When Peach County needed a big play or a long drive Friday night, it was able to come up with just that.
Mary Persons couldn’t. And that was the key to the Trojans’ 35-14 win.
Mary Persons (3-2) led 14-0 before Peach County (3-1) rattled off 35 unanswered points. The Trojans had a long touchdown run, a long punt return to set up another score and scoring drives of 13, 13 and 16 plays.
Three who mattered
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Chris Gibson: The senior running back finished with 25 carries for 126 yards for Peach County, and he had 17 carries in the second half.
Trevon Woolfolk: The Peach County senior had eight carries for 124 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
J.T Hartage: The junior quarterback completed 8-of-12 passes for 81 yards and rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries for the Bulldogs.
Early in the third quarter, Peach County took its first lead on Woolfolk’s long touchdown run. On its next drive, Mary Persons appeared to have a big play of its own as Hartage connected on a long strike deep into Trojans territory. The play was nullified by a holding call, and the Bulldogs were forced to punt. Peach County’s Kearis Jackson returned the punt to the Bulldogs’ 19, and the Trojans took advantage with an Antonio Gilbert touchdown run.
Turn it over to the running game: Peach County finished with 270 yards on the ground, and 212 of those came in the second half on 27 carries.
Controlling the action: The action was pretty even with a tie at 14 at the half, but Peach County dominated in the second half. The Trojans had 10 first downs in the second half to just three for the Bulldogs. Peach County had 236 of its 396 yards in the second half, while the Bulldogs had just 19 plays for 80 yards after halftime.
Strong start: Mary Persons got on the board first as Daniel Lavelle scooped up a blocked field goal and returned it 70 yards for the score.
Repeat of 2016: Just like last year, Mary Persons jumped out on top of Peach County, only to have the Trojans come back. Last year, Peach County trailed 19-0 before rallying for a 20-19 win.
They said it
Peach County head coach Chad Campbell on the win: “This is a tough environment to play in. We always struggle here, which a lot of teams probably do. They’ve got a good football team, and we got down 14-0 and showed a lot of composure, a lot of resilience to come back in a tough environment. The way our kids responded, I couldn’t be more pleased with them.”
Jackson on the Trojans overcoming the 14-0 deficit: “We’ve got heart, and we’ve got determination, and if we put our minds to it, we can do anything.”
Mary Persons head coach Brian Nelson on the loss: “We couldn’t sustain it, and then hats off to Peach County. They’ve got a dang good football team, and when they needed to get something, they got it, and we couldn’t get them stopped.”
Peach County opens GHSA Region 4-3A play Friday at Westside, while Mary Persons opens Region 2-4A play at Spalding on Sept. 29.