Moultrie Observer

Local Sports

November 24, 2012

Clutch performances highlight Packers victory

MOULTRIE — John Boatwright provided with winning points for Colquitt County in Friday’s 26-23 second-round playoff victory over Newnan.

Boatwright’s nifty two-step down the sideline for a 19-yard scoring run put the Packers ahead with 1:38 left at Drake Stadium and for the second game in a row, the Packers closed the deal with an interception in the waning seconds.

But Boatwright will have to share some of the limelight with quarterback Cole Segraves, whose fourth-and-10 laser to Todd Boyd with 2:21 remaining went for 34 yards and set up Boatwright’s winning scamper.

And how about Will Bannister, who connected on a 31-yard field goal on the final play of the first half and another one from 32 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter?

All were crucial as the Packers staved off elimination for the second week in a row with a narrow victory.

Colquitt will board the big yellow buses again next Thursday to head to Lilburn, where they will meet Parkview next Friday in a third-round playoff game.

The Panthers, who were 4-6 last year, won their second-straight overtime playoff game on Friday, eliminating West Forsyth 26-23.

Like the Packers, Parkview will take a 9-3 record into Friday’s game in the Big Orange Jungle.

After threatening to blow out Newnan by scoring on its first two possessions, the Packers had to rally three times from deficits to put away the Cougars.

Newnan was held to minus-2 yards of offense in the first quarter, but appeared to be revived when starting quarterback Bailey Bryant, who did not play the first quarter after suffering an injury to his throwing shoulder in the Cougars victory over Alcovy the week before, entered the game.

After Rodney Tennie returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown with 7:29 left in the half, Bryant connected with J.K. Britt for a 4-yard touchdown pass and the Cougars led 14-12 with 36 seconds left in the half.

But Colquitt stormed down the field and got in position for Bannister’s first field goal as time expired and Colquitt led 15-14 at the half.

But Newnan got a field goal of its own from Tyler Mulvenna to go up 17-15 with 2:48 left in the third quarter.

Bannister matched that on the first play of the fourth quarter and Colquitt led 18-17.

But a touchdown pass from Bryant, the Cougars left-handed sophomore quarterback, to Traon Moss gave Newnan a 23-18 lead with 7:40 left.

Colquitt fumbled away its next possession with 5:02 left in the game and Newnan looked ready to run out the clock on a victory.

But after the Cougars got a first down on the Colquitt 32, Quinton Dix fumbled and Colquitt recovered on the 31 with 3:43 left in the game.

An 11-yard completion from Segraves to Boatwright gave the Packers a first down at their own 41, but Segraves then threw three straight incompletions.

But on a play reminiscent of the big fourth-down throw that helped defeat Camden County last season, Segraves stood in the pocket and got perfect pass protection until he spied Boyd loose in the Newnan secondary.

Boyd came down with his seventh catch of the game and took it to the Newnan 25.

Boatwright then took it six yards to the 19 and 19 yards to the end zone to put the Packers up 26-23.

Segraves waited until Boyd broke free and the delivered the 2-point conversion pass.

Newnan reached the Colquitt 26 before Tim Sanders picked off Bryant’s final pass with 38 seconds left to ice it.

Boatwright, who scored the winning touchdowns in the victories over Camden County and McEachern, had perhaps his best game as a Packer.

He carried 20 times for 128 yards and also had a pass reception for 11 yards.

More telling, perhaps, was that five of his carries and his lone pass reception all resulted in first downs.

Despite throwing the pick-six in the second quarter, Segraves continued his late season string of outstanding performances.

The senior quarterback completed 24-of-37 passes for 265 yards.

Since regaining the starting job four games ago, Segraves has completed 80-of-115 passes for 999 yards and three touchdowns.

Segraves now has hit on 154-of-255 passes for 1,981 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

He also continues to contribute as a ball carrier and his 4-yard, first-quarter touchdown run was his fourth of the season.

The Packers had problems at times, turning the ball over on three occasions, missing two extra points and a field goal attempt and rolling up 135 yards on 13 penalties, five of which were of the 15-yard variety in the final two quarters.

But the Packers were tenacious on defense and allowed the Cougars just 63 yards on the ground.

Bryant came off the bench to complete 17-of-30 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns, but he was intercepted early in the second half by O’Shay Williams and again by Sanders late.

Bryant took a beating, hit a number of times after he delivered the football.

And he missed his first eight passes of the third quarter, starting with the pick by Williams. But he completed 10 of his last 12 passes, including the scoring toss to Moss.

The Packers are now 12-3 in state playoff games since the 2009 and are 10-2 on the road.

Colquitt County now has a chance to deliver some payback to Parkview, which owns a 4-1 against the Packers.

The Panthers have won the last three meetings, in 1999 in the Corky Kell and in 2004 and 2005 in regular-season games.


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