PERRY -- Stacey Harden did everything he could do as his team was trying to defend an elite receiver.
The Perry head coach made sure two defenders always accounted for Peach County’s Demarcus Robinson. The Panthers’ defense even rolled over a third defender at times to blanket Robinson.
It didn’t matter.
Robinson caught two touchdown passes -- including a spectacular 95-yarder -- to propel Peach County (1-0) to a 21-14 non-region win over rival Perry on Friday. The senior also scored the Trojans’ other touchdown with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown to ice the victory.
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Peach County has now won 18 of the past 19 games in the series.
“Sometimes your All-American and all-state wide receiver has to make plays for you,” Peach County head coach Chad Campbell said. “He did that (Friday). We’ll keep getting him the ball if we can.”
Seeing his first extended time at safety, Robinson stepped in front of a Deonte Solomon pass with seven minutes to play in the game and raced to the end zone to give the Trojans a 21-7 lead.
“We lost some of our defensive guys from last year with experience,” Robinson said. “I’ll step in where they need me.”
Robinson pushed the Trojans out in front with a pair of touchdowns from first time starting quarterback Greg Williams.
The junior quarterback looped the ball over two Perry defenders as Robinson elevated to make the catch for a 27-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
The two hooked up in a more impressive fashion a few minutes later.
Backed up at his own 5-yard line on third down, Williams heaved a ball to Robinson, who outran three defenders and caught the ball around midfield and raced away for the score.
“He went and got it,” Williams said. “He makes things easier.”
Campbell complemented the throw of his rookie quarterback, however, saying it “couldn’t have been more on the money.”
Perry (0-1) stayed close all night, answering nearly every Peach County score.
Right after Robinson’s 95-yard touchdown catch, Perry marched down field and scored on a 10-yard pass from Solomon to Nick Martens in the final seconds of the first half to cut the Trojans’ lead to 14-7.
The Panthers lost a chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter when they muffed a handoff on Peach County’s 1-yard line. They actually scored a play earlier, but Campbell called timeout just before the snap because the Trojans had too many players on the field. Perry fumbled trying the same play.
“That was a lucky break,” Campbell said.
Trailing 21-7, Perry pulled to within a touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run by Mark Riley with 2:33 to play.
The Panthers got the ball back with a minute to play, but they were out of timeouts and couldn’t get much further than midfield before throwing an incompletion on fourth-and-2 with 12 seconds to play.