Class 3A Blog: Oconee, Peach, Pierce make impressive strides in victories

Peach County, ranked fourth, returned to form after losing its opener to Northside-Warner Robins 14-7 last week. The Trojans beat Class 4A Griffin 54-14 Friday, and the victory was a step in the right direction, according to head coach Chad Campbell.

“Last night we took a step forward,” said Campbell by telephone Saturday. “Hopefully we can keep doing that.”

The Trojans suffered mental mistakes in the opening loss to Northside-Warner Robins last week, something that Campbell and staff fixed during the week. Youthful and slightly inexperienced players facing the lights on Friday night for the first time – most being junior varsity players last season – was one setback in the opening loss.

“It was going to be interesting to see how some of the kids handled the lights,” Campbell said. “Most everyone we have, they are used to the sun, right, because they were JV players. Last night, though, we played a lot better. We didn’t have as many mental mistakes like last week, when we had 98.”

Peach is off next week before opening Region 2-3A play against a familiar foe, Mary Persons at home.

“We’re very, very familiar with Mary Persons,” Campbell said. “We played them in the last four years in non-region games. So now I think there’ll be no difference. They are going to do what they do. Same stuff, same people.”

-- Oconee County coach Travis Noland must have been pleased with what he saw from his program’s 25-7 victory against Clarke Central on Friday after losing starting quarterback West Weeks to injury last week.

“Well, we are going to find out a lot about ourselves tonight,” said Noland Friday before the game. “We will have to do without one of our best players, so we will just see how it goes.”

It went well.

CJ Jones put the Warriors, ranked No. 3, ahead 7-0 with an 8-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter, and quarterback Jacob Wright, starting for the injured Weeks, scored on a 44-yard run on the final play of the half to push the lead to 14-0.

Clarke Central converted a fake punt and scored on William Richardson ‘s touchdown run with 8:58 left in the game to cut the lead to 14-7, but Oconee County responded with a 19-yard field goal and Jones’ rushing touchdown in the game’s final minutes.

Other notables:

-- No. 7 Pierce County got a 42-0 victory against Class 1A Public Claxton, moving the Bears to 3-0. Pierce has victories over Class 6A Brunswick (31-10), 5A Wayne County (14-0) and Claxton. Much of that success is fueled by the program’s stifling defense.

“Our defense is playing very well,” said coach Ryan Herring by phone on Saturday. “Especially early in the season. There’s still a lot of room for improvement.”

Senior quarterback Jermaine Brewton passed for 215 yards and three touchdowns against Claxton.

“We have a great quarterback,” Herring said. “We are expecting a ton out of this young man. We had a drizzle throughout the game, so being able to throw well in a wet condition, that was impressive.”

-- Of the five ranked programs active this week, No. 5 Sandy Creek was the only program to falter, losing to Class 7A Newnan 28-6.

-- White County opened its season with a 44-6 victory against Stephens County and entered the rankings at No. 9 last week after beating then-No. 9 Hart County 50-47. The Warriors carried the momentum and beat Class 4A Pickens 42-7 Friday. White County will travel to Class 6A Habersham Central next week.

Top-10 results from Week 3

1. Cedar Grove (0-0) – Off. Opens season at Class 7A Milton on Oct. 2

2. Crisp County (2-0)—Off. At 1A Private No. 1 ELCA on Sept. 25.

3. Oconee County (3-0) – Beat Class 5A No. 9 Clarke Central 24-7.

4. Peach County (2-1) – Beat Class 4A Griffin 54-14.

5. Sandy Creek (1-2) – Lost to Class 7A Newnan 28-6.

6. Greater Atlanta Christian (2-0) – Off. Travels to Hart County on Sept. 25.

7. Pierce County (3-0) – Beat 1A Public Claxton 42-0.

8. Westminster (0-0) – Off. Opens season at Class 2A No. 4 Pace Academy on Sept. 25

9. White County (3-0) – Beat Class 4A Pickens 42-7.

10. Rockmart (1-1) – Off. At Coahulla Creek on Sept. 25.

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