FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Chad Campbell didn’t need to watch a ton of film on Burke County to get a feel for the Bears’ firepower.
“About five minutes of the Gainesville film; You get a pretty good idea with that tape about how good that offense can be,” the Peach County head coach said of the Bears’ 63-28 win over the Red Elephants in the Georgia High School Association Class AAA semifinals.
Peach County (13-1) will play Burke County (13-1) in the Class AAA championship at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
The Bears’ 63-point outburst against Gainesville wasn’t a rarity. They have scored 55 or more six times with a high of 84 against Cross Creek. Only two schools – Lowndes and Washington County – have held the Bears under 31. Burke County is 45 points away from breaking Dublin’s state record 682 single-season points.
“They have an unbelievably explosive offense,” Washington County head coach Joel Ingram said. “They can go on runs like basketball teams and just keep scoring. The best way to stop them is by just keeping them off the field.”
Burke County head coach Eric Parker rotates two players at quarterback. Ingram compares Corey Mayton, the larger of the two and probably the better passer, to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Ingram said the other quarterback, Donquell Green, reminds him of current University of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.
“Fastest player we saw all year,” Ingram said.
Campbell said Green’s speed compares favorably to that of former Peach County running back and track star Travis Richmond, who was The Associated Press Class AAA Offensive Player of the Year in 2010.
“You can’t simulate speed like that in practice,” Campbell said. “At least, we don’t have anybody with that speed.”
While the two quarterbacks provide plenty of offense, Peach County also has to deal with a veteran offensive line that significantly outweighs the Trojans. Campbell said the linemen splits are narrower than those of the teams they’ve faced this year, which could cause problems for the attacking defense. The Trojans send pressure on nearly every play, but that methodology could change if they can’t penetrate those gaps.
“It would be nice to have some bigger bodies,” Campbell said. “That would help make some room. … If the guys bringing pressure do what they are coached to do, we feel good that the other guys will be where they are supposed to be, and they’ll have to make some plays.”
Campbell said his coaches have done a good job adjusting on the fly this season. He pointed to the win over Carrollton in the quarterfinals. Peach County hadn’t faced a Wing-T team all season, and Carrollton’s proficiency with the offense posed significant problems early in Peach County’s 19-15 win. Carrollton rushed for 104 yards in the first quarter and jumped out to a 15-6 lead early.
“Sometimes, you just take a little time to get settled down,” Campbell said. “A scout team can’t put things together in a week. After you get your feet under you, you should be OK. You just can’t fall too far behind in that early part.”