“Coal Mountain Magic” added another chapter to its mystical legacy, while South Forsyth’s win over Lithia Springs was comparable in one way to the War Eagles’ 2015 squad, and Denmark became Region 6-7A’s first 2-0 team.
Here’s what we learned from Week 6.
It’s beginning to look a lot like 2020
If you would have told West Forsyth that it would split the first four games and head into region play 2-2, just like last season, the Wolverines might have felt OK about that.
After all, West opened with the toughest non-region schedule in the county, and a 2-2 record would mean a combination of wins over Carver-Atlanta, Cartersville, Walton and Mill Creek.
Ask the Wolverines to replicate the first five games of the 2020 season? No, thanks.
Yet, after the first five games of the season, West is sitting at 2-3 for the second straight year following a 30-27 loss to North Forsyth.
The good news for West? Memories of last year’s 2-3 start faded quickly after the Wolverines won their next seven games in a row and reached the Class 7A Elite Eight against Grayson.
North, meanwhile, is currently 4-0 in Raider Valley this season, which is where the Raiders will get Forsyth Central on Friday.
A slim loss to Denmark followed by a big win against West has North feeling like it’s 2020 all over again, too, but you can bet head coach Robert Craft is doing everything he can to keep the Raiders focused on beating Central and avoiding another let down like last season against the Bulldogs.
South Forsyth continues running wild
You might have read earlier this season about South Forsyth’s renewed dedication to the running game.
Back when the War Eagles amassed 256 rushing yards against Central Gwinnett, it marked South’s highest rushing total since the 2020 season opener against Dawson County.
Well, here’s another one.
South had two players reach 100 yards rushing on Friday, as Maverick Schippmann turned 10 carries into 105 yards and Gavin Morris finished with 103 yards and three scores on 14 carries. It’s the first time South has produced two 100-yard backs since Oct. 26, 2018, when Jordan Brunson went for 146 yards and Drew Morris racked up 101 yards in a 26-21 loss to Forsyth Central.
Not only was the result better Friday – South won 45-31 over Lithia Springs – but the War Eagles’ efficiency was also better than that game two years ago. South ran the ball 45 times for a whopping 364 yards and five touchdowns.
The last time that happened? Try Nov. 20, 2015 in the second round of the playoffs against Tucker.
Some numbers from that game: Davis Shanley ran for a team-high 178 yards and three touchdowns, Sam Outlaw had 116 yards and a score, and Stanley Epeagba added 91 yards and a score. In all, the War Eagles averaged 10.5 yards per carry and finished with 419 rushing yards.
Pinecrest Academy faces litmus test on Friday
It might not be a revenge game, but Friday’s matchup between Pinecrest Academy and Harvester Christian Academy will give the Paladins some semblance of how far they have come since the beginning of last season.
Pinecrest last faced Harvester Christian to open the 2020 season, as the Paladins made their 8-man debut.
Pinecrest fell 40-32, nearly erasing a 24-point fourth-quarter deficit in the loss, but the Paladins won their next nine contests, which included a 44-18 win over Lanier Christian in the GAPPS 8-man Division II state championship game.
Similar to Pinecrest, Harvester Christian made the jump to 11-man football this season and have seen some success. The Hawks are 5-0 this season following Friday’s 36-35 win over Skipstone Academy, setting up a showdown with the 4-1 Paladins.
Pinecrest’s defense has been particularly impressive this season; only one opposing offense has scored more than one touchdown against the Paladins. Head coach Shawn Coury attributes that to his defensive players’ intelligence and ability to adjust to different offensive schemes.
In all, Pinecrest has outscored its first five opponents 174-42.
Don’t count out the Longhorns
If you thought Lambert’s 35-13 loss to South Forsyth represented a nail in the Longhorns’ coffin, think again.
The Longhorns have new life.
A 30-yard field goal by Alex Mitchell, a couple of rushing touchdowns by Kojo Antwi and Ethan Terry, and a pick-six by Davis Dobbs allowed Lambert to go up 24-0 on Gainesville in the second quarter, a lead that proved to be insurmountable for the Red Elephants.
After Gainesville attempted a comeback, Terry tacked on a 44-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory and hand the Longhorns their first region win of the season.
It was just the second loss of the season for a Gainesville team that appeared primed to contend for a region championship. One loss hardly eliminates the Red Elephants, but the rest of the season figures to be an uphill climb.
For Lambert, the win is a sign of progress under second-year head coach Tommy Watson. The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Lambert with back-to-back games against Denmark and North Forsyth, but it’s clear the Longhorns are playing with confidence.
Gavin Morris, RB/LB, South Forsyth: 14 carries, 103 yards, 3 TD; 2 tackles; 1 INT
Maverick Schippmann, RB/LB, South Forsyth: 10 carries, 105 yards; 4 tackles
Cam Yeager, WR, Forsyth Central: 4 catches, 51 yards, 1 TD
Cole Williams, LB, South Forsyth: 5 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack
Ethan Terry, RB, Lambert: 20 carries, 135 yards, 2 TD
Davis Dobbs, S, Lambert: 20-yard INT return for TD
Jacob Nelson, QB, Denmark: 11-for-18, 138 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Lake Thoman, WR, Denmark: 3 catches, 72 yards, 1 TD
Trey Glymph, K/P, Denmark: 34-yard FG, 3 PAT; 5 touchbacks; 3 punts for 51-yard average, including 62-yarder
Drew Aucoin, QB, North Forsyth: 15 for 26, 163 yards, 1 TD; 16 carries, 36 yards, 1 TD
Collin Miller, LB, North Forsyth: 2 sacks, fumble recovery
Will Peltz, K/P, North Forsyth: 3 for 3 on FG, including game-winning 18-yarder; 4 punts for 47.8-yard average; 2 touchbacks
Patrick Corrigan, LB/RB, North Forsyth: 11 carries, 36 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 17 yards, 1 TD
Peyton Streko, RB, West Forsyth: 19 carries, 146 yards, 3 TD
Keegan Stover, QB, West Forsyth: 11 for 17, 203 yards, 1 TD
Jaycen Harris, WR, West Forsyth: 2 catches, 92 yards, 1 TD
Raleigh Herbert, LB, West Forsyth: 12 tackles, 2 TFL, 4 QB hurries
David Navarrete, WR, East Forsyth: 159 total yards, including first kickoff return for TD in school history