FORT VALLEY, Ga. --- Peach County used a big-play offense and a suffocating defense to power past Thomson, 33-0, in a Class AAA second-round playoff game at Anderson Stadium on Friday night.
The Trojans (12-0) won their 27th consecutive game and now move on to the state quarterfinals where they will play either Grady or White County. Thomson (9-3) was unable to extend the career of its legendary coach, 78-year-old Luther Welsh, who will retire now after winning 333 games as a head coach.
"We didn't play too good," an emotional Welsh said. "I thought (Peach) had better people coming in, but I thought we would have played much better than we did.
"Good teams don't let up," he added. "They just keep on coming."
The Peach County defense recorded its second consecutive shutout in the playoffs and now has five for the season. The Trojans forced four turnovers and held Thomson to 119 yards of total offense. Most of that came on a pair of long pass plays to Bulldogs' tight end Jacoby Crawford, who had two catches for 62 yards.
Peach County quarterback Brett Montgomery finished with 164 yards and two touchdowns.
Welsh ended his career with three state titles won at Thomson. His 520 games as a head coach are second only to Lincoln County's Larry Campbell, and his 333 victories rank third most in Georgia.
A group of former players from Dougherty, where Welsh had his first head coaching job in Georgia, made the trip to see Welsh.
After a disappointing 2009 season, Welsh was glad this year's team bounced back.
"We made a large turnaround, a big turnaround from last season," he said. "I was proud to get back in the playoffs."
He said at this point he needs "a little peace of mind," and he plans on retiring to his hometown of Bishopville, S.C.
"I appreciate all they've done for me," Welsh said of his former players and coaches. "It makes people think I was such a good coach."
Morris News Service writer Billy Hobbs contributed to this article.