Peach County tries to move from death to football; opens season against No. 1-ranked Houston County

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

It has been a tough stretch for Peach County. The program has spent the week dealing with the death of a teammate. Now, they have to try to recover enough to play one of the top teams in the state.

Jake Fromm and the Houston County Bears head to Fort Valley Friday to face Peach County. The Trojans, ranked fifth, hold a commanding 9-1 lead in a series that dates to 1994. The teams last met in 2005, when Houston County won, 33-20.

“They’re a really big athletic football team, but if we play our game well, I think we will be all right,” said Houston quarterback Fromm, an AJC Super 11 selection and UGA commitment who passed for more than 400 yards last week in a victory against Mary Persons in the Kell Classic.

Peach County had a solid showing in a scrimmage two weeks ago against second-ranked Northside-Warner Robins (AAAAAA) and lost by one after failing to convert at 2-point conversion.

“I didn’t think we played as well as we could against Northside, from a technical standpoint,” said Peach coach Chad Campbell. “We had a lot of mental mistakes, and I think we corrected a lot of that stuff, but Houston has a good team with one of the best quarterbacks in the country. They have some (receivers) who can go get it. But I think if we execute, we can compete.”

Peach County has two preseason all-state picks — linebacker Kyle Nixon and place-kicker Omar Cervantes. Nixon led the team in tackles last season, averaging 11 per game. Kearis Jackson, a four-star junior wide receiver, also returns.

It will be the first test for the Trojans since the loss of teammate Raekwon Smith, who died in a car accident that injured three other players.

“I think our team has been focused this week, with the tragedy and everything, but hopefully they can bring it Friday night,” Campbell said.

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