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Football: What we learned from Week 7
South Forsyth players run onto the field Friday ahead of the War Eagles' 30-24 win over West Forsyth. Photo courtesy Paul Ward

Another thrilling week of high school football saw South Forsyth pick up a signature win, North Forsyth remain perfect at home, and Denmark rise near the top of Class 7A in scoring defense.

South/West an instant classic

The first play of the game was a wide receiver pass from Chris Nelson to Josh Nelson, and just a few minutes later, Riley Mckee ran 32 yards on a fake punt to resuscitate West’s first scoring drive.

In the fourth quarter, West put together a 99-yard scoring drive, initiated by a gutsy 37-yard pass to Oscar Delp from Keegan Stover, who delivered the pass while standing deep in his own end zone. Delp, a four-star tight end, lined up a couple of times in the wildcat, and Ryder Stewart scored from the 1-yard line to put the Wolverines up 24-16.

But Austin Uidel caught a 34-yard TD pass with 1:28 left, then Chris Nelson took the reverse into the end zone to tie the game 24-24 and send it into overtime.

West got the ball first in overtime, and appeared the recover a fumble on the first play, but Delp was ruled down and the Wolverines had new life. An incomplete pass and a 3-yard toss to Ryder Stewart, who was cut down by the wet turf, led to a missed field goal.

All South had to do was run a couple of plays and trot kicker Tyler Simpson onto the field for the game-winner. Gavin Morris had other plans, though, and took the second carry of the possession 12 yards into the end zone, sending War Eagle Stadium into a frenzy.

The win avenged South’s 41-34 double-overtime victory in 2020, and the two teams have now alternated wins each season since 2017.

It will be difficult to top Friday’s game, the latest thriller in the series, but that’s what we thought last year, too.

North still perfect in Raider Valley

If you’ve been to a North Forsyth game at Raider Valley this season, that means you’ve seen North win.

The Raiders are 5-0 at home this season after beating Forsyth Central 23-0, collecting wins against Alcovy, Dalton, Etowah and West Forsyth. North has combined to outscore those teams 146-44

North is on the road against Lambert and South Forsyth before finishing up regular-season play at home against Gainesville.

If North can take care of Gainesville, that will give the Raiders an undefeated regular-season home record for the first time since 2001, when North won seven games at home [five regular-season games, two playoff games] while winning the Region 7-3A championship and reaching the semifinals.

Denmark allowing second-fewest points in 7A

Here’s something you already know: Denmark plays great defense.

Something you might not know? Statistically, the Danes are the second-best defense in Class 7A.

Denmark is holding opposing teams to 9.66 points per game, which trails only Collins Hill [4.57] in Georgia’s highest classification. North Forsyth is just two spots behind Denmark [11.85] while Mill Creek [11.83] is just ahead of the Raiders.

Denmark also seems to be comfortable playing in tight games; five of the Danes’ six games have been decided by one possession.

That held true last week against an inspired Lambert team that pulled within three points late in the fourth quarter but was denied anything more by Denmark’s defense. It also marked just the third time all season the Danes’ defense has surrendered more than one score.

That unit will be tested over the final weeks of the regular season against South [33.8 points per game], Gainesville [29.6] and West [30.1].

Helmet Stickers:

Ty Watkins, QB, South Forsyth: 9 for 21, 152 yards, 3 TD

Austin Uidel, WR/RB, South Forsyth: 1 catch, 32 yards, 1 TD; 3 carries, 29 yards; 14 tackles

Maverick Schippmann, LB, South Forsyth: 7 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack

Chris Nelson, WR/DB, South Forsyth: 6 catches, 99 yards, 1 TD; 6 carries, 32 yards

Gavin Morris, RB, South Forsyth: 17 carries, 68 yards, 1 TD; scored game-winning TD

Ryder Stewart, RB, West Forsyth: 26 carries, 144 yards, TD

Billy McAllister, DT, West Forsyth: 3 TFL, 1 sack

Colin Brown, WR/DB, Pinecrest: 3 catches, 78 yards, 1 TD; 2-for-2 on field goals; 2-for-2 on PAT

Brock Barbee, RB/LB, Pinecrest: 11 carries, 83 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 22 yards; 16 tackles

Breckin Barbee, QB, Pinecrest: 11 for 26, 184 yards, 2 TD; 9 carries, 13 yards

Peter Birozes, DB, Pinecrest: 2 tackles, 1 INT

Carson Leak, LB, Forsyth Central: 21 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU

Camden Yeager, WR, Forsyth Central: 4 catches, 61 yards

Camden Leak, LB, Forsyth Central: 12 tackles, 1 PBU

Cameron Frady, LB, East Forsyth: 10 tackles, 1 TFL

Garrett Wiggins, DL, East Forsyth: 7 tackles, 3 TFL, ½ sack

Will Moffit, RB, East Forsyth: 8 carries, 60 yards, 2 TD

Joey Hudson, WR, East Forsyth: 1 catch, 51 yards, 1 TD

Eli Seaney, QB, East Forsyth: 4 of 5, 72 yards, 1 TD

Brock Szakacs, QB, East Forsyth: 3 of 5, 78 yards, 1 TD

James Tyre, QB, Lambert: 10 of 18, 160 yards, 1 TD; 15 carries, 66 yards

Darren Guy, WR/S, Lambert: 4 catches, 66 yards

Amon Williams, RB, Denmark: 31 carries, 121 yards, 1 TD

Dee Crayton, RB/LB, Denmark: 7 carries, 40 yards, 1 TD