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WEEK 11 PRIMER: Denmark, Gainesville ready to clash atop Region 6-7A

Gainesville at Denmark 

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

Records, rankings: Gainesville is 5-3 and unranked in Class 7A; Denmark is 4-3 and unranked in Class 7A. 

Series history: These two teams have never met. 

Last meeting: N/A. 

What to know: Denmark looks to hand Gainesville its second straight loss and tighten its grip on the Region 6-7A lead.

Denmark could actually clinch a region title Friday, but not only would the Danes need to beat Gainesville, it would take Lambert beating West Forsyth. If both Denmark and West win this week, it would set up a de facto championship game next week when the the Danes travel to The Den. Denmark is outscoring region opponents 129-46 through four games, most recently handing South Forsyth a 36-22 loss. The Danes picked off a season-high three passes in the victory, as Kenon Dicks, Harrison Halder and Treston Jordan each had an interception. Halder also made 13 tackles and now has double-digit tackles in all but two games this season.

West Forsyth's notoriously stingy defense held Gainesville to its lowest offensive output of the season last week in the Wolverines' 14-7 win. Gainesville running back Naim Cheeks is a difference-maker but was held under 100 yards against West, while QB Gionni Williams threw two interceptions. If Denmark's defense can limit those two players, the Danes' potent offense should take care of the rest.

West Forsyth at Lambert 

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

Records, rankings: West Forsyth is 5-3 and unranked in Class 7A; Lambert is 5-4 and unranked in Class 7A. 

Series history: Tied 4-4. 

Last meeting: West won 33-7 in 2019. 

What to know: West Forsyth is riding a three-game winning streak, but the Longhorns proved last week that they're no easy out. 

West has given up seven combined points in the past two games, beating Gainesville 14-7. Sophomore Greyson Brockman had a career-high two interceptions against the Red Elephants to boost his season total to four. Meanwhile, according to director of football operations Davis Daniel, senior Bryce Allen broke his own single-season record for pass breakups with 17. Sophomore William Orris turned in his second straight 120-yard performance last week while filling in for injured running back Daba Fofana. 

Lambert picked up its first win since September last week when the Longhorns beat Forsyth Central 43-42. While Lambert is mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, the Longhorns can still play spoiler against West. Lambert head coach Tommy Watson rotated QBs in Ashton Smith and James Tyre, with Tyre completing 6 of 7 passes for 152 yards and three scores in the second half. 

Etowah at Forsyth Central 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bulldog Stadium in Cumming. 

Records, rankings: Etowah is 0-8 and unranked in Class 7A; Forsyth Central is 3-4 and unranked in Class 7A. 

Series history: Etowah leads 4-2. 

Last meeting: Etowah won 35-7 in 2005. 

What to know: Forsyth Central managed to reschedule its game against Etowah, which was originally scheduled for the beginning of September, giving the Bulldogs a final home game. 

Two of Central's four losses this season have come by a combined six points, none closer than the Bulldogs' one-point loss to Lambert last week. Central exploded for 384 rushing yards in the win, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Noah Chol logged a career-high 127 yards on 13 carries, while Eli Ruis also reached the century mark with a 100-yard, two-touchdown performance. Peyton Streko (80 yards) and Bronson Landreth (70 yards) also turned in strong rushing totals to pace Central's offense. Central is also capable of throwing the ball around to its towering wide receivers and shouldn't have much trouble against a struggling 0-8 Etowah team. 

South Forsyth at North Forsyth 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday in Raider Valley in Coal Mountain. 

Records, rankings: South Forsyth is 4-3 and unranked in Class 7A; North Forsyth is 6-2 and unranked in Class 7A. 

Series history: South leads 15-7. 

Last meeting: North won 43-34 in 2019. 

What to know: South Forsyth needs a win to keep its playoff hopes alive, while North Forsyth is looking to remain eligible for the postseason and could even improve its seeding.

South's county-leading playoff streak is in jeopardy after a 36-22 loss to Denmark, but the War Eagles control their own destiny. South can't finish any higher than fourth in the region, but if the War Eagles beat North this week, then Forsyth Central next week, they'll lock up a playoff spot. QB Kyle Durham is averaging 255 passing yards per game and can reach the 2,000-yard mark for the season if he duplicates that number against North. 

Meanwhile, North can still host a playoff game, but the Raiders would need to win out against South and Gainesville, and would need West to drop one of its final two games. QB Brady Meitz had one of the best games of his career last year against South Forsyth, completing 17 of 23 passes for 316 yards and five touchdowns in a 43-34 win.

Hearts Academy at Pinecrest Academy 

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

Records, rankings: Hearts is 1-7; Pinecrest is 7-1. 

Series history: Pinecrest leads 1-0. 

Last meeting: Pinecrest won 60-6 on Sept. 11, 2020. 

What to know: Pinecrest Academy kicks off the GAPPS 8-man Division II playoffs with a rematch with Hearts Academy.

The Paladins blew out Hearts 60-6 in September, a win that kick-started a seven-game winning streak. Pinecrest led 60-0 at halftime. With a win, top-seeded Pinecrest would host the the Lanier Christian/New Creation Christian Academy next week in the state championship game.