No easy outs in Region 6-7A
If nothing else, these first three weeks have shown how competitive Region 6-7A is shaping up to be.
Both North Forsyth and Lambert are 3-0, while Forsyth Central and South Forsyth are 1-0, and West's only loss came against one of the best teams in the entire state, Cartersville. Denmark's offense is sputtering, but it appears quarterback Aaron McLaughlin will play at some point this season, which will be an instant boost for a team that is playing inspired defense through the first two games.
Meanwhile, Gainesville was two minutes away from being 2-0 on Friday, but the Red Elephants allowed Flowery Branch to march down the field and score in the final minutes, falling 29-22.
Antwi building case for Offensive Player of the Year
Lambert's speed-burning wide receiver caught two more touchdowns Friday during the Longhorns' 38-20 win against Meadowcreek, bringing his season total to five.
For some context, last year's Offensive Player of the Year, Denmark wide receiver Ze'Vian Capers, caught 45 passes for 922 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 games. Through three games, Antwi has 13 catches for 221 yards and five touchdowns.
The race is far from decided, but Antwi's pre-region resume is impressive, and it's helped the Longhorns out to a perfect 3-0 start.
Pinecrest finding success in 8-man ranks
Pinecrest won in dominant fashion for the second straight week Friday, handing Johnson Ferry a 46-8 loss.
The Paladins have now outscored their past two opponents 106-14.
Despite numbers being down this year, and the ensuing drop down to 8-man football, Pinecrest is proving it can be competitive wherever it plays. After all, the Paladins are only a few years removed from a three-season stretch in 2014-16 that saw them win 25 games and reach the playoffs each season.
Next up, Pinecrest gets last year's GAPPS Class 2A champion, Peachtree Academy.
Central, South start seasons with wins
They couldn't have been any different, however.
Central and Loganville combined for 21 points, while South and Dawson County totaled 35 points in the first quarter alone. South ultimately pulled off a dramatic 63-49, punctuated by Mitch Thompson's 99-yard pick-six in the final seconds.
Central scored on its first drive of the season, using a 38-yard TD from Bronson Landreth to Noah Chol to grab a 7-0 lead, then added another on Patrick Haertel's 4-yard score.
Meanwhile, South scored in all four quarters against Dawson County, including a pair of 21-point quarters in the first and fourth quarters.
Forsyth County now has more undefeated teams than defeated teams, as Central (1-0), Lambert (3-0), North (3-0) and South (1-0) have yet to lose a game this season.
Any love for North Forsyth?
Speaking of North, the Raiders scored another impressive win Friday against a Hapeville Charter team ranked No. 5 in Class 4A, holding the high-flying Hornets to a negative rushing total in a 28-14 win. North is now 3-0 with wins over Alcovy, Harrison and Hapeville Charter.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution did not include North in its list of top-10 Class 7A teams, which was released Monday.
North's win over Hapeville Charter marks Forsyth County's third win over a team ranked in the AJC's preseason rankings, joining West's win over Mays (No. 9 in Class 4A) and South's victory against Dawson County (No. 10 in Class 3A).
Ashton Smith, Lambert (Jr.): 9 for 13, 139 yards, 3 TDs
Braden Bamburowski, Lambert (Sr.): 6 catches, 117 yards, 1 TD
Noah Chol, Forsyth Central (Sr.): 2 catches, 53 yards, 1 TD
Ricky Stever, Forsyth Central (Sr.): 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 QB hurries
Mitch Thompson, South Forsyth (Sr.): 99-yard INT return for TD, 84-yard TD run, 20-yard TD reception
Kyle Durham, South Forsyth (Jr.): 15 for 22, 280 yards, 3 TDs; 80 yards rushing
Breckin Barbee, Pinecrest Academy (Jr.): 6 for 12, 120 yards, 2 TDs; 5 carries, 20 yards, 1 TD
Alex Jeffords, Pinecrest Academy (Sr.): 15 carries, 175 yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 44 yards, 1 TD
Patrick Corrigan, North Forsyth (Jr.): 10 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 QB hurry; 11 carries, 82 yards
Bentley Wheeler, North Forsyth (Jr.): 2 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass deflection, 1 fumble recovery