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Peach uses strong defensive play to stave off rally by Northside in budding rivalry

Our favorite photos from Peach County’s 21-13 win over Northside

Telegraph correspondent Clay Teague's favorite photos from Peach County Trojans versus Northside Eagles football game Saturday, August 31, 2019.
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Telegraph correspondent Clay Teague's favorite photos from Peach County Trojans versus Northside Eagles football game Saturday, August 31, 2019.

In a meeting between a pair of state finalists from last season, the Peach County Trojans escaped with a 21-13 win over the Northside Eagles with a strong performance by its defense.

In the first half, the Trojans linebacker Sergio Allen took over early as he created chaos in the Northside backfield with a pair of sacks.

This led to multiple defensive stops that allowed running back Tijah Woolfolk to score a pair of long touchdown runs.

“We saw something on film and hurt them twice with the same run,” Peach County head coach Chad Campbell said. “Both of them for touchdowns, Tijah did a good job.”

Allen, a Clemson commit, intercepted Northside quarterback Mason Ford and returned the ball 16 yards for a touchdown to put the Trojans up 21-3. Allen said he had seen the same play from them last year when the Trojans knocked off the Eagles.

“The running back started stutter-stepping. As soon as he did that, I saw the play from last year in my head,” Allen said. “I just knew it was going to come and kinda jumped the play.”

The Northside offense that looked impressive in its season-opening win over Centennial was shut down for most of the game.

In the fourth quarter, the speed of the Eagles finally started to factor in as they were able to break some big gains, including a deep pass by Ford that set up the Eagles inside the 5-yard line.

Ford scrambled into the end zone from a couple of yards out to bring Northside back within one score. Campbell said that the Eagles started to wear his defense out in the second half.

“They held the ball like the whole second half. The defense was tired as crap,” Campbell said. “Give credit to them in the second half for making adjustments.”

The offense stalled out for Peach County on the next drive giving Northside one final chance to tie up the game. A punt pinned the Eagles inside its own 5-yard line.

The Peach County defense once again came up with a huge play as Justin Harris intercepted Ford that allowed the Trojans to run the clock down to under two minutes.

“Justin made a great interception down here,” Campbell said. “He high-pointed the ball.”

Northside would have one final shot at the end zone but once again the defense would shut the door.

“It has become a great rivalry. Coach and his staff do a great job,” Campbell said. “All in all it was a great win.”

The Trojans defense will be counted on throughout the season against a tough schedule to try and lead this team to a third straight state title appearance.

“I feel like the defense is going to be the key point,” Allen said. “At Peach County it always is, I don’t think we ever let our teams down.”

The Eagles move to 1-1 on the season and will take on Jones County next week. Peach County is 1-0 and will take on Lee County next week in another matchup of state title finalist from a season ago.

“We are going to continue to work and get better,” Campbell said. “We got a lot of them (players) banged up tonight. It is just going to depend on the next man up.”

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