High School Sports

Peach County kicks it into high gear, handles Westside

Peach County receiver Kearis Jackson (7) catches a pass that sets up the second Trojan touchdown against Westside.
Peach County receiver Kearis Jackson (7) catches a pass that sets up the second Trojan touchdown against Westside. bcabell@macon.com

The Peach County Trojans opened their GHSA Region 4-3A schedule on Friday by controlling Westside 35-7.

The Trojans, who are ranked fourth in Class 3A, passed for 247 yards and ran for another 182 as they dominated the line of scrimmage for most of the game behind playmakers Chris Gibson, Kearis Jackson and Antonio Gilbert. The Trojans also got a strong defensive performance as they improved to 4-1.

Westside falls to 2-3.

Five who mattered

Gibson: The senior running back ran for 124 yards and three touchdowns to spark the Trojans’ offense. He scored all three of his touchdowns in the first half as Peach County built a 21-7 lead.

Jackson: The Georgia commit caught five passes for 116 yards.

Gilbert: The Trojans’ quarterback threw for 219 yards and had one touchdown pass while running for another.

Jaylon Barden: The receiver for Westside had another strong game with five catches for 82 yards.

LaKelvin Clark: Clark was knocked out of the game in the second quarter but came back strong in the second half. He ended the game with 117 yards rushing for Westside.

Turning point

Westside score late in the second quarter to make it a 14-7 game with less than two minutes left. Place-kicker Kameron Daniels hit a perfect squib kick that Westside recovered, but the officials ruled that Westside had touched the ball before it went 10 yards. That gave Peach County a short field, and Gilbert went to work, completing 6-of-8 passes before Gibson took it in from 4 yards out with only 17 seconds left in the half to get the lead back to 14 points. Peach County got the ball first in the third quarter and scored quickly, with Gilbert finding Millard Thomas for a 37-yard touchdown only two minutes in the quarter to put the game away.

Observation

Quarterbacks galore: Westside starting quarterback Victor Dixon had a strong game passing and threw for 184 yards, but Westside gave Peach County some different looks with Shannon Pearson and Siemoran Farrar also lining up at quarterback and running the football effectively.

They said it

Peach County head coach Chad Campbell on the win: “Obviously, it’s very important to get that first region win, and I thought we did some good things against a good football team. I like the fact that we were able to be balanced on offense like we were, but we have a lot of work to do as a football team. We need to learn to work harder, and I am not saying the kids don’t work hard, but we have to learn to work even harder if we are going to get where we want to get as a football team.”

Campbell on the late first-half touchdown: “That was definitely big for us because we got the late possession, and then we got the ball to start the third quarter, and we were able to score on both.”

Gibson on his three touchdowns: “I like getting the ball, but we have so many weapons on this team that anyone can get the touchdowns on in any game. The touchdowns really don’t matter, and the only thing that matters to me is getting the win.”

What’s next?

Peach County travels to Central on Oct. 5, while Westside travels to Jackson on Friday.

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