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Football: What we learned from Week 7
North_West10
West Forsyth head coach Dave Svehla has led the Wolverines to a 6-3 record and four straight wins. - photo by David Roberts

The Region 6-7A race is starting to take shape. Here’s what we know after seven weeks of high school football in Forsyth County.

Throw out Denmark’s non-region losses

They don’t matter. The only numbers that do matter for the Danes are 2-0.

That’s Denmark’s Region 6-7A record through the first two weeks of region play, with wins over North Forsyth and Forsyth Central. Denmark’s 21-0 win against Central was actually its defense’s second shutout of the season, as the Danes kept Shiloh’s offense out of the end zone last month during a 7-0 loss (Shiloh’s only points came on a defensive touchdown). 

Denmark has looked like a completely different team since starting the season 0-2, returning several players from injury and finding their groove on offense. First-year head coach Mike Palmieri seems content letting his 6-foot-5, 220-pound quarterback use his legs as much as his arm, as Aaron McLaughlin has 235 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries in the past two games.

Next up for the Danes is a 4-2 Lambert team that has stumbled a bit since entering region play, falling to South Forsyth and Gainesville. If Denmark can navigate past the Longhorns, and if South survives West Forsyth this week, the Nov. 6 showdown between South and Denmark will be electric. 

West Forsyth a victim of bizarre circumstance

For the third year in a row, West Forsyth lost its quarterback to injury before the start of region play. 

On top of that, the Wolverines played Friday without starting safety Dalton Tjong, who injured his hand against Mill Creek and could be out for a while. Tjong, who was listed among our top defensive players of the first half this season, led West in tackles through the first four games of the season, totaling 42 stops and a team-high two interceptions. 

Senior Kobe Haynes stepped up and had a tremendous game for the Wolverines against North Forsyth, despite the 24-10 loss. Haynes lined up inside and outside the tackles, patrolled the line of scrimmage, and even played safety during his second-half interception. Haynes finished with 11 total tackles – nine solo – including four tackles for loss and the interception. 

With UGA commit Dylan Fairchild anchoring the offensive line, emerging star Oscar Delp at tight end, plus an electric Daba Fofana taking pressure off the passing game, West still has plenty of options on offense. The Wolverines will take a crack at 4-0 South Forsyth on Friday.

Gainesville a thorn in the side of Region 6-7A teams

Another week, another one-score win for Gainesville.

After beating Lambert 42-35, the Red Elephants have two region wins by a combined 12 points after sneaking past Forsyth Central 33-28.

A storied program to be sure, but Forsyth County will see how competitive Gainesville can be in the coming weeks.

After this week’s bye, the Red Elephants get South Forsyth, West Forsyth, Denmark and North Forsyth without any break. 

Surely, Forsyth County teams will try to keep all four playoff seeds inside the county, but the boisterous Red Elephants are making some noise in their first season in Region 6-7A.

It’s North/Central week

North Forsyth’s Twitter account hardly let a minute go by when they tweeted, “12:01am….officially Central week” early Saturday morning.

Some players on North Forsyth consider this game more of a rivalry than the Raiders’ annual ‘Civil War’ with South Forsyth. 

And who could blame them?

If you’re a senior on Central or North, that means you saw the Raiders wallop the Bulldogs 58-0 in 2017, only to fall 24-20 a year later. The win marked Central’s first county win in 11 years, one of seven overall wins that season for the Bulldogs, who ended the season in the playoffs.

North returned the favor last season with a 29-28 double-overtime win that ended when Patrick Corrigan dove into the end zone for a two-point conversion. 

If one thing’s for certain, expect another close game between these two tough teams.

Helmet Stickers: 

Darren Guy, Lambert (Sr.): 17 total tackles, 2 TFL, 1 QB hurry

James Tyre, Lambert (So.): 14 for 24, 252 yards, 4 TD; 5 carries, 32 yards

Harrison Peyton, Lambert (Jr.): 18 carries, 163 yards, 1 TD

Kobe Haynes, West Forsyth (Sr.): 11 total tackles – 9 solo – 4 TFL, 1 INT

Drew Southern, West Forsyth (Sr.): 14 tackles – 12 solo

Daba Fofana, West Forsyth (Sr.): 16 carries, 109 yards, 1 TD; 4 catches, 15 yards

Patrick Corrigan, North Forsyth (Jr.): 9 tackles – 7 solo – 1 TFL, 2 QB hurries, 28-yard fumble return for TD; 8 carries, 27 yards

Aaron Redd, North Forsyth (Jr.): 4 total tackles – 4 solo – 2 sacks

Riley Smith, North Forsyth (Jr.): 2 catches, 10 yards – first career touchdown reception

Graham Long, Forsyth Central (Sr.): 11 total tackles – 6 solo – 1 TFL, 1 INT

Nick Cribbs, Forsyth Central (Sr.): 6 total tackles – 4 solo – 1 TFL, 1 QB hurry

Aaron McLaughlin, Denmark (Sr.): 13 for 21, 94 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 18 carries, 68 yards, 1 TD