WAYNESBORO — Hours before Friday night’s game, Burke County junior quarterback Donquell Green received his first college offer from North Carolina.
With more performances like the one against Perry, he’s going to need a bigger mailbox.
Green rushed for three touchdowns, passed for another and added a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as Burke County cruised to a 35-7 win over the Panthers in the Class AAAA first round at the Bear Den.
“It’s a blessing,” Green said of getting his first official offer. “I knew that it was coming soon. I knew I just had to wait on my time.”
Burke County, the 2011 Class AAA state champion, wasted no time in the postseason introducing itself to its new class. Against No. 4 seed Perry (6-5), the Bears scored on three of their four first-half drives and led comfortably the final two quarters.
“We’ve got a lot of kids that were in the mix last year. They have some playoff experience,” Burke County coach Eric Parker said. “I thought it showed tonight.”
The Bears (10-1) will play host to the Griffin-Monroe winnerat 7:30 p.m. Friday in the second round. Burke County’s next opponent will have its hands full trying to figure out how to contain Green.
Against Perry, he went 7 for 9 passing for 139 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Baxley. Green added 66 rushing yards on 11 carries. He also recorded an interception and returned two kickoffs for 142 yards.
“It’s tough being the head coach with Donquell because I’m the guy being paid to make sure I’m his reality, but all the while I’m sitting there watching him make plays that turns me into a fan some times,” Parker said. “He’s one of those guys that every time he puts his hands on the ball everybody in the stadium holds their breath.”
Green extinguished Perry’s first drive of the game with an interception and 47-yard return. Five plays later, he punched it in from the 3 to stake Burke County to an early lead.
On the Bears’ next drive, Green misfired on a deep pass left on first down. On the next play, he dropped back and fired another deep pass, hitting Baxley in stride at the 49. The 77-yard touchdown pass pushed the Burke County lead to 14-0.
With the Bears nursing a 21-7 halftime lead, Green took the opening kickoff of the second half at the 2-yard line. He darted up the middle, cut left and outraced everyone to extend the lead to 21.