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December 7, 2012

Packers' playoff run ends in Norcross

NORCROSS — Colquitt County's season came to end in the state semifinals for the third time in four years on Friday as the Packers fell 41-27 to Norcross at Blue Devil Stadium.

Norcross will advance to the December 15 state championship game against Lovejoy.

Lovejoy advanced with a 63-42 victory over North Cobb in the other Class AAAAAA semifinal game.

The Packers advanced to the semifinals for the fourth straight year, but were no match for the Blue Devils, who will take a 14-0 record into the state championship game.

Lovejoy is 13-1, with its only loss coming to the Packers in early September.

The Packers who finish with a 10-4 record, also end 2012 with a four-year playoff record of 13-4 overall and 11-3 on the road.

Norcross, which was playing in its first-ever semifinal, will take aim at the school's first state championship at the Georgia Dome.

The Blue Devils rolled up 392 yards of offense.

The Packers were never able to get a running game going, but were able to move occasionally through the air.

Cole Segraves, in the final game of his career, was 15-for-26 for 124 yards and a touchdown.

Junior Daniel Mobley also played and hit 6-of-10 for 82 yards and a touchdown pass.

But Colquitt got behind early 14-0 and after closing to 14-7, never got closer than seven again.

The Packers got a 9-yard touchdown pass from Mobley to Bobby Hill on the first play of the fourth quarter to close to within 14 at 34-20 and the Packers appeared to have stopped the Blue Devils on the next possession.

But the Packers were called for roughing the kicker on the Norcross punt with 9:35 left in the game and the Blue Devils marched down to a final touchdown on a 3-yard run by quarterback Joseph Wilber with 7:09 left to put the game out of reach.

The Packers added a final touchdown on an 18-yard pass from Segraves to Todd Boyd with 1:23 left.

Alvin Kamara had a big game rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown and catching two passes for 65 yards and another score.

Wilber completed 8-of-14 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns.

The Colquitt County coaching staff had said before the game that the Packers needed to stay away from the big plays against Norcross.

But the Packers were unable to do so in the first half and trailed 24-10 at the break.

The Blue Devils broke out on top when quarterback Joseph Wilber completed a 63-yard touchdown pass to Trey Smith with 4:30 left in the first quarter.

Smith had broken loose far beyond the Packers secondary and hauled in and raced to the end zone. Joseph Mahfood's conversion put the Blue Devils up 7-0.

Norcross added to lead early in the second quarter when Brandon Garner picked up a Packers fumble and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown.

After Mahfood's conversion, Norcross led 14-0 with 10:13 left in the second quarter.

Colquitt retaliated by driving 64 yards on 13 plays to score on a 3-yard run by John Boatwright, his 15th touchdown of the season. Will Bannister's conversion cut the Norcross lead to 14-7.

But again, Norcross answered quickly. On the second play after the ensuing kickoff, Wilber hit Kamara, who scooted out of the grasp of a couple of Packer tacklers and went 65 yards to the end zone and after the conversion Norcross led 21-7.

A defensive holding penalty on the Packers enabled Norcross to set up for a 24-yard field goal with 17 seconds left and it appeared the Blue Devils would head to the break with a 24-7 lead.

But after the kickoff, Segraves hit Hill for 31 yards and Boyd for 13 to put the ball on the Norcross 26 and Bannister hit a 43-yard field goal as time expired as Colquitt pulled to with 24-10 at the half.

The Packers were unable to slow the Blue Devils who rolled up 242 yards in the first half, including 183 through the air on the 7-for-13 passing by Wilber.

Segraves completed 11-of-13 passes for 93 yards in the first half, but the Packers rushed for just 24 yards.

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