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Two QBs power Bears playoff run

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When coach Eric Parker twice took Laney to the Georgia Dome, he did so with one main quarterback.

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Burke County coach Eric Parker (left) preferred not to use two QBs in the past, but it has been a good fit this season.   Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Burke County coach Eric Parker (left) preferred not to use two QBs in the past, but it has been a good fit this season.

In his first three years at Burke County, beginning in 2007, Parker's philosophy remained unchanged. But this year, he decided to use two quarterbacks, junior Corey Mayton and freshman Donquell Green.

"I've never been a fan of it. It's rare to find two quality quarterbacks than can run the same system," Parker said. "Every year you've got to figure out what best fits your team."

Despite the graduation of quarterback Terrell Brigham, Burke County still was considered a region contender entering this year. All Parker had to do was figure out how to replace Brigham's productivity -- 3,100 yards of total offense and 34 touchdowns last season.

The Bears, who play host to Cedar Grove in the third round of the Class AAA playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, are putting together their second-best season in school history. They are making their deepest postseason run since 1997 thanks to an offensive line that's grown throughout the season, a defense that's come up with big plays at critical times and its two-quarterback system.

Mayton, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior, started playing football in middle school and was a backup quarterback in eighth grade until the starter missed a practice, opening the door for Mayton to become the team's signal caller. He was the backup to Brigham the past two seasons, gaining an understanding of the offense from his wide receiver position.

Green, a 5-7, 142-pound freshman, led his middle school team to an undefeated record last season.

Because Burke County Middle runs the same offense as the high school, Green made a smooth transition, opening eyes with his running ability against Josey and Lowndes County in Weeks 2 and 3 of the season.

"At first, I didn't think I'd be able to play at this level," said Green, who has completed 15 of 21 pass attempts. "Then I saw what I can do."

With his speed -- Mayton said Green is faster than him, and Mayton's been clocked at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash -- Green has rushed for more than 700 yards and nine touchdowns. He used his quickness to score on a sweep inside the right pylon for Burke County's go-ahead two-point conversion in its 21-20 win last week over Baldwin.

Mayton, a more powerful runner, has gained 750 yards and also has thrown for more than 1,200 yards this season. He has 19 total touchdowns this year.

"They both can run the ball. They both can throw the ball," junior left guard Charles Petrea said. "They can do everything."

Cedar Grove allowed 401 yards, including 274 rushing yards, in last week's win over Gainesvillle, according to the Gainesville Times . If the Saints struggle on defense again, Mayton and Green could have a hand in sending Burke County to the state semifinals.

"It's like going to the garage and you've got an Escalade and a Corvette," Parker said. "Which one do you want to drive?"


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