As Butler failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities, Burke County’s already-dangerous offense got only more potent.
The Bears scored in every quarter as they routed Butler, 35-0, Friday night.
The Bears finished unbeaten in Region 3-AAA South play and will play at Thomson in the Region 3-AAA championship game.
Butler, again struggling on red zone chances, can still make the Class AAA state playoffs with a win against Richmond Academy next week.
“Offensively, as the game (went) on, we got stronger,” Bears coach Eric Parker said.
Despite a lost fumble and an interception on a tipped pass in the first half, Burke County still moved the chains most of the night. The Bears (8-1, 5-0 Region 3-AAA South) had 490 offensive yards and six players had a rushing attempt go for at least 10 yards.
Burke County scored on two of its first three possessions in the opening half and on two of its three possessions in the second half, with the third drive taking the clock to zero.
Corey Mayton and Donquell Green both shared quarterback duties, and the two combined for 326 yards on passes, rushes and a Green catch.
But Montres Kitchens also played a huge role, scoring the game’s last three touchdowns.
The first came as Burke County used short passes late in the first half.
Leading 14-0, the Bears drove 62 yards in less than a minute, with Mayton avoiding pressure on a few plays before Kitchens’ 15-yard reception on a screen.
Kitchens then added a rushing score in the third before getting his 91-yard touchdown catch in the fourth.
After being met by a defender, Kitchens shed off a Bulldog and used his speed to get into the open around midfield.
Trailing less than three minutes into the game but down only 14 before the late second-quarter score, Butler had opportunities to strike – it had six possessions reach Bears territory, including four times in the first half.
The Bulldogs held the ball for about half the third quarter on one drive, but needing a touchdown, turned the ball over on downs at the Burke County 13. They then lost a fumble inside the 10 with about five minutes remaining in the game.
Butler (7-2, 3-2) had only 156 yards of offense and committed four turnovers.
“The last three, four weeks we’re not being good enough in the red zone,” Bulldogs coach Ashley Harden said.