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Football: Preview of Week 6's matchups
Delp_Heffington
West Forsyth tight end Oscar Delp, left, and North Forsyth running back Lake Heffington will each try to help their team hoist the Leatherhead Trophy Friday night in Raider Valley. File photos

Denmark at Forsyth Central

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

Records, rankings: Denmark is 3-1 and unranked in Class 7A; Forsyth Central is 1-3 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: Denmark leads 2-0.

Last meeting: Denmark won 21-0 in 2020.

What to know: Forsyth Central hosts Denmark as the Danes aim to win their fourth straight game and the Bulldogs try to snap a three-game skid. Following a season-opening loss to Cedartown [now 3-1 and ranked No. 6 in Class 4A], Denmark owns wins over Banneker, Shiloh and North Forsyth. Against North, the Danes forced four turnovers, including interceptions by Treston Jordan and Jalanie Miller that were returned for touchdowns. Dee Crayton posted 12 stops and four tackles for loss in the win. QB Jacob Nelson passed for a season-high 169 yards, highlighted by a 74-yard TD toss to Che Ojarikre. In all, Nelson spread the ball to six different receivers. Central played Gainesville to a 13-7 halftime deficit two weeks ago, but the Red Elephants outscored the Bulldogs 21-0 in the second half to pull away. Still, running back Malachi McElroy broke the 100-yard rushing mark for the third time this season and is second in the county with 463 yards and three TDs on 70 carries. Linebacker Camden Leak leads the county with 44 tackles, while his brother, Carson Leak, follows with 34 tackles.

Mount Pisgah at East Forsyth 

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

Records, rankings: Mount Pisgah is 2-3 and unranked in Class 1A Private; East Forsyth is 1-4 and unranked in Class 3A.

Series history: These teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A

What to know: East Forsyth looks to win its second game in as many chances Friday against Mount Pisgah. QB Will Moffit accounted for 239 of the Broncos’ 282 total yards in a 26-7 win against Riverside Academy two weeks ago. Moffit rushed for three scores and added another one through the air to Andrew Frank. Ramon Smith and Sebastian Amerson each had three tackles for loss, while Garrett Wiggins sacked the quarterback once. Mount Pisgah is 2-3 with wins over Christian Heritage and Walker and losses to Hebron Christian, Mount Paran and Wesleyan. Much of the Eagles’ offense runs through QB Jack Cendoya, who has passed for 768 yards and is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Cendoya’s top target is wide receiver Tyler Hunnicutt, who owns 312 yards and three touchdowns on 18 receptions. Mount Pisgah’s defense has allowed 813 rushing yards in its three losses, including 484 yards and six touchdowns in a 43-22 loss to Hebron Christian on Sept. 10.

Gainesville at Lambert

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Horn in Suwanee.

Records, rankings: Gainesville is 4-1 and unranked in Class 7A; Lambert is 4-1 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: Gainesville leads 2-1.

Last meeting: Gainesville won 42-35 in 2020.

What to know: Lambert suffered its first loss of the season two weeks ago against South Forsyth. The Longhorns look to rebound against a Gainesville team that opened region play with a 34-7 win against Forsyth Central, then beat Hillgrove 20-7 last week. Lambert started the season 4-0, with wins over Centennial, Lassiter, Meadowcreek and Duluth before falling 35-13 to South Forsyth. QB James Tyre is completing over 65 percent of his passes [45-for-69] for 573 yards and owns 11 total touchdowns [6 passing; 5 rushing]. On the ground, the Longhorns are averaging 5.2 yards per carry, led by Ethan Terry’s 221 yards and four scores on 50 carries. Wide receiver Kojo Antwi has also helped fill in at running back and has 286 total yards [145 rushing; 141 receiving]. Gainesville has speed to burn on both sides of the ball, specifically with running back Naim Cheeks and defensive back Dre Raven. Cheeks leads the Red Elephants with 587 rushing yards and Raven had a long interception return last week against Hillgrove. Sophomore QB Baxter Wright owns more than 1,000 total yards and is completing a remarkable 76 percent of his passes.

West Forsyth at North Forsyth

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

Records, rankings: West Forsyth is 2-2 and ranked 7th in Class 7A; North Forsyth is 3-2 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: West Forsyth leads 10-3.

Last meeting: North Forsyth won 24-10 in 2020.

What to know: The Battle for the Leatherhead Trophy pits West Forsyth against North Forsyth Friday night at Raider Valley. North won 24-10 last season, forcing three turnovers, including a scoop-and-score by Patrick Corrigan that gave the Raiders a two-score lead in the final minutes of the game. West enters the game ranked No. 7 in Class 7A, winning against Carver-Atlanta and Walton and falling to Cartersville and Mill Creek. Contrary to last season’s matchup, West QB Keegan Stover is fully healthy and is leading the county with 909 passing yards as a junior. The Wolverines also boast the county’s top rusher in Peyton Streko [68 carries, 513 yards, 8 TD] and top receiver Oscar Delp [25 catches, 367 yards, 3 TD]. Meanwhile, a pair of North players lead the county in defensive categories – Collin Miller has 11 tackles for loss and Chandler Deblois own five pass breakups. The Raiders fell to Denmark, 20-17, to open region play but held the Danes to just one offensive touchdown. North’s defense has allowed opposing offenses to reach the end zone only two times in the past three games.

Rock Springs Academy at Pinecrest Academy 

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

Records, rankings: Rock Springs is 3-1; Pinecrest is 3-1.

Series history: These teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A

What to know: Pinecrest Academy is set to host Rock Springs Academy in a matchup of two 3-1 teams. Pinecrest demolished Flint River Academy two weeks ago, 35-6, as Brock Barbee had two TD runs and tallied 19 tackles. Ryan Bartling also starred on both sides of the ball, returning a fumble 91 yards for a touchdown, then hauling in an 85-yard TD pass from Breckin Barbee. Both Pinecrest and Rock Springs share a mutual loss to Cherokee Christian. The Paladins fell 17-7, then Rock Springs lost 21-14 the following week. Similar to Pinecrest, Rock Springs had a bounce-back victory against Aucilla Christian [Fl.], winning 26-14.

South Forsyth at Lithia Springs

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lions Stadium in Lithia Springs.

Records, rankings: South Forsyth is 3-1 and unranked in Class 7A; Lithia Springs is 1-4 and unranked in Class 5A.

Series history: These teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A

What to know: South Forsyth picked up an extra non-region game against Lithia Springs after its Week 2 game against Cambridge was canceled. South is currently riding a three-game winning streak and most recently opened Region 6-7A play with a 35-13 win against intracounty rival Lambert. Meanwhile, Lithia Springs has lost three straight games to Alexander, Lee County and New Manchester. Lithia Springs reached the playoffs each of the past two seasons, the first two years of the Corey Jarvis era [Jarvis coached 2013-15 at Mays and led the Raiders to a Class 5A state championship appearance in 2014]. Lithia Springs QB Jai'que Hart has thrown for 1,283 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, with seven interceptions. Running back Demarco Brownlee is averaging nearly six yards per carry and wide receiver Ayden Smith has caught five touchdown passes. South QB Ty Watkins is in the midst of a breakout season, throwing for 777 yards and seven touchdowns against zero interceptions in four games. Austin Uidel [15 carries, 157 yards, 2 TD] and Maverick Schippmann [12 carries, 123 yards, 1 TD] are each averaging more than 10 yards per carry for South.