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Football: Previews of week five's matchups
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Denmark receiver Adonnis Tolbert escapes the reach of a diving Forsyth Central defender after making a catch on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. - photo by Ben Hendren
Denmark vs. Dawson County

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

Records, rankings: The Danes is 3-0 and unranked in Class 4A; the Tigers are 3-0 and unranked in Class 3A.

Series history: This is the teams’ first-ever meeting.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first-ever meeting.

What to know: What a start it’s been for the nascent Denmark football program: The Danes are 3-0, showcasing both explosive offense and stifling defense in those wins, and after last week’s 7-3 win over Forsyth Central, they now hold bragging rights over the oldest school in the county. This matchup could be Denmark’s toughest yet, though: Dawson County is also undefeated and hasn’t scored fewer than 32 points in any game so far. Former Lambert head coach Sid Maxwell has the Tigers running a ground-first attack, with 127 rushing attempts to 47 passes so far, and seniors Sevaughn Clark and Ahmad Kamara are both averaging better than 100 yards per game on the ground. The Tigers have also punched above their weight so far, beating Class 6A Habersham Central 32-28 to start the season and taking down North Forsyth in a scrimmage the week before.

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West Forsyth's Stephon Bland takes a carry during the Wolverines' game against Roswell on Sept. 7, 2018 at West Forsyth High School. - photo by Michael Chung
 

West Forsyth at Peachtree Ridge

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

Records, rankings: The Wolverines are 0-3 and unranked in Class 7A; the Lions are 0-3 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: Peachtree Ridge leads the series 1-0.

Last meeting: Peachtree Ridge won 51-3 in 2015 in Suwanee.

What to know: These two teams’ 0-3 records look considerably different once you pull back the curtain. The Wolverines have faced three blue-blood programs so far, and all three of those losses have come by single-score margins. They’re had multiple breakout performers emerge, like senior running back Stephon Bland and junior linebacker Eli Orr. Peachtree Ridge, meanwhile, has scored just 14 points total and allowed 99. The Lions are way, way down from the caliber that let them smash the Adam Clack-led Wolverines back in 2015, and this is a prime opportunity for West to get an actual victory to go along with the progress and positive signs it’s shown in the three losses so far.

 

Forsyth Central at Lakeside-Dekalb

When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. in Atlanta.

Records, rankings: The Bulldogs are 2-1 and unranked in Class 7A; the Vikings are 1-2 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: The series is tied at 2-2.

Last meeting: Central won 14-7 in 2009 in Cumming.

What to know: The Bulldogs certainly played to win against Denmark last week: That loss largely centered around two crucial fourth-down stops by the Danes deep in their own territory; if the Bulldogs take (and make) those field goals, they win. Alas, what’s done is done, and that game is ultimately irrelevant to Central’s goal of making the playoffs in head coach Frank Hepler’s third season. The Bulldogs have a good chance to get back on track in this one, as Lakeside is 1-2, with those losses coming to decisively not-great Duluth and Northview programs. Even if Central’s offense was unspectacular against Denmark, its defense was strong once again, and that unit should have a good night against a Vikings team that has topped out at 21 points so far.

 

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North Forsyth's Honus Wagner celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against Northview on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. - photo by Lily McGregor Photography

North Forsyth at Kennesaw Mountain

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

Records, rankings: The Raiders are 2-1 and unranked in Class 7A; the Mustangs are 2-1 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: This is the teams’ first-ever meeting.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first-ever meeting.

What to know: The Mustangs and Raiders share an opponent – and a loss to said opponent – but not necessarily the circumstances of that loss. North’s loss to Cherokee turned into a grind after an initial outburst of offense, with the Raiders losing 18-16, but the Mustangs’ loss to the Chiefs was a 38-37 shootout. Scoring points is one thing that Kennesaw Mountain has done well: The Mustangs have scored 48, 31 and 37 points in each game this season. North’s offense has been trending up as well after that first result, with Carter Mullikin settling in at quarterback and Honus Wagner getting accustomed to being a full-time tailback. Another offense-heavy result looks like the most likely outcome here.

 

Pinecrest Academy at Whitefield Academy

When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. in Mableton

Records, rankings: The Paladins are 1-2 and unranked in Class 1A; the WolfPack are 2-1 and unranked in Class 1A.

Series history: Pinecrest leads the series 4-1.

Last meeting: Whitefield won 25-7 in 2017 in Cumming.

What to know: Pinecrest and its second-year head coach are finally off the schneid. The Paladins beat Athens Christian convincingly last week to get its first win in regulation since 2016 and the first of head coach Terance Mathis’ tenure. And it wasn’t entirely surprising, either, given how close Pinecrest was in its first two games of the year. The WolfPack doesn’t look like an easy matchup here – they blanked Cherokee Bluff 33-0 in the first week and walloped Mount Pisgah 42-7 last Friday – but Pinecrest will enter this matchup with something that it hasn’t felt in a long while: momentum.