Peach County opens what it hopes will be a march to a state championship when it hosts Tattnall County in the first round of the GHSA Class 3A playoffs at 8 p.m. on Friday night.
The Trojans (9-1) have reeled off nine consecutive victories since a loss to Houston County to begin their season, including a 24-21 triumph over Jackson last week with a Region 4-3A title on the line to enter the postseason on a high.
“Everybody wants to go on a five-game win streak this time of year, and I like where we are right now,” Peach County head coach Chad Campbell said. “We’re pretty healthy, and I’m just looking forward to Friday night to see how we’ll perform. We have to continue doing what we’ve been doing all year and just win and survive.”
The matchup with Jackson came at a terrific time for a team hoping to build playoff moxie. Peach County hadn’t played in a game decided by fewer than 18 points since rallying from 19 down in the fourth quarter against Mary Persons on Sept. 16.
Place-kicker Mitchell Fineran’s 35-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play proved to be the difference against the Red Devils and just added to the confidence that his head coach already had in Fineran’s ability should the Trojans need him again in the postseason.
“I felt very confident that he was going to make that kick,” Campbell said. “I feel confident that he’s going to make every kick. I don’t think he’s missed from under 50 yards all season.”
Tattnall County, which is making its first playoff appearance since a 49-7 loss to Callaway in 2012, has been in must-win mode for weeks. After starting region play at 0-3, the Warriors won their final two games of the regular season to claim the final playoff spot from Region 2-3A.
A more traditional wishbone offense in a region dominated by spread attacks, Tattnall County trailed 17-3 in the fourth quarter against Appling County on Friday before rallying for a 24-17 win that clinched the postseason berth.
“They run the ball effectively, and to be down 17-3 and come back and win like that, you know that they don’t have any quit in them,” Campbell said.