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Football: Preview of Week 8's matchups
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South Forsyth quarterback Ty Watkins throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver Josh Nelson last week during the War Eagles' 30-24 overtime win against West Forsyth. Photo courtesy Paul Ward

Forsyth Central at West Forsyth 

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

Records, rankings: Forsyth Central is 1-5 and unranked in Class 7A; West Forsyth is 2-4 and unranked in Class 7A. 

Series history: West Forsyth leads 5-0. 

Last meeting: West Forsyth won 21-0 in 2020. 

What to know: West Forsyth is looking to bounce back after dropping its past three games, including back-to-back region contests, and falling out of the Class 7A poll. Tight end Oscar Delp, who leads the team in receptions [31], receiving yards [503] and receiving touchdowns [3], announced his commitment to the University of Georgia on Wednesday. West's offense was clicking in the second half last week against South Forsyth, despite playing without running back Peyton Streko. The Wolverines' offensive line opened massive holes for Ryder Stewart, with pulling guards Jace Kile and Billy McAllister making key blocks in space. Stewart responded with a season-high 145 yards and averaged six yards per carry. West can still shake up the Region 6-7A standings, with dates against Gainesville, Lambert and Denmark remaining on the schedule. The Wolverines get a Forsyth Central team that has been outscored 123-13 in their past four games. The Bulldogs fell 23-0 to North Forsyth and were held to just 120 total yards in the loss. Despite the loss, Camden Yeager caught four passes for 61 yards — his highest total since the season opener — and Carson Leak [21] and Camden Leak [12] combined for 33 tackles.

South Forsyth at Gainesville 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bobby Gruhn Field in Gainesville. 

Records, rankings: South Forsyth is 5-1 and unranked in Class 7A; Gainesville is 4-2 and unranked in Class 7A. 

Series history: Gainesville leads 3-2. 

Last meeting: Gainesville won 28-14 in 2020. 

What to know: South Forsyth knocked off West Forsyth in overtime last week, but it doesn't get any easier for the War Eagles this week against Gainesville. South is locked in a tie for first place in Region 6-7A with Denmark, and the two teams will meet Oct. 22 to determine sole possession of first place. Before that happens, South must get past a Gainesville team that had an extra week to prepare for the War Eagles. The Red Elephants were idle last week after a 37-28 loss to Lambert. Gainesville looked dominant prior to that loss, beating Chattahoochee, Flowery Branch [then No. 7 in Class 4A], Forsyth Central and Hillgrove by a combined score of 140-49. However, by the second quarter against Lambert, Gainesville had fallen into a 24-point hole and couldn't recover. The Longhorns goaded QB Baxter Wright into two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdowns, and essentially forced the Red Elephants to abandon the run. South has the same type of quick-strike offense. The War Eagles' offense hasn't been held under 30 points since their opener at Roswell, and against West, QB Ty Watkins completed 9 of 21 passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, the War Eagles made 12 stops behind the line, including three from sophomore LB Maverick Schippmann, whose seven tackles for loss this season trails only Cole Williams [10].

North Forsyth at Lambert 

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

Records, rankings: North Forsyth is 5-2 and unranked in Class 7A; Lambert is 5-2 and unranked in Class 7A. 

Series history: Lambert leads 5-4. 

Last meeting: North Forsyth won 34-20 in 2020. 

What to know: Lambert and North Forsyth are each 5-2 with a three-point loss to Denmark. A win for either team will provide a significant boost in the Region 6-7A standings. North still has South Forsyth and Gainesville on its schedule, while Lambert has Forsyth Central and West Forsyth remaining. North collected its second shutout of the season last week, beating Forsyth Central 23-0 and holding the Bulldogs to just 1.3 yards per carry. North fell 20-17 against Denmark to start region play but have won four of its past five games. The Raiders own the fourth-best scoring defense in Class 7A at 11.9 points allowed per game, which is a stark contrast with Lambert's 32.6 points scored per game. The Longhorns had a three-point loss of their own last week against Denmark, though running back Harrison Peyton managed to score a touchdown in his first game back. Ethan Terry [317 yards, 5 TD] and Kojo Antwi [188 yards, 3 TD] have filled in admirably in Peyton's absence, as has QB James Tyre [373 yards, 4 TD]. Through seven games, Tyre is 59 of 92 for 754 yards and seven touchdowns with one interception. The Longhorns' offense is able to do much more with Peyton in the backfield, and it could free up more one-on-one situations for Antwi on the outside.

Chamblee at East Forsyth 

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

Records, rankings: East Forsyth is 2-5 and unranked in Class 3A; Chamblee is 5-1 and unranked in Class 5A. 

Series history: These teams have never met. 

Last meeting: N/A 

What to know: East Forsyth set all kinds of program records last week against Druid Hills, scoring a school-record 49 points and picking up their first shutout. Eli Seaney and Brock Szakacs combined for 150 passing yards and two touchdowns, while Will Moffit scored twice on the ground. Gage Gilley had an interception, Jeremiah Foot blocked a punt, and Jack Brumbelow, Sebastian Amerson and Cameron Frady each recovered a fumble to help keep the Red Devils off the board. Chamblee boasts one of the top scoring offenses in the state and beat Druid Hills 84-7 earlier this season. QB Fabian Walker has thrown for 1,327 yards and 20 touchdowns against three interceptions, while Curtis McCorvey is averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Walker's top targets are Jordan Thornton [29 catches, 498 yards, 7 TD] and Jameel Avery [18 catches, 395 yards, 7 TD]. Jacari Waller leads the Bulldogs' defense with 53 tackles and 13 tackles for loss.

Pinecrest Academy at Notre Dame Academy 

When, where: 1 p.m. Saturday  

Records, rankings: Pinecrest Academy is 5-1; Notre Dame Academy is 0-5. 

Series history: These teams have never met. 

Last meeting: N/A 

What to know: Pinecrest Academy picked up a momentous win last week against Harvester Christian, beating the Hawks 28-14 and extending its winning streak to three games. Breckin Barbee threw a couple of touchdowns passes — one to Colin Brown and another to Ryan Bartling — while Brock Barbee scored a rushing touchdown and collected 16 tackles. Next up for the Paladins is a Notre Dame Academy team that is 1-4 and shares a common opponents in Lake Oconee Academy. Pinecrest blew out Lake Oconee 41-7 to start the season, and Notre Dame fell last week 29-28. Pinecrest's next big challenge is Calvary Christian [5-1] in the final regular-season game, but first the Paladins must get through Notre Dame, North Georgia [2-5] and The King's Academy [2-4] first.