By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Football: Preview of Week 2's matchups
Photo by Kevin O'Brien/Split Second Images

Cartersville at West Forsyth

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wolverine Stadium in Cumming.

Records, rankings: Cartersville is 1-0 and ranked No. 5 in Class 5A; West Forsyth is 1-0 and tied for 16th in Class 7A.

Series history: Cartersville leads 1-0.

Last meeting: Cartersville won 28-17 in 2020.

What to know: Both Cartersville and West Forsyth hurried past their Week 1 opponents, with the Purple Hurricanes blowing out Morrow 55-0 and the Wolverines smothering Carver-Atlanta in the Corky Kell Classic opener, 38-8. Last year marked the first meeting between the two programs, as Cartersville won 28-17 against a West team that played without Oscar Delp. Delp was truly a game-changer against Carver. He led West's offense with five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown, with four of his five catches coming on scoring drives. He had back-to-back catches on West's first scoring drive and caught a 28-yard touchdown from Keegan Stover, shaking off a tackler and galloping into the end zone. Stover tossed four touchdowns and completed 12 of 21 passes for 177 yards in the win. On defense, linebackers Raleigh Herbert and Riley McKee picked up where they left off last year, and Hudson Brown and William Orris each had an interception. Cartersville is breaking in several new players after graduating both quarterbacks, their top three rushers, and top four receivers. Malachi Jeffries emerged as Cartesville's top backfield threat last week, rushing for 88 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries. Quarterbacks Jake Parker and Paul Campbell spread the ball to six different receivers, with Parker completing 7 of 12 passes for 100 yards.

Banneker at Denmark

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Denmark High School in Alpharetta.

Records, rankings: Banneker is 1-0 and unranked in Class 5A; Denmark is 0-1 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: These teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A

What to know: Mix a pair of sophomore quarterbacks with one of the top defenses in the state and you're bound to struggle. Such was the case last week, as quarterbacks Jacob Nelson and Michael McClellan combined for three interceptions and Denmark's offense failed to break the century mark in total yards. Banneker won its season opener against KIPP Atlanta, 56-12, but simply doesn't present the same challenge that Cedartown did. Banneker finished 3-5 last season and went 4-6 in 2019. The Trojans operate out of the I-formation, with 6-foot-6 quarterback Jared Lawrence engineering the offense. Lawrence completed 6 of 14 passes for 123 yards and four touchdowns last week, while running back Jamill Williams rushed for three scores and added another through the air. The Danes will look for either Nelson or McClellan to lead the offense in the right direction against Banneker. Running back Amon Williams rushed 17 times for 46 yards against Cedartown and wide receiver Aidan Brozena caught four passes for 30 yards.

Rabun Gap at East Forsyth

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Half-Mile Stadium in Gainesville.

Records, rankings: Rabun Gap is 0-1; East Forsyth is 0-1 and unranked in Class 3A.

Series history: These teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A

What to know: East Forsyth's opener didn't go as planned, with the Broncos losing 19-0, but not many programs win their first game in school history. East moved the ball effectively against Ridgeland despite not finding the end zone. Quarterback Will Moffit combined for 177 total yards, while David Navarrete caught a team-high six passes and Brandon Peoples led the Broncos with 67 receiving yards. East also had two players log double-digit tackles, with Tripp Morris and Jack Brumbelow racking up 13 stops, and Ramon Smith and Garrett Wiggins each had two tackles for loss. Unfortunately, it won't get any easier for East this week against Rabun Gap. The Eagles have five players ranked inside 247sports' list of top 100 Class of 2022 players. Darren Agu is a three-star linebacker committed to Vanderbilt, Marlin Klein is a three-star tight end committed to Michigan, Linus Zunk is a three-star defensive lineman committed to Vanderbilt, Coleman Bryson is a three-star safety committed to Minnesota and Tucker Holloway is a three-star wide receiver committed to Virginia Tech. Holloway led Rabun Gap with four catches for 89 yards and a touchdown, plus two interceptions, last week in a 35-21 loss to Baylor [Tenn.].

Horizon Christian at Fideles Christian

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Joint Venture Park in Cumming.

Records, rankings: Horizon Christian is 1-0; Fideles Christian is 1-0.

Series history: Horizon Christian leads 1-0.

Last meeting: Horizon Christian won 44-28 in 2020.

What to know: Horizon Christian kicked off its title defense with a resounding 56-0 win against Holy Spirit Prep. Next up is a date with fellow 8-man GAPPS member Fideles Christian, which shut out Our Lady of Mercy 44-0 last week in its opener. The two teams met last year for the first time, with Horizon winning 44-28.

Lambert at Lassiter

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Frank Fillmann Stadium in Marietta.

Records, rankings: Lambert is 1-0 and unranked in Class 7A; Lassiter is 0-1 and unranked in Class 6A.

Series history: Lambert leads 1-0.

Last meeting: Lambert won 34-19 in 2020.

What to know: Lambert got off to an excellent start last week, winning 28-3 against Centennial in its opener. James Tyre took the quarterback job and ran with it, completing 12 of 15 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown, including a 61-yard score to Kojo Antwi. Running back Harrison Peyton collected 69 yards and a score on the ground, and the Longhorns were an impressive 6-for-12 on third downs against the Knights. Defensively, Tommy Morris and Henry Reese had interceptions and Lambert allowed just 102 total yards. Lambert cruised past Lassiter last season, 34-19, limiting the Trojans to just 1.2 yards per carry. However, Lassiter showed an improved running game in its opener against River Ridge, as Jaheem Murray rushed for 64 yards and a score on 12 carries and Samuel Gadsden had 17 carries for 56 yards. But the Trojans were gashed for more than eight yards per carry and coughed the ball up three times, which led to the 35-16 loss.

North Forsyth at Harrison 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cobleigh Stadium in Kennesaw.

Records, rankings: North Forsyth is 1-0 and unranked in Class 7A; Harrison is 1-0 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: North Forsyth leads 1-0.

Last meeting: North Forsyth won 10-9 in 2020.

What to know: Perhaps the biggest win of North Forsyth's 2020 season came against Harrison, when the Raiders knocked off the reigning Class 6A state champions in Raider Valley, 10-9. The Raiders are hoping to duplicate last year's result after rolling over Alcovy 37-7, which is just a few points off last year's 35-3 win. North was dominant on defense last week, sacking the quarterback five times and pressuring him on 12 occasions. Linebacker Collin Miller had a breakout performance, collecting three tackles for loss, two sacks, a blocked punt and a recovery on a blocked punt. Miller is part of a talented linebacking corps that includes Patrick Corrigan and Dylan Lyerly. On offense, Drew Aucoin accounted for four touchdowns — three rushing and one passing. Harrison is under the direction of first-year coach Josh Cassidy, a longtime assistant with the Hoyas. Nathan Vail is a three-star safety who is committed to Duke and leads the Hoyas' defensive backfield. Quarterback Jake Walling threw two touchdowns and racked up 237 passing yards last week in a 25-17 win against Allatoona, then the sixth-ranked team in Class 6A. Harrison runs much of its offense out of the shotgun and can effectively use running backs Alex Perry and Akhnaton Shabazz in the screen game.

Lake Oconee Academy at Pinecrest Academy

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday Between the Pines in Cumming.

Records, rankings: Lake Oconee Academy is 0-0; Pinecrest Academy is 0-0.

Series history: These teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A.

What to know: Pinecrest Academy will get its first test of the 2021 season against Lake Oconee Academy on Friday. Lake Oconee might be a first-year program, but head coach Drew Anthony has 27 years of coaching experience in Georgia, including stops as an assistant at Buford and Camden County. Still, the Titans likely shouldn't expect to be on Pinecrest's level in their first-ever game. The Paladins are the defending 8-man GAPPS state champions, and though they are making the jump back up to 11-man football, Pinecrest brings back plenty of varsity starters, beginning with dual-threat quarterback Breckin Barbee. Colin Brown figures to be Barbee's primary receiver, while Brock Barbee is expected to handle the bulk of the carries. On defense, Ryan Bartling is a sure tackler and will be a difference-maker at linebacker.