Bears chase road win to advance to state

Burke County Bears
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All it took was a coin flip. A simple heads or tails was the difference between Burke County hosting a state semifinal game this Friday or heading three hours down the road to Gainesville for the game.

The Bears lost the flip, but that's all they plan to lose this week. To do it, though, they'll need to buck history.

Burke County is 0-3 in road playoff games under Eric Parker and 7-1 at home. Parker says the tide's about to turn, though, and it's time to get one away from the "Bear Den."

"The one thing we have not done here is win in the playoffs on the road since I've been here," Parker said. "So, I feel like it was only right that we have to go on the road to get this done. So, we're not thinking about it. We lost the toss, were disappointed for about ten seconds, then it was time to start getting ready."

One of the things Parker thinks will help this time is that his guys have been there before. They lost in the semifinals last year, and this year they're the only Final Four participant to return.

Senior offensive lineman Charles Petrea said, "Last year we went down there and found out what it felt like to truly compete, and this year we've made it our goal to go back down there to the semifinals to compete and actually win and make it to the (Georgia) Dome."

Parker added, "I don't think they'll go in wide eyed. I think they know the intensity in which this game will be played. I think they'll know what type of atmosphere we're looking at. So, I think it'll pay off for us."

Gainesville won't be a walkover. The Red Elephants snapped Sandy Creek's 41-game winning streak last week. They lost the state championship just two years ago.