WAYNESBORO, Ga. — Burke County High School is out next week for Thanksgiving break. Montres Kitchens and his teammates won’t have any time for extra sleep.
Burke County will hold practices at 9 every weekday morning. And the Bears have only themselves to blame.
“That’s all right with me,” the senior running back said. “We’re still in the playoffs and we get another chance to play.”
Burke County turned the holiday week into a busy one thanks to its 35-7 win over Woodward Academy in the second round of the Class AAA playoffs Friday night.
The Bears advance to play Allatoona, a 14-7 winner over Mary Persons on Friday night.
Burke County athletic director Wade Marchman and offensive coordinator Jim Dye will meet with Allatoona personnel at 10 a.m. today in Madison, Ga., for a coin flip to decide the home site. Last year, the Bears lost a coin flip to Carrollton and dropped their state semifinal game.
“I told coach Marchman and coach Dye if they lose the coin flip to keep traveling I-20 west,” head coach Eric Parker said with a laugh. “Don’t come back.”
Burke County (11-1) took advantage of its home field against Woodward Academy (8-4), scoring on two of its first three drives as it rolled up 300 rushing yards on 51 carries. Quarterback Corey Mayton led the Bears with 101 yards on 16 carries with two scores, while Donquell Green added 89 yards on nine rushes. Kitchens chipped in with 12 carries for 61 yards and a pair of scores.
Burke County’s defense set the tone early. Davonte Lambert sacked Terrence Phillips for a 14-yard loss on Woodward Academy’s first play from scrimmage. Two plays later, Christopher Washington blitzed off the right side for another sack of Phillips.
The Bears limited the War Eagles to 40 rushing yards.
“We got off to a fast start. That’s what we wanted to do,” Parker said. “Defense really kept us in there and never really gave them a chance to get in the ball game.”
Burke County opened the game with the ball and took little time to find the end zone. In nine plays, the Bears drove 70 yards in less than three minutes. Kitchens busted up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown to open the scoring.
Later in the first quarter, Mayton and Green combined for 61 rushing yards to march Burke County down field. On third-and-4 from the 10, Mayton faked up the middle and darted around the right side. The Bears led 14-0 and never looked back.