Baldwin coach Dexter Copeland is very familiar with Peach County; his Braves have been in the same region as the Trojans the past two years.
He also knows quite a bit about Burke County, which takes on Peach County today in the Class AAA championship game at the Georgia Dome.
Copeland’s Baldwin team was the only team to play both teams this season. Baldwin lost 31-14 to Burke County to open the season.
His Braves lost 17-14 to Peach County in the regular-season finale.
That loss meant the Braves missed out on the region title and settled for the region’s second seed.
Baldwin lost to Monroe in the first round of the playoffs.
“It should be a very even football game; they’re both very well-coached teams,” Copeland said of the title game. “Defensively, they’re both very aggressive. Burke is bigger, but Peach has more speed. I really think the team that makes the last mistake is going to lose that game. Both teams are going to make some mistakes, but the team that makes the last mistake at the wrong time is going to lose.
“It would be hard to have two teams more evenly matched than those two.”
Burke County and Peach County are both 13-1 entering the title game.
Last year, both teams beat Copeland’s Baldwin team as well, and Burke County’s 21-20 win ended Baldwin’s season in the second round of the playoffs.
“We have seen them enough the past two years,” Copeland said with a laugh.
“I knew (after the season opener) that Burke was going to make it. (Burke County head coach Eric Parker) told me last year, that (this) year was going to be their year. They were really shooting for big things this year.”
Burke County has never won a state title, but Peach County is gunning for its fourth title and its second in three years.
“I want Peach to win, of course, because it’s our region,” Copeland said. “It’s two good football teams and two great coaches, and I’m friends with both of them. It’s going to be a good game; I just wish our team was playing in it.”