Moultrie Observer

Local Sports

November 29, 2012

Packers must get through Parkview to reach semifinals

MOULTRIE —  Two teams who have vastly different ways of getting to the end zone will be on display tonight in the Big Orange Jungle in Lilburn when Parkview plays host to Colquitt County in a Class AAAAAA state quarterfinal game.

Colquitt County likes to spread opposing defenses out and have senior quarterback Cole Segraves find one of his many capable and dangerous receivers to move the ball upfield.

The Packers have scored 44 touchdowns this season and have thrown for 18 of them. They have passed for 2,935 yards and completed nearly 62 percent of their passes while posting a 9-3 record and winning their first two playoff games over McEachern and Newnan.

Parkview has completed 43-of-102 passes for 554 yards and five touchdowns this year. Starting quarterback Rob Youngblood, has hit on 24-of-47 passes for 233 yards and two scores. Leading receiver Keanu Mole has 12 receptions for 107 yards and one touchdown.

But the Panthers, also 9-3 with overtime playoff victories over defending state runner-up Walton and West Forsyth, are content to pound the opposition and have rushed the football 507 times for 2,619 yards, averaging 5.2 yards a carry and scoring 28 touchdowns on the ground.

Parkview’s leading rusher is Chris Carson, who had gained 1,100 yards and scored 11 touchdowns before his season ended with an injury in the victory over Berkmar.

But Panthers have plenty of other options, including junior Justis Rosser, who has run for 731 yards on 121 attempts, averaging 6 yards a carry, and has scored 10 touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime against West Forsyth last Friday night in Cumming.

Also expected to carry the football for the Panthers are Mole, 169 yards; Mac Marshall, 161 yards; Shaq Vereen, 144 yards; and Brandon Sullivan, 121 yards.

With the Panthers obvious penchant for keeping the ball on the ground, the Packers secondary must be wary.

“They throw it just to loosen you up,” Colquitt County longtime cornerbacks coach Dextra Polite said. “But they want to run it.

“We’ve got to tackle, tackle, tackle and don’t give up the big play.”

Veteran Johnny Ward started at one corner and junior Michael Sutton got his first varsity start at the other against Newnan. Tim Sanders started much of the season at corner, but also played safety last week in place of the injured Garrett Pearce.

Newnan wanted to throw the football with Bailey Bryant in the game last week, but a different challenge awaits tonight.

Youngblood is expected to start at quarterback with Sullivan at fullback and Rosser at tailback.

Marshall, Turner and Mole will be the receivers.

The line is expected to include 245-pound senior center Blake Dunham.

Senior Freddie Hart, a 255-pounder, and sophomore Trey Derouen, a 6-foot-4, 285-pounder, will be the guards.

At the tackles will be senior Ronnie Bailey, a 6-foot-5, 240-pounder, and junior Tra Malloy, a 6-foot-1, 275-pounder.

The Panthers will try to bludgeon the Packers behind that line, but the secondary must be on guard.

“We’ve got to help with the run, but don’t fall asleep on the pass,” Polite said. “They like to throw the post ball and the go ball to make sure you’re paying attention.

“But we’ve got to wrap them up. We can’t miss tackles and give them extra yards.”

The Packers played well against the run in the victory at Newnan last Friday, allowing the Cougars just 63 yards on 27 carries.

And except for Pearce, the Packers should be relatively healthy for the game.

Creig Harris, Ta’Phari Wright, Michael Parrish, Ikeem Blakely, Jamiyus Pittman, Jeffrey Lawson and Travis Register will take most of the snaps on the defensive front.

John Gray, Brandon Key, Quintin Hampton and Bull Barge will back up the line.

Sanders, O’Shay Williams and Jamal Phillips will play the safety position.

Williams and Sanders each had an interception against Newnan, with Sanders making a one-handed catch in the waning seconds to close out the second-round victory. Each has two picks for the season.

Dependable Britt Jones will be the snapper with Tyler Yost holding for extra point and field goal attempts.

Place-kicker Will Bannister is 31-for-34 on extra point attempts and 3-of-4 in field goal tries. He converted two field goals, including one on the last play of the first half, in the 26-23 win over Newnan last Friday.

Bannister and Roberto Vega have been handling the kickoff chores. Yost, with a 37.3 average, is the punter.

Williams has been the Packers punt returner the last few weeks and is averaging 21.3 yards on nine returns.

The Packers will try to keep alive a string of three straight quarterfinal victories.

In 2009, when Colquitt County started its remarkable 12-3 run through the playoffs, the Packers upset highly regarded Lassiter High and its record-setting quarterback Hutson Mason 46-17 in the third round.

A year later, the Packers were at home for the third round after knocking off M.L. King and eliminated Mill Creek 27-14.

Last year, Colquitt County got a touchdown pass from Segraves to Bobby Hill and a fourth down and a 2-point conversion throw from Segraves to Ty Smith with 33 seconds remaining to upset previously unbeaten Camden County.

The Packers would play Camden County again if they beat Parkview and the Wildcats can get by undefeated Norcross in Kingsland tonight.

On the other side of the Class AAAAAA bracket tonight, Lovejoy will play host to North Gwinnett and Mill Creek will go to North Cobb.

PACKERS NOTES: The game will not be televised. Georgia Public Broadcasting will instead air the North Gwinnett-Lovejoy game. ... The game will be shown live on the Internet at www.ghsa.tv. ... Tickets to tonight’s game are $12.  ...

The Packers are now 10-2 in road playoff games since 2009.

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