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Football: Previews of week two's matchups
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North Forsyth’s Honus Wagner stepped in at tailback on Friday after Bryson Trigg got hurt and exited the game in the first quarter. Wagner also played most of the game on defense. - photo by Ian Frazer
Denmark vs. Cherokee Bluff

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

Records, rankings: Denmark is 0-0 and unranked in Class 4A; Cherokee Bluff is 0-1 and unranked in Class 3A.

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

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

What to know: In this matchup of two brand-new football programs, one could conceivably say that Cherokee Bluff of Hall County is considerably…less new. The Bears opened their season last Saturday with a 33-0 loss to Whitefield Academy, while the Danes only have a scrimmage win over Pickens County to their name. Games like these are still part of the feeling-out process for the Danes, but any on-field preparation will help before Denmark’s brutal region schedule, which includes three teams – Blessed Trinity, Marist and Flowery Branch – that are currently ranked in the top 10 of the GSWA’s Class 4A poll.

Lambert vs. Chattahoochee

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

Records, rankings: Both teams are 0-1 and unranked, the Longhorns in Class 7A and the Cougars in Class 6A.

Series history: Lambert leads 4-2.

Last meeting: Lambert won 41-26 in 2015.

What to know: While Lambert’s 2017 season was an outlier for its lack of success, with the Longhorns finishing 3-7 after winning the region title the year before, Chattahoochee’s previous campaign was unusual for the opposite region: The Cougars went 7-4, producing a winning mark for the first time since 2012, current Denmark head coach Terry Crowder’s last year with the program. Either way, this matchup between former region opponents finds both programs coming off humbling season-opening defeats: the Longhorns fell 28-14 to Wheeler, surrendering three straight touchdowns to start the game, and the Cougars lost 48-14 to Riverwood. 

 

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Pinecrest Academy's Patrick Sullivan runs with the ball during the Paladins' preseason scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 11, 2018. - photo by Bill Brown

Pinecrest Academy vs. Fellowship Christian

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

Records, rankings: Pinecrest is 0-0 and unranked in Class 1A; Fellowship Christian is 1-0 and unranked in Class 1A.

Series history: Fellowship Christian leads 5-3.

Last meeting: Fellowship Christian won 41-0 in 2017.

What to know: This matchup serves as the first for-real test of Pinecrest’s progress since head coach Terance Mathis’ first season. The Paladins fell to Riverside Military Academy in a scrimmage two weeks ago but beat Piedmont Academy 14-0 last Friday in another unofficial contest. This Friday certainly won’t be a walk, as Fellowship Christian has been a quality program in the past two years under Al Morrell, finishing 7-5 in 2017 and 13-1 the year before. The Paladins of Roswell beat the Paladins of Cumming soundly last season, too.

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South Forsyth defensive coordinator Trevor Williams celebrates after the War Eagles made a stop in their scrimmage against Sequoyah on Aug. 10, 2018 at South Forsyth High School. - photo by Ian Frazer

South Forsyth at Blessed Trinity

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

Records, rankings: South Forsyth is 1-0 and unranked in Class 7A; Blessed Trinity is 1-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 4A.

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

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

What to know: This looks to be the true gut test that the War Eagles’ non-region schedule never quite delivered last year. The Titans are the top-ranked team in their class, with stud recruits like Steele Chambers (Ohio State) and J.D. Bertrand (UGA), and they just gave it to St. Pius, the sixth-ranked program in Class 4A. So far, the War Eagles look like they could be as good or better than last year: Jordan Brunson is a truly dynamic running back, Drew Morris is an imposing threat at quarterback, and the combination of C.J. Ford and Jamal Camp in the trenches is a handful. A win – or even a competitive loss, really – would bode well for South’s chances to replicate last season’s success.

North Forsyth at Gainesville

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

Records, rankings: Both teams are 0-1 and unranked; the Raiders in Class 7A and the Red Elephants in Class 6A.

Series history: North leads 4-0.

Last meeting: The Raiders won 30-0 in 2001.

What to know: The entire complexion of North’s season opener against Cherokee – and potentially the Raiders whole season – changed with one play last Friday, when senior running back Bryson Trigg left with an injury in the first quarter. Trigg is still out for the time being, which leaves a considerable hole in North’s offensive attack. Quarterback Carter Mullikin showed himself to be a decent threat to run the ball in the game against the Chiefs, totaling 114 yards and scoring a touchdown in the 18-16 loss, but his performance throwing the ball didn’t approach what the Raiders had last year in Ben Bales. North will get the chance to make further adjustments against a Gainesville team that has been on a significant backwards slide the past few years and has a first-year head coach in Heath Webb.