MOULTRIE -- Colquitt County head football coach Mike Singletary knows which team his Packers would play in the first round of the state playoffs if they can knock off Tift County on Friday.

But as soon as he acknowledged that Starr's Mill High of Fayetteville is the top seed from Region 1-AAAAA and will play host to the winner of the Packers-Blue Devils game, Singletary quickly pointed out that he and his team have no time to even consider Starr's Mill.

"The only team we're worried about is Tifton," Singletary said before Monday's practice.

The Packers 19-7 loss to Valdosta on Friday coupled with Tift County's 20-11 win over Lee County left both teams 1-3 in the region.

The winner of Friday's 7:30 p.m. game at Brodie Field in Tifton will advance to the playoffs.

The loser will stay home.

Colquitt County has reached the playoffs each of the last 11 seasons.

Tift County, which was defeated by Parkview 21-7 in the 1997 state championship game, has not been back to the playoff since.

The Blue Devils are a combined 15-34 overall and 7-23 in the region since then.

Since the start of the season, it appeared that two region victories would qualify a team for the playoffs.

The Packers lost their first, falling to Lowndes 21-14, but defeated Lee County 35-14 the following week.

Needing just one more victory to keep their playoff streak alive, the Packers have lost to Coffee 3-0 and Valdosta 19-7 the last two weeks.

The Blue Devils are 3-6 overall and defeated Southwest Macon 15-8 and Worth County 21-0 in two of its non-region games, then got its first region win last Friday in Leesburg.

Tift County is in its second year of rebuilding under head coach Tommy Seward, the former Gene Brodie assistant who returned to Tifton after serving as the offensive coordinator at Houston County for several years.

Seward replaced Bob Stinchcomb, who lasted two years in Tifton -- and going just 3-17 -- after replacing Charles Winslette, who led the Blue Devils to the state championship game in 1997.

Friday's game will be the 72nd meeting between schools that are about 25 miles apart.

Moultrie High and Tifton High met each for the first time in 1915. The series stospped in 1951 with Moultrie holding just a 14-12-1 edge.

The rivalry resumed in 1964 and the two schools have met each year since then.

Moultrie/Colquitt County High leads the series 40-27-4 and has won the last three, 42-7 in 1999, 34-0 in 2000 and 10-7 last year.

Tift County has struggled defensively this season and has given up 250 points in nine games, second-most in the region.

But the Blue Devils have scored 158 points, just nine fewer than the Packers have put up.

Tift County is led offensively by quarterback Josh Allen, who has completed 131-of-230 passes for 1,588 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 400 yards and three more scores.



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