Peach County overwhelms Houston County for season-opening win
Peach County turned in an inconsistent performance at times but still managed to overwhelm Houston County on Friday as the Trojans led throughout and came away with a 44-14 victory at Freedom Field.
The Trojans (1-0) started hot. Quarterback Antonio Gilbert found Kearis Jackson for a 54-yard completion on the game’s first play and scored three plays later on an 8-yard Gilbert touchdown pass to Terkel Jefferson.
Houston County (0-2) responded with a score of its own, but Peach County took the lead back for good on the ensuing possession thanks to Gilbert’s second of three touchdown passes on the night.
Peach County essentially put the game away with less than a minute remaining in the first half on a 62-yard punt return for a score by the Georgia-bound Jackson, who reversed his field and picked up blockers to score in the right corner for a 30-7 advantage.
Three who mattered
Kearis Jackson: The senior finished the first half with two catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Wesley Steiner: The only offensive threat for Houston County, the sophomore had a big night carrying 26 times for 223 yards and a score. Nine of those touches went for gains of 10 yards or more.
JacQuez Jackson: The Georgia Tech-bound Jackson seemed to come up with tackles for negative yardage at the most opportune moments for a Peach County defense that struggled stopping the run for stretches of the game.
With the Bears seizing a little momentum after the half on a 46-yard touchdown run by Steiner and then a subsequent three-and-out, Peach County senior linebacker JacQuez Jackson stuffed Houston County for a 4-yard loss to take control of the game for good.
Grounded: For a program that relied so heavily on the arm of Jake Fromm the past four seasons, Houston County struggled to get anything going through the air. The Bears didn’t convert a first down via the pass until less than two minutes remained in the contest.
Kicking game struggles: Peach County missed a 32-yard field goal in the second quarter and had its only other attempt of the game blocked in the second half.
They said it
Peach County head coach Chad Campbell on his team’s overall performance: “I’m pleased with the win, but I’m not pleased with our overall execution at times. We acted like we were in a fog sometimes (Friday), and we’ve got to get that corrected to be a good football team.”
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Campbell on Steiner’s ground success: “He’s a big sophomore back. We knew what they were going to run. They were going to run the buck, and we just ain’t fitting things right. We’ve got guys that ain’t showing what they’re supposed to show. I thought we played a little better in the second half at times, but for the most part we gave up too many yards.”
Peach County hosts Warner Robins on Friday, while Houston County hosts Eagle’s Landing on Thursday.