svehla west champs

West Forsyth head coach Dave Svehla stands with the Region 6-7A championship trophy following his team's 20-10 win over Denmark Friday night. The game served as the de-facto region championship game. 

Region standings as of Nov. 20

Region 5-7A Region record Overall record Next week
Milton* 5-0 9-0 Playoffs
Roswell 3-2 7-2 Playoffs
Cherokee 3-2 9-1 Playoffs
Alpharetta 2-3 4-4 Playoffs
Woodstock 1-4 3-7
Etowah 1-4 1-9
Regoin 6-7A Region record Overall record Next week
West Forsyth* 5-1 7-3 Playoffs
Denmark 5-1 5-4 Playoffs
Gainesville 4-2 6-4 Playoffs
South Forsyth 3-3 6-3 Playoffs
North Forsyth 2-4 6-4
Forsyth Central 1-5 4-5
Lambert 1-5 5-5
Region 7-6A Region record Overall record
River Ridge 5-0 8-0 TBD
Creekview 5-1 7-2 TBD
Cambridge 4-2 4-4 TBD
Johns Creek 4-2 4-4 TBD
Sequoyah 3-3 3-6 TBD
Riverwood 2-5 4-5
Chattahoochee 1-6 2-7
Centennial 0-5 0-7
Region 5-5A
St. Pius X* 6-0 8-1 Playoffs
Decatur 5-1 7-1 Playoffs
SW Dekalb 4-2 4-3 Playoffs
M.L. King 3-3 3-5 Playoffs
Lithonia 2-4 3-5
Northview 1-5 2-7
Stone Mountain 1-6 2-6
Region 7-5A
Blessed Trinity* 5-0 7-0 Playoffs
Cartersville 4-1 8-2 Playoffs
Calhoun 3-2 7-3 Playoffs
Hiram 1-4 1-9 Playoffs
Cass 1-4 6-4
Woodland 1-4 4-4
Region 6-A (Private)
Fellowship Christian* 4-0 9-0 Playoffs
Mount Pisgah 3-1 6-4 Playoffs
Lakeview Academy 2-2 5-3 Playoffs
King's Ridge 1-3 3-4 Playoffs
St. Francis 0-4 1-8
* denotes region champion

 

Class 7A

Milton 41, Cherokee 29

Between 1952 and 2014 Milton won two region titles. After downing Cherokee 41-29 Friday night, the Eagles now have three region championships in as many years.

The teams traded blows throughout the exciting contest, but Milton ran away with the game late to secure its first undefeated regular season since 1952. The Eagles’ on-field loss to Cedar Grove earlier this year was reversed after Cedar Grove reported it had fielded an ineligible player during the game.

After each team forced a turnover-on-downs, Milton broke the scoring stalemate late in the first quarter with an 8-yard touchdown rush from Jordan McDonald.

Cherokee countered with a short touchdown pass on a trick play, but a botched snap on the PAT allowed Milton to still lead, 7-6.

Special teams bit Cherokee again in the second quarter with an errant snap on a punt play was recovered by Milton’s Dayne Edwards in the end zone to give the Eagles a 14-6 advantage.

Midway through the second, the Warriors scored on a 68-yard pass, but their 2-point play was unsuccessful.

After two bungled special teams plays, Cherokee took a 15-14 lead late in the second quarter with a field goal. Milton appeared to reclaim the lead just before the half when Jason Aussin converted a 52-yard kick for Milton, but a false start penalty against the Eagles pushed the ball back and Aussin’s 57-yard kick was just short.

The Eagles retook the lead in the third quarter with McDonald’s second rushing score of the game, a  75-yard scamper. The Eagles did not convert their 2-point play to keep the score at 20-15.

With three minutes left in the third, a pretty pass from Milton’s Devin Farrell to Adam Freas set up a 5-yard touchdown run from Bruce Thornton to give the Eagles a 27-15 edge.

Cherokee scored on a 24-yard pass on an under route to pull within one score, 27-22, early in the fourth.

With just over three minutes remaining, Farrell converted a third-and-19 play with his legs to set up another touchdown run from McDonald to put Milton up 34-22 with two minutes to go.

Cherokee did not go quietly.

The Warriors drove 71 yards in less than a minute to cut the gap to 34-29. Cherokee went for an onside kick, but Thornton recovered for the Eagles.

To ice the game, McDonald scored touchdown No. 4 on the night from 44-yards out. He compiled over 250 yards rushing during the contest and recorded his second straight four-touchdown performance.

The Eagles will have home-field advantage in the first round of the state playoffs. They will take on the No. 4 seed from Region 8, which includes Gwinnett County programs.

 

Etowah 12, Alpharetta 6

Alpharetta got a little help Friday to ensure its berth in the playoffs after the Raiders fell to previously winless Etowah at home. Roswell downing Woodstock ensured Alpharetta secured the final playoff spot from the region without using tiebreakers that could have potentially shut them out of the postseason.

Alpharetta tied the contest at 6-6 in the third quarter with a passing score, but Etowah scored with under four minutes left in the game and kept the Raiders off the board.

The Raiders will be the No. 4 seed from Region 5 and will take on Region 8 champions Collins Hill on the road Nov. 27.

Roswell 42, Woodstock 12

After dropping two straight region contests, Roswell earned a lopsided win over Woodstock at home to secure its spot in the postseason. With the Hornets win and Milton downing Cherokee, the Roswell will be the No. 2 seed from Region 5-7A and play at home in the first round of the playoffs.  

Roswell’s defensive began the Hornets’ high-scoring night with Evan Plunkett getting a pick-six early in the contest.

Robbie Roper and Michael Fitzgerald connected on touchdown passes of 13- and 25-yards, and a 29-yard ground score from Ryan Hill gave Roswell a 28-12 advantage at the half.

After getting the early defensive score, Plunkett made waves on special teams in the third quarter, returning the opening kick for a touchdown.

The Hornets (7-2, 3-2) will play at home Nov. 27 against the No. 3 seed from Region 8.

 

Gainesville 17, North Forsyth 0

North Forsyth’s 2020 campaign ended Friday night with the Raiders taking a 17-0 loss to Gainesville.

The Raiders entered the night with a shot to make to the playoffs, but the scenario required North to win by a large margin over Gainesville following South’s win via forfeit over Forsyth Central.

However, the tiebreakers never came into play with North getting shut out by the Red Elephants. North turned the ball over twice in the fourth quarter, quelling any hopes of a comeback.

The Raiders handed Region 6-7A champs West Forsyth its only region loss of the year, but close loses to Forsyth Central and Denmark relegated North to fifth in the final standings.

North compiled a 6-4 overall record this year, its second straight winning season.

South Forsyth vs. Forsyth Central (CANCELLED)

Friday’s regular season finale for South Forsyth and Forsyth Central was cancelled due to COVID-19 cases among the Forsyth Central team. A letter from the school’s principal, Mitch Young, 27 players and three coaches have been “sidelined” by the virus.

The result of the game will be considered a forfeit by Central. With Friday’s other results in Region 6-7A play, South Forsyth earned a playoff berth as the No. 4 seed from the region.

South will take on the Region 7 champions Norcross on the road in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 27.

COVID-19 cancellations served as bookends on the Bulldogs’ season. Their first two games of 2020 were cancelled because of coronavirus cases at their opponents’ schools.

Central went 4-4 overall this season and 1-4 in region play.

 

West Forsyth 20, Denmark 10

West Forsyth captured its first region title since 2012 Friday night in the de-facto 6-7A title game against Denmark, ending the Danes undefeated run in region play. Denmark was vying for its first region crown in the third year of the program and first in Class 7A.

The matchup also featured two first-year head coaches in West’s David Svehla and Denmark’s Mike Palmieri.

The Wolverines struck first with a touchdown connection from Keegan Stover to Oscar Delp, but the Danes led 10-7 at halftime behind a field goal and a 2-yard score on the ground for quarterback Aaron McLaughlin.

Late in the third, the Wolverines reclaimed the lead on a short rush from Stover after his pass over the middle set up West on the goal line. The PAT was no good, keeping the margin at 13-10.

The Danes fumbled on their ensuing drive with West’s Grey Brockman on the recovery, but Denmark’s defense held to force a punt. The Danes then turned the ball over on downs on their possession with eight minutes remaining in the contest.

Looking for the go-ahead score with under two minutes left, a low snap on Denmark’s next drive sailed past McLaughlin and was recovered by West, setting up the Wolverine’s on their opponent’s 12-yard line.  

Two plays later, the Wolverines secured their first region title in eight years with a 9-yard touchdown run from Ryder Stewart.

Both Denmark and West Forsyth will host in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 27. West will take on the No. 4 seed from Region 7 while Denmark hosts the No. 3 seed. Region 7 includes teams from Gwinnett and DeKalb.

Duluth 33, Dunwoody 3

A disappointing season ended for Dunwoody Friday night with a 33-3 loss to Duluth in the Wildcats’ final matchup of the year.  

After losing a large senior class and most of their talent in skilled positions, the Wildcats went 1-7 overall this season and 1-5 in Region 7-7A, their first year in the classification and region.

Dunwoody has not had a winning season since 2012.

 

Class 6A

Creekview 19, Johns Creek 14

Johns Creek’s fell short of capturing its third straight Region 7-6A title this season, but the Gladiators are in the playoffs. But what seed they earn will still be decided by Saturday games between River Ridge vs. Cambridge and Sequoyah vs. Centennial.

Creekview did all its scoring in the first half, jumping out to a 19-0 lead with two touchdowns, a field goal and a blocked punt for a safety.

Johns Creek quarterback Luke Richards connected with John Stegenga for a touchdown in the third quarter. The Gladiators found the end zone again in the fourth but could not complete the comeback.

With the loss, Johns Creek is in a three-way tie for second in the region with Creekview and Cambridge, with Saturday’s games to finalize seeds for the playoffs.  

 

River Ridge 29, Cambridge 21 (Nov. 21) 

Cambridge dropped its season finale Saturday afternoon, falling to River Ridge on the road by a single score. The Bears made a late comeback to set up an exciting finish, but their bid fell short.

Despite the loss, Cambridge earned its first playoff appearance since 2016 with some help from River Ridge, who downed Johns Creek Friday to give the Bears’ the No. 3 seed.

Cambridge trailed 26-0 before a Phillip-Michael Collins touchdown rush put the Bears on the board just before the end of the third quarter.

With five minutes left in the game, Zach Harris hit Hayden Gardella for a touchdown to cup River Ridge’s lead to 29-14.

The Bears added another touchdown in the final minute of play, but the Knights recovered the ensuing onside kick to ice the game.

The Bears will go on the road to take on Kell in the first round of the playoffs.

Riverwood 29, Chattahoochee 6

Chattahoochee’s season ended Friday night with a 29-6 road loss to Riverwood. The Cougars compiled a 2-7 overall region record and went 1-6 in region play.

The Cougars have been shut out of the playoffs the last three seasons.

Sequoyah 52, Centennial 13 (Nov. 21)

Centennial wrapped up its disappointing 2020 season Saturday night at Sequoyah by taking a 52-13 loss.

Sequoyah charged to a 45-7 lead in the first half, with the Knights’ lone touchdown coming on a scoring reception from Julian Nixon.

The Knights went 0-8 this year, their second straight winless season.

 

Class 5A

Southwest Dekalb 48, Northview 6

Northview’s 2020 campaign ended Friday night after the Titans took a lopsided, 48-6 loss to Southwest Dekalb.

Northview went 2-7 overall and 1-5 in region play this season in what head coach James Thompson called a rebuilding year before the first kickoff of the season.

Blessed Trinity 49, Woodland (Cartersville) 0

Blessed Trinity shut out Woodland to run the table (5-0) in Region 7-5A with Friday’s win and Cartersville’s forfeit to BT earlier this season. The Titans had already secured the region title, their seventh in the last eight years, before Friday’s contest. BT’s region record for the decade (2011-2020) is 43-3.

Blessed Trinity wasted no time in building its lead. The Titans led 7-0 after just 37 seconds of play with a 60-yard run from Zach Bolden.

Justice Haynes had a long scoring run of his own a few minutes later, scoring from 77-yards out to put BT up 14-0. Haynes returned to the house less than two minutes later with a 47-yard touchdown.  

The Titans’ special teams got in on the early barrage of scores by blocking a punt and recovering it for a touchdown to give BT a four-score lead in the first quarter.

The scoring didn’t let up in the second. Englan Williams hauled in a 13-yard touchdown catch, and Nolan Tully intercepted a Woodland pass to set up an 18-yard score for Williams to extend BT’s lead to 42-0.

Evan Dickens added a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter, the only score of the half.

BT will begin its quest for a fourth-straight state title Nov. 27 at home against the No. 4 seed from Region 6.

 

Class A-Private

Mount Pisgah Christian 49, St. Francis 17

Mount Pisgah secured home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs Friday night behind a 49-17 win over St. Francis. The win puts the Patriots at No. 2 in the Region 6-A standings.  

The Patriots went 6-4 overall during the regular season, their first winning season and playoff appearance since 2017.

Mount Pisgah scored two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters to build an insurmountable margin over the Knights.

The Patriots will host the No. 3 seed from Region 7.

St. Francis went 1-8 overall this season and 0-4 in region play, the Knights’ first losing season since 2017.

 

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