ATLANTA -- Demarcus Robinson stood in the end zone in the second quarter with two Burke County defenders draped around him as he went up for the football.
Robinson came down with the ball and a touchdown on a 21-yard reception from Kentel Kendrick as Peach County grabbed a 14-point lead in the GHSA Class AAA title game Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
But after that catch at the 4:45 mark of the second quarter, Robinson was shut out, and the Trojans and their offense couldn’t get much going. Burke County’s defense dominated the second half, and the Bears pulled out a 28-14 win for the program’s first state championship.
“Oh man, they were double- and triple-teaming me,” Robinson said. “They always had someone on top of me covering me up. In the first half, they were playing man, but they had someone all over me in the second half.”
The Trojans had 174 yards of offense in the first half, showing off a nice balance with 80 yards rushing and 94 passing. Burke County and its powerful offense that had a shot for a state record for most points scored in a season had 78 yards of total offense in the first two quarters. By the end of the game, however, those numbers were reversed as Burke County finished with 279 yards, including 241 rushing, while Peach County had just 191.
The focal point of Burke County’s defense appeared to be Robinson, and the Bears took him out of the action in the second half. He finished with four catches for 58 yards, but he had nothing after his touchdown grab in the second quarter and only had one ball thrown to him in the second half -- on the game’s final possession.
“We knew we couldn’t stop him. We knew we couldn’t hold him down. He made a heck of a play (on the touchdown catch),” Burke County head coach Eric Parker said of Robinson. “We made an adjustment and tried to bother him a little bit, re-route him and see if we could get a little more pressure on the quarterback.”
Still, Robinson said his team had plenty to be proud about with its 13-2 season.
“We were the underdogs all season; no one expected us to get this far, but we made it this far,” Robinson said. “Everyone thought we’d go 5-5 and miss the playoffs and not have a good season, but we made it to the championship game, and we have to be proud of that.”