Peach County didn’t have its best performance Friday night in the first round of the GHSA Class 3A playoffs, but it made stops when it had to and overwhelmed Tattnall County 42-13 to advance.
The Trojans’ offense was in rhythm from the start.
Antonio Gilbert found freshman Justin Harris on an 11-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring, and that was followed by a 10-yard James Jackson touchdown run less than two minutes later for a 14-0 lead.
After a missed Tattnall County field goal, Gilbert capped an eight-play drive with a quarterback keeper to extend the advantage. The Warriors moved the ball right back down the field in response but were turned away on a fourth-and-goal from the 14, and the Trojans made the Warriors pay five plays later on another Jackson scoring run to lead 28-0.
Tattnall County cut the Trojans lead to 28-7 at the half but was never in the game after the break as Peach County added two more touchdowns in the third quarter to salt the game away.
Three who mattered
Gilbert: The Peach County quarterback had a huge night executing the quick passing game, going 23-of-31 for 282-yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a score.
Kearis Jackson: Gilbert’s favorite target caught 10 passes on the night for 159 yards. He added a touchdown on his final reception of the game to close the scoring for Peach County in the third quarter.
Kyle Nixon: Peach County’s large and experienced defensive back picked off two Tattnall County passes. His interception on the final play of the first half was almost converted into a touchdown, but he was knocked out of bounds just shy of the goal line.
Changing it up: After rushing the ball 14 times in the first quarter while not attempting a pass from the wishbone formation, Tattnall County spread out its offense. The Warriors passed 23 times the rest of the way, relying on quarterback Craige Saxton to keep the chains moving with his feet when protection broke down.
They said it
An unhappy Peach County head coach Chad Campbell on his team’s overall performance: “I’m mad for the offense. The offense played well, but the defense didn’t play well at all. We couldn’t tackle anybody, and we couldn’t do assignments. It was a poor performance. Tackling is about want to, and we didn’t want to (Friday).”
Campbell on his thoughts ahead to the second round: “I haven’t even thought about it. “We’ll watch this film and work on that come (Sunday).”
Peach County will host North Murray at 8 p.m. on Friday.