessed Trinity; a not-so-close loss to Marist. 

Now, Denmark gets a tough Sandy Creek team in the first round, followed by the winner of Burke County/Americus-Sumter should the Danes advance past this week.

After that, anything can happen.

Forsyth Central, Pinecrest end on high notes

It was a rough month and a half for Forsyth Central and Pinecrest, but neither team could have asked for a better way to end the season.

Forsyth Central won its first region game of the year, finally getting over the hump with a 29-22 win against Lambert. Pinecrest, meanwhile, won its second game in three tries, beating Mt. Zion 28-7.

Both of those wins came at home, too, as the Paladins sent off their seven seniors with a victory. Central will say goodbye to 30 seniors, the same ones who led the Bulldogs to their first playoff appearance since 2001 last season.

Forsyth County must go through Gwinnett County

It's a familiar script for Forsyth County.

Last year, Grayson put out South Forsyth 38-6 and Archer beat Forsyth Central 56-0 in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs. The year before, Mountain View knocked out South Forsyth 31-13, North Gwinnett trounced North Forsyth 55-7 and Mill Creek beat West Forsyth 29-14.

To find the last time a Forsyth County team beat a Gwinnett County team in the playoffs, you'd have to go back to 2016, when Lambert soundly beat Central Gwinnett 44-14.

This year, Forsyth County gets three chances at its neighbor to the southeast: West Forsyth at Parkview, South Forsyth at Norcross and Brookwood at North Forsyth.

Helmet stickers:

Kyle Durham, QB, (South Forsyth): 5-of-10 passing for 90 yards, 1 interception; 6 carries, 16 yards and a game-winning touchdown

Alec Stephens, LB, (South Forsyth): 14 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 QB hurries, 1 pass break-up

Gavin Morris, LB, (South Forsyth): 1-of-1 passing for 24 yards, 4 catches for 51 yards; 4 tackles, 64-yard interception return for TD

Kobe Haynes, DB, (West Forsyth): 13 tackles, 1 TFL, forced fumble

Dalton Tjong, DB, (West Forsyth): 10 tackles, 1 interception

Jack Tucker, LB, (North Forsyth): 10 tackles

Anthony Herock, WR, (North Forsyth): 6 receptions, 47 yards, 1 TD

Peyton Rich, QB, (Lambert): 20-of-34 passing for 219 yards, 3 TDs; 12 carries, 54 yards

Anthony Newton, DB/WR, (Lambert): 3 catches, 25 yards; 126 all-purpose yards; 1 tackle, 1 forced fumble

Aaron McLaughlin, QB, (Denmark): 12-of-19 passing for 245 yards and 3 TDs; 8 carries, 25 yards, 2 TDs

Zach Burchfield, LB, (Denmark): 16 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks

Justin Bradford, DB, (Denmark): 3 tackles, 2 interceptions

Bronson Landreth, QB, (Forsyth Central): 19-yard TD run, 20-yard TD run

Ethan Massey, DB/WR, (Pinecrest): 5 receptions, 154 yards and 2 TDs; 2 recovered fumbles

Bryce Balthaser, QB, (Pinecrest): 11-of-16 passing for 224 yards, 3 TDs, 1 interception