All six of Forsyth County’s varsity football squads are back in action this Friday following a week in which only one local team lined up against an opponent.
While No. 5-ranked West Forsyth looks to remain undefeated against Johns Creek, Lambert, Forsyth Central and Pinecrest Academy will attempt to remain unbeaten in region play. South Forsyth and North Forsyth face tough tests as they attempt to earn their first region victories of the year.
Lambert (5-0, 2-0) at Centennial (0-5) — 7:30 p.m. Friday
Coming off a bye week, the undefeated Longhorns are rested as they face a winless Centennial team on Friday night.
Lambert seems to have nearly every advantage over the Knights. The Longhorns’ offense is averaging 28 points per game, while Centennial is managing just 13 points. The defensive statistics aren’t any better. Lambert’s stingy defense is allowing 15 points to Centennial’s 43.
Despite what looks to be a blowout on paper, Lambert head coach Sid Maxwell won’t change his preparation and focus on upcoming games.
"We have to improve as a group and focus on [Centennial]," Maxwell said. "We have to worry about ourselves and come to work each day and get better."
The Knights use the spread offense that features receiver Christian Robinson and quarterback Chase Rosenberg. Along with them, Maxwell said the Knights boast solid speed in the backfield.
"Their offense is designed to put us in space," Maxwell said. "We’re going to have to close in on the ball and play our game. We need to tackle [the player] with the ball and ground out the football and control the time."
South Forsyth (3-2, 0-2) vs. Chattahoochee (3-2, 1-1) — 7:30 p.m. Friday
After winning its first three games in a convincing fashion, South Forsyth will try to stop a two-game losing streak, as Chattahoochee comes to town for homecoming.
"[Chattahoochee] has a really good team," South head coach Jeff Arnette said. "They are a strong team with a fine quarterback and some junior running backs. This game will be a big challenge for us."
In the War Eagles’ 21-0 loss to Alpharetta on Sept. 28, they turned the ball over four times and committed six crucial penalties.
To make matters worse, South doesn’t know whether quarterback Jantzen Jeffrey will be healthy enough to play on Friday night. Jeffrey, who was injured in the first quarter of the loss to Alpharetta, will be a game-time decision.
If Jeffrey isn’t able to go, South will likely turn to backup quarterback Eddie Mirynowski and will rely even more on junior running back Sam Walker. Walker carried the ball for 33 yards and hauled in seven passes for 88 yards in the loss.
"We’ve spent this past week working on the fundamentals," Arnette said. "We’re spending the same amount of time on offense as we have before. It’s the same with holding on to the ball. We work on that every week."
North Forsyth (3-2, 0-2) at Alpharetta (2-3, 1-1) — 7:30 p.m.
North Forsyth will try to play spoiler in Alpharetta’s homecoming game.
The North Raiders come off a bye week believing that their last game against Lambert, a 21-7 loss, wasn’t indicative of how the team played.
"The final score was misleading," North head coach Blair Armstrong said.
"We turned the ball over a couple of times that gave them some points."
Alpharetta beat North 42-7 last season, but North’s defense has improved, allowing 23 points per game, while Alpharetta is giving up 30. But North may still have a difficult time keeping up with Alpharetta, as it is putting up 31 points per game to North’s 20.
North enters the game with a chip on its shoulder as a homecoming opponent.
"I’m sure a lot of teams went ahead and circled North Forsyth as a win on their calendar," Armstrong said. "We’re going to try and go in there and win."
Forsyth Central (1-4, 1-0) vs. Cambridge (0-5, 0-1) — 7:30 p.m.
Following their first victory of the season, the Bulldogs have a little more confidence as they host Cambridge for homecoming on Friday night. If Central knocks off the Bears, it will be the first time since 2008 that the Bulldogs have won back-to-back games.
Central had no trouble crushing North Springs 40-6 last week, marking the most points the team has scored since a 41-0 win over the Spartans in 2008. In the last three games, Central has averaged 450 yards of offense.
"I can tell we’ve improved each week," Central head coach Chris Bennett said. "There’s no doubt we’ve gotten better."
The Bulldogs will more than likely be able to pad those statistics against Cambridge. The Bears are giving up 45 points per game while scoring only 10, and have been shut out twice. However, Bennett said Cambridge has the potential to surprise teams.
"They have improved tremendously from the beginning of the season," Bennett said. "They are a well-coached team. This game is a region game, so our awareness and intensity are higher.
"[Homecoming] is more for the student body and not as much for us. Our kids are grounded, but will enjoy the festivities."
Pinecrest Academy (3-1, 2-0) vs. Athens Academy (5-0, 2-0) — 7:30 p.m.
After a scheduling conflict last week caused the Paladins to have another off week, they are back on the field to play undefeated Athens Academy.
Pinecrest Academy will have its hands full against an Athens team that knocked off top-ten program Prince Avenue Christian 14-7 last week.
Athens Academy’s defense is allowing only 6.6 points per game.