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Football: Preview of Week 13's matchups
Colby Cruz
South Forsyth senior Colby Cruz, right, breaks up a pass Oct. 11 during a 42-17 win against Lambert. - photo by David Roberts

South Forsyth at Norcross

When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Norcross High School

Records, rankings: South Forsyth is 6-4 and unranked in Class 7A; Norcross in 5-5 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: Norcross leads 3-2.

Last meeting: South Forsyth won 20-14 in 2015.

What to know: South Forsyth has faced its share of physical defenses this year – Hillgrove, Milton, West Forsyth – and this unit is up there with all three. Norcross enters the playoffs riding a four-game winning streak, giving up just 42 points in those games. Linebackers Jalen Garner (167) and Zakye Barker (125) are well above the century mark in tackles, combining for 53 tackles for loss. The Blue Devils have a balanced offense, too, with a trio of playmakers in Kaleb Jackson (6.9 yards per carry, 3 TDs), Jahni Clarke (5.7 yards per carry, 6 TDs) and Michael Porter (3.7 yards per carry, 5 TDs). Quarterback Mason Kaplan has thrown for 1,272 yards and 15 touchdowns with just one interception. South Forsyth picked off West Forsyth quarterback Drew Southern three times last week in a 14-10 win, as Devin McGlockton, Gavin Morris and Jax Weaver had interceptions. Morris returned his 64 yards for a touchdown. Kyle Durham and Joe Slott shared snaps at quarterback, combining to finish 16-of-28 passing for 181 yards and two interceptions. Durham was the leading rusher with 16 yards and the game-winning touchdown on six carries for a War Eagles offense that is averaging just 56 yards per game since Oct. 18.

Brookwood at North Forsyth

When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Raider Valley in Coal Mountain

Records, rankings: North Forsyth is 6-4 and unranked in Class 7A; Brookwood is 5-5 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: Teams are tied 0-0.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

What to know: North Forsyth lost 33-9 last week to Milton, but the Raiders still finish second in Region 5-7A and host a first-round playoff game. First up is Brookwood, which placed third in an exceedingly top-heavy Region 7-7A. Brookwood's offense runs the ball behind an offensive line that is bolstered by three-star North Carolina State commit Sean Hill. Running back Eli Khol had 183 rushing yards two weeks ago during a 27-22 loss to Norcross, and Manny Fernandez had three scores on the ground last week in a 54-0 drubbing of Lakeside-DeKalb. North Forsyth has been stout against the run for much of the season, but the Raiders were carved up last week by a Milton offense that rushed 30 times for 261 yards and three touchdowns. North's linebacking corps continues to be a strength for the Raiders, as senior Jack Tucker leads the team with 73 tackles and 11 tackles for loss, and sophomore Patrick Corrigan is second with 47 tackles and 11 tackles for loss. North lost running back Jared Lucero to injury last week, but the Raiders' junior racked up 37 yards on six carries before his exit. North head coach Robert Craft was optimistic after the game that Lucero would play against Brookwood, and if he does, that will take some pressure off of quarterback Brady Meitz.

Denmark at Sandy Creek

When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Sandy Creek High School

Records, rankings: Denmark is 7-2 and is tied for No. 8 in Class 4A; Sandy Creek is 9-1 and ranked No. 5 in Class 4A.

Series history: Teams are tied 0-0.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

What to know: Denmark used a resounding 34-14 win against Flowery Branch last week to snag a third-place finish in Region 7-4A, setting up a first-round showdown against No. 5 Sandy Creek. The Patriots have a wealth of talent in their defensive secondary, as safety Brian Branch is a four-star recruit who is currently committed to Alabama, and cornerback Joey Hunter is a three-star recruit going to South Carolina. Denmark junior Aaron McLaughlin, an Auburn commit, will get a glimpse at his future Iron Bowl opponent on Friday. Sandy Creek also has an SEC-caliber running back in Rashad Amos, a 6-foot, 210-pound senior who committed to South Carolina on Tuesday. Sandy Creek has been stingy on defense this season, save for a 52-42 loss to Cartersville, when the Patriots allowed quarterback Tee Webb to complete 20 of 29 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns. McLaughlin and the Danes' offense was firing on all cylinders against Flowery Branch, as Denmark's quarterback went 12-of-19 passing for 245 yards and three touchdown in the win. Junior Justin Bradford had a pair of interceptions in the victory and now has five for the season. 

West Forsyth at Parkview

When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Parkview High School

Records, rankings: West Forsyth is 4-5 and unranked in Class 7A; Parkview is 9-1 and ranked No. 7 in Class 7A.

Series history: Parkview leads 1-0.

Last meeting: Parkview won 26-23 in 2012.

What to know: West Forsyth was a goal-line stop away from beating South Forsyth and securing a No. 3 seed in Region 5-7A, but the Wolverines have the misfortune of drawing Parkview in the first round. The Panthers are led by one of the top running backs in the nation, junior Cody Brown, who has 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns on 146 carries this season, and quarterback Jordan Williams is 100-of-179 passing for 1,562 yards and 17 touchdowns with one interception. West forced several turnovers last week against South, as Jack Hughes and Dalton Tjong had interceptions, and Koby Haynes and Hudson Posey forced fumbles. The Wolverines will have to be just as stingy Friday against a Panthers offense that is averaging nearly 40 points per game. Luckily, West has a knack for shutting down opposing offenses. The Wolverines have 73 tackles for loss this season and are led by senior Eli Orr's 103 stops and 14 tackles for loss. In the past three games, West has 35 tackles for loss, including 15 during a 22-21 win against North Forsyth.