Peach County played a ninth consecutive game in which it never trailed when it traveled to Westminster and picked up a 27-17 victory in the Class AAA quarterfinals on Friday night. The Trojans, who have now won 12 in a row since a season-opening loss to Houston County and have not been behind on the scoreboard for even a single second since Sept. 16 against Class AAAA semifinalist Mary Persons, maintained their hot streak thanks in part to a pair of rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns from quarterback Antonio Gilbert.
Westminster responded to a one-yard scoring dive by Gilbert with a five-yard touchdown pass from Ward Croft to Truman Jones, but the game soon got away from the home team. Gilbert again found the endzone on a quarterback sneak to give Peach County a 14-7 lead before launching a 77-yard reverse pass to Devonte Howard for the visitors’ third touchdown just prior to halftime.
Following a scoreless third quarter, the Wildcats cut the deficit to 20-10 with a 43-yard field goal by Charlie Ham. The Trojans answered to all but clinch victory on a 16-yard scoring strike from Gilbert to Kearis Jackson, giving them a 27-10 advantage late in the fourth quarter. Croft’s ensuing 61-yard touchdown pass to Joe Egan was too little and too late for Westminster.
The Wildcats had chances to make it a closer contest in the first half, when two fourth-and-goal situations may have significantly impacted the outcome. Gilbert’s first successful quarterback sneak from less than a yard out came on fourth down after he had been stuffed on the previous play. Westminster had an opportunity to tie the score at 14-14 with four minutes remaining before halftime, but an attempted jump pass from Zay Malcome to Jones on fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line was swatted away by defensive back Kyle Nixon.
“Our kids fought hard and they’re just really playing well right now,” Trojans’ head coach Chad Campbell said. “We had a couple of big plays and I thought we dominated the line of scrimmage.”