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Football: What we learned from Week 11
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Photo by Jay Rooney Photography for the Forsyth County News

Denmark won its first region championship in program history, while South Forsyth, West Forsyth and Lambert earned playoff berths. Here’s what we learned from Week 11 of high school football in Forsyth County

Denmark wins first football region championship

The Danes will carry a No. 1 seed in to the Class 7A playoffs this week after beating West 21-7. In many ways, the victory was a vintage Denmark performance.

Denmark’s defensive line of Will Hodges, Charley Croiner, Hayden Songer and Asher West stuffed the Wolverines’ rushing attack, Amon Williams logged well over 100 yards rushing, and the Danes didn’t allow West a single offensive point.

Through nine games, the only team to score more than 14 points against Denmark remains North Forsyth [17].

Three Region 8-7A teams spent at least one week ranked in the top 10 – Collins Hill, Mill Creek, North Gwinnett – and Denmark’s prize for winning the region is drawing the only playoff team from that region that went unranked all year, Mountain View.

The winner will face the East Coweta/Grayson winner in the Sweet 16.

South welcomes North Gwinnett back to War Eagle Stadium

It’s difficult to know what a team has during their preseason scrimmage.

It took South Forsyth a couple of weeks to round into form, and by the time the War Eagles truly started to click, about two months had passed since they fell 41-21 to North Gwinnett in their final preseason tune-up.

South is looking for a better result this time around, and there’s reason to believe they’ll find it.

The War Eagles put together their most complete win of the season last week in a 34-0 win over Forsyth Central. QB Ty Watkins was 5-for-5 passing for 150 yards and three touchdowns, Chris Nelson returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, and the War Eagles’ defense pitched a shutout.

North Gwinnett took some lumps recently against Collins Hill, Mill Creek and North Cobb – three of the best teams in Class 7A – but took care of business against Peachtree Ridge and Mountain View to lock up the three seed.

The winner will face the Brookwood/Newnan winner in the Sweet 16.

West also has a familiar opponent

Speaking of familiar opponents, West Forsyth gets a rematch with Mill Creek in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs after locking up the No. 3 seed.

The Wolverines fell 38-10 to Mill Creek in September, fueled by a 10-point swing just before halftime. West lined up to kick a field goal that would have sent the two teams into halftime tied 10-10, but the kick was blocked and returned for a touchdown to instead make it 17-7, then a 21-point third quarter all but sealed the game.

It was the first of three straight losses for West, which found its footing four weeks later in a 42-10 win against Forsyth Central to restore its playoff chances. The Wolverines beat Gainesville and Lambert by a combined score of 67-10 before last week’s showdown against Denmark.

The Wolverines managed just -22 yards rushing last week – counting sack yardage – and will face another stout defensive front against Mill Creek.

The winner will face the McEachern/South Gwinnett winner in the Sweet 16.

Lambert playoff bound for first time since 2016

The Longhorns opened the season 4-0 for the second time in as many years.

But unlike last season, Lambert collected region wins against Gainesville, North Forsyth and Forsyth Central to finish with a winning record. And unlike any season since 2016, the Longhorns are heading to the postseason.

It’s an impressive turnaround for second-year head coach Tommy Watson, who is 12-8 since inheriting a program that finished 0-10 in 2019.

Now the Longhorns face their biggest challenge of the season against nationally ranked Collins Hill, a team that has scored 350 points in 10 games and is limiting opposing offenses to fewer than five points per game.

Five-star recruit and Florida State commit Travis Hunter hasn’t played a snap since Peachtree Ridge, but the Eagles haven’t missed a beat and easily wrapped up the region’s No. 1 seed.

The winner will face the Parkview/Pebblebrook winner in the Sweet 16.