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WEEK 8 PRIMER: Central, North set for rematch in Region 6-7A clash
Quarterbacks Brady Meitz, left, and Bronson Landreth will lead their teams into a Region 6-7A clash between North Forsyth and Forsyth Central at Bulldog Stadium. - photo by David Roberts

North Forsyth at Forsyth Central

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

Records, rankings: North Forsyth is 5-1 and unranked in Class 7A; Forsyth Central is 2-2 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: North Forsyth leads 11-7.

Last meeting: North Forsyth won 29-28 in 2019.

What to know: A budding rivalry in Forsyth County, Central and North have split their past two matchups, including last year’s double-overtime thriller.

North is riding high after beating West Forsyth last week for the first time since 2010. The Raiders held the Wolverines’ offense under 200 total yards and forced three turnovers, including a 28-yard fumble return for a TD by Patrick Corrigan. Jumel Lewis and Nick Ware each had an interception and helped keep West QB Ashton Van Horn to 88 yards through the air. Tucker Hartsfield (30 catches, 512 yards, 2 TD) had his best game of the season last year against Central, catching three passes for 86 yards, including a 70-yard catch-and-run from QB Brady Meitz. North’s defense has been fantastic all season, and it will be up to Meitz and Hartsfield, as well as running backs Jared Lucero and Patrick Corrigan, to find holes in a stingy Central defense.

Central was shut out last week for the first time since a 2018 playoff loss to Archer. Denmark held the Bulldogs to just three yards per carry (99 yards), while Central’s passing game never quite took off, save for a 40-yard hookup between QB Bronson Landreth to Caydin Mowen in the second half. Central rushed for at least 200 yards in each of its first three games this season, which had the Bulldogs averaging more than 27 points per game. Solomon Gates gashed the Raiders for 63 yards and a touchdown on seven carries last season, highlighted by a 53-yard TD run.

Expect another physical between these two teams, and don’t be surprised if it comes down to the final play of the game again.

- photo by David Roberts

Denmark at Lambert

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

Records, rankings: Denmark is 2-3 and unranked in Class 7A; Lambert is 4-2 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: These two teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A

What to know: The first-ever matchup between Denmark and Lambert carries plenty of weight. The Longhorns won their first four games of the season but dropped the past two, while the resurgent Danes are riding a two-game winning streak after opening 0-3.

Denmark is outscoring its opponents 41-10 since opening Region 6-7A play, as the Danes’ defense pitched their second shutout of the season last week against Central. Denmark QB Aaron McLaughlin has one of the strongest arms in the state, but the NC State commit is flashing his versatility this season, averaging more than five yards per carry (235 yards) during the Danes’ winning streak.

Lambert looked a bit different last week against Gainesville, as QB James Tyre lined up under center and Harrison Peyton handled the bulk of the carries, rushing 18 times for 163 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Tyre completed 14 of 24 passes for 252 yards and four touchdowns, including a 60-yard TD pass to Jack Stewart off a fake bubble screen. The Longhorns came three points from their season high (38 points against Meadowcreek) and seem to have found a spark plug in Tyre.

Denmark is much more stout defensively than Gainesville and will be a test for a Lambert team looking to get back on track. The Danes, meanwhile, will look to put the clamps on Tyre and the Longhorns offense and bump their winning streak to three games.

- photo by David Roberts

South Forsyth at West Forsyth

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Den in Cumming.

Records, rankings: West is 2-3 and unranked in Class 7A; South Forsyth is 4-0 and unranked in Class 7A.

Series history: West leads 5-3.

Last meeting: South Forsyth won 14-10 in 2019.

What to know: After winning its first four games of the season, South Forsyth looks to keep rolling against West Forsyth.

South had a week to recover from a 39-7 win at Alcovy, where the War Eagles continued their offensive onslaught and tallied nearly 400 yards despite playing in the rain. South is currently averaging 477 yards per game. Wide receiver Mitch Thompson was ninth in the state in receiving yards (517) before the start of last week’s games and has been a big-play threat for the War Eagles all season. South could be without running back Tre Green, who appeared to injure his neck two weeks ago on the first play from scrimmage. Green leads South in rushing this season (41 carries, 282 yards, 4 TD), but Alex Han (6 carries, 57 yards) and Gavin Morris (4 carries, 37) split the load against Alcovy.

West Forsyth running back Daba Fofana hit the century mark last week for the fourth time in five games, carrying the ball 16 times for 109 yards and a score, but the Wolverines couldn't muster much else on offense, with Alex Wilson's 36-yard FG providing West's other points. West has dealt with its share of injuries this season, first with starting QB Keegan Stover and most recently a hand injury to safety Dalton Tjong, whose absence is a blow for a defense tasked with stopping South's high-flying offense. Tight end Oscar Delp took much of the pressure off QB Ashton Van Horn in his first start against Mill Creek, catching six passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns, but North contained him to the tune of 36 yards on three receptions. If Van Horn can establish a rhythm with Delp, as well as receivers TJ Jennings and Jaycen Harris, West could find the offensive rhythm that eluded them last week.

West perennially sports one of the top defenses in the area, while Jeff Arnette's South teams have developed a penchant for putting up points. This year's edition is no different.  

- photo by David Roberts

Horizon Christian at Pinecrest Academy

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

Records, rankings: Horizon Christian is 3-2; Pinecrest Academy is 6-1.

Series history: These two teams have never met.

Last meeting: N/A

What to know: Pinecrest picked up its sixth straight win last week when the Paladins routed Dominion Christian 60-20. Next up for Pinecrest is a Horizon Christian team off to a 3-2 start. The Paladins and Warriors share a mutual opponent in Hearts Academy. Pinecrest beat Hearts last month, 60-6, while Horizon beat Heats 49-7.