Burke County has never won a state title. Peach County has won three titles since 2005. So when the two teams faced each other in the Georgia Dome on Saturday, one would think Peach would have a huge advantage because they have been in this position before and knows what it takes to win a state title.
That wasn’t the case because the Bears used their ground attack the entire game to wear down an aggressive Trojan defense which led to a 28-14 win.
The Trojans flexed their muscle in the first quarter. They started the game with possession and did not disappoint the Trojan faithful. The Trojans drove down to thanks to two big catches by Demarcus Robinson and two big runs by Darion Howard. The drive ended with a Kentel Kendrick 1-yard touchdown run to give the Trojans the early lead.
The Trojans added on to their lead midway through the second quarter when Kendrick threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Robinson. The throw was made on third-and-12 and Robinson was able to catch it with two Bears defenders covering the junior receiver.
The Bears got their offense going on the ensuing drive when Donquell Green completed a 35 yards pass to Denzell Warthen. That led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Corey Mayton, but the Bears missed the extra point so they were down by eight going into halftime.
Believe or not, the Bears had the Trojans where they wanted them.
The third quarter is where the Bears got things rolling. They continued to run the football which wore out the Trojan defense and it led to a 35-yard touchdown run by Green. The Bears converted the extra point which tied the game at 14.
Kendrick and the rest of the Peach County offense looked to break a tie, as he looked for Robinson on a go route, but the ball was under-thrown and was intercepted by Antwan Walker. The Bears were able to capitalize as Mayton scored off a 1-yard quarterback sneak to go up by seven.
Peach County could not get anything going in the fourth quarter. Kendrick was heavily pressured and was sacked a couple of times by Devonte Lambert. He led the team with eight tackles.
The Bears were able to ice the game midway through the fourth quarter when Green scored off a 13-yard touchdown run and the Bears held on to win their first state title in school history.
The Bears finished their season with a 14-1 record with their only loss coming against Lowndes earlier in the year. This was the second time the Bears reached the state championship game, with the last appearance coming in 1997.
Peach County finishes with a 13-2 record and it’s the first time since 2003 the Trojans have fallen in the state title game.