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WEEK 3 PRIMER: Denmark's Thursday tilt against Shiloh highlights Week 3 slate
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Shiloh at Denmark

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Alpharetta.

Records, rankings: Shiloh is 0-1 and unranked in Class 6A; Denmark is 0-1 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: These two teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A

What to know: Denmark looks to win its first game of the 2020 season Thursday when the Danes host Shiloh in their home opener.

Denmark struggled offensively against Greater Atlanta Christian, falling 20-0, then had last week’s game against Allatoona canceled. The Danes faced a tough defense out of the gate, as last week GAC held a Lovett team that reached the Class 3A playoffs last year to just three points. Denmark flashed its quick-strike potential against GAC, with Azari Brown (87 yards) and Casey Gunn (46 yards) leading the team in receiving, and will look to find its rhythm against a Shiloh defense that allowed nearly 40 points per game in its final five contests of 2019.

On defense, the Danes are stout. Linebackers Harrison Halder and Asher West combined for 3 ½ tackles for loss against GAC, while Denmark’s defensive backfield of Kenon Dicks, Treston Jordan and Dee Crayton could be one of the best in the county.

Denmark will need its offense to limit the turnovers and develop some chemistry, while the defense should be able to contain a Shiloh offense that averaged 2.7 yards per play (142 total yards) against Mountain View.

Forsyth Central at Loganville

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Red Devil Stadium

Records, rankings: Forsyth Central is 0-0 and unranked in Class 7A; Loganville is 1-0 and unranked in Class 5A.

Series history: Forsyth Central leads 6-3-1.

Last meeting: Forsyth Central won 34-19 in 1997.

What to know: After having its first two games of the season canceled, Forsyth Central looks to make its debut Friday against Loganville.

Central boasts a big, talented offensive line, but the Bulldogs will have their hands full with Loganville defensive end Neto Okpala, a Boston College commit who tallied 17 tackles and two sacks in the Red Devils’ 21-20 win against Monroe Area. On offense, wide receiver Austin May grabbed two touchdown receptions for Loganville. Loganville finished 2-9 last year, with wins over Walnut Grove (42-0) and Clarke Central (38-21).

Central has high hopes for 2020, featuring returning starters at skill positions such as quarterback (Bronson Landreth), tailback (Solomon Gates, Eli Ruis) and wide receiver (Caydin Mowen, Noah Chol).

Meadowcreek at Lambert

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

Records, rankings: Meadowcreek is 1-1 and unranked in Class 7A; Lambert is 2-0 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: These two teams have never met.

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Photo by Jay Rooney/Jay Rooney Photography
Last meeting: N/A

What to know: Lambert is 2-0 for the first time since 2012, and the Longhorns have a good chance to make it 3-0 against a Meadowcreek team that won just three games last year and is coming off a 43-12 loss to South Gwinnett.

The Longhorns scored 34 points in each of their first two games (34-9 against Campbell, 34-19 against Lassiter). Quarterback Ashton Smith settled in against Lassiter, completing 12 of 24 passes for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including an 89-yard bomb to Kojo Antwi. Running back Robert Riddle is averaging just over 6 yards per carry, while Darren Guy has three scores this season.

Meadowcreek will test the Longhorns’ defense, bringing a physical ground attack led by running back Latreveone Gaither, who ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns during the Mustangs’ 32-21 win against Eagle’s Landing two weeks ago. Gaither was the team’s leading rusher a year ago, averaging 7.6 yards per carry (122 carries, 922 yards) and scoring nine touchdowns. Quarterback Malachi Watkins has a big arm and can also run the ball, while Meadowcreek returns eight starters on defense. Defensive end Denzel Moore is one of Georgia’s top Class of 2023 players and has offers from several SEC schools.

Meadowcreek is better than last year’s 3-8 record suggests, but the Longhorns seem to be hitting their stride early in the season. As long as the Smith-to-Antwi machine keeps humming, Lambert should be able to put up points against any team.

North Forsyth at Hapeville Charter

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

Records, rankings: North Forsyth is 2-0 and unranked in Class 7A; Hapeville Charter is 0-0 and No. 5 in Class 4A.

Series history: These two teams have never met.

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- photo by David Roberts
Last meeting: N/A

What to know: North Forsyth still isn’t getting any love in the Class 7A polls despite a 2-0 start to the season, highlighted by last week’s 10-9 win against Harrison. The Raiders have a chance to knock off a ranked opponent on Friday, as North faces Hapeville Charter at Milton High School in the Freedom Bowl.

North’s defense was particularly impressive last week against the 2019 Class 6A state champions, collecting six sacks and forcing three turnovers. Harrison managed just 3.8 yards per carry against the Raiders, though many of the Hoyas’ 128 rushing yards came on a 52-yard run.

North will have to be at the top of its game Friday to keep pace with a Hapeville team that averaged nearly 44 points per game last season and reached the Class 2A quarterfinals. But the Hornets must replace its quarterback, two top rushers and two top receivers from a year ago. On top of that, Hapeville has not played a game this season.

With another high-profile matchup this week, the Raiders have a chance to stick another feather in their cap ahead of Region 6-7A play, which starts Oct. 2.

South Forsyth at Dawson County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium in Dawsonville

Records, rankings: South Forsyth is 0-0 and unranked in Class 7A; Dawson County is 0-2 and unranked in Class 3A.

Series history: South Forsyth leads 1-0.

Last meeting: South Forsyth won 12-6 in 1989.

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South Forsyth junior Gavin Morris avoids a tackle during Thursday's scrimmage. - photo by David Roberts
What to know: South Forsyth had games against Roswell and Cambridge scheduled for the first two weeks of the season, but Fulton County Schools postponed all sports until Sept. 14, leaving South waiting until Sept. 18 to open the season.

The War Eagles did have a scrimmage a couple of weeks ago, offering fans a glimpse at this year’s team. Tight end Devin McGlockton appeared to already be in midseason form, while wide receiver Mitch Thompson caught a 63-yard TD pass from quarterback Kyle Durham. Thompson will play a pivotal role in replacing receivers Colby Cruz and Cameron Schurr, who both displayed a knack for hauling in deep passes.

Dawson County fell to Cass, 23-7, to open the season, then lost last week to Flowery Branch, 45-40. Quarterback Zach Holtzclaw leads the Tigers on offense and is 35-for-57 passing with 485 yards and five touchdowns through two games. Isaiah Grindle (25 carries, 131 yards, 1 TD) spearheads Dawson’s rushing attack, while eight different players have caught at least one pass, highlighted by Tyler Lane’s 11 grabs for 148 yards and two scores.

South will have to knock off the rust quickly, especially facing a Dawson team that hasn’t missed the playoffs in five seasons under Sid Maxwell, but the War Eagles have the depth and athleticism to pull away in a hurry.

Pinecrest Academy at Johnson Ferry Christian Academy

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Morgan Falls Athletic Fields in Sandy Springs

Records, rankings: Pinecrest is 1-1; Johnson Ferry is 1-1.

Series history: These two teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A

What to know: Pinecrest made a huge splash last week, earning its first 8-man win with a 60-6 victory over Hearts Academy. Running back Alex Jeffords had TD runs of 68 and 99 yards against Hearts, while last year’s starting quarterback Bryce Balthaser also saw action with a 20-yard score. Johnson Ferry will be a stark test for Pinecrest, as the Saints won seven games last season before falling in the Class 2A championship against Peachtree Academy, 58-24.