MOULTRIE -- The Colquitt County eighth-grade Packers had their team picture taken following their game against Valdosta at Mack Tharpe Stadium on Thursday and the photographer had no trouble getting the players to smile.
The eighth-graders has just completed a middle school sweep of Valdosta, scoring on touchdown runs of 85 and 47 on consecutive fourth-quarter plays to beat the Tomcats 12-6.
On Wednesday, the seventh-graders defeated Valdosta 32-8 on the road.
The two middle school teams had combined to win just one of their first eight games this season and the players and the combined staff obviously enjoyed the victories.
"Any time you beat Valdosta it's got to be more special," middle schools head coach Jimmy Whitfield said.
The eighth-graders' victory was their first of the season after four straight losses.
But with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game, it appeared unlikely the losing streak would end Thursday.
The Packers trailed 6-0 after Valdosta scored on an 11-yard pass from quarterback Earl Daniels to Adrian Stewart with 12.2 seconds left in the first half. The score capped a 12-play, 57-yard drive that was kept alive on a roughing the passer penalty on fourth-down pass incompletion just two plays before the touchdown.
Valdosta had a chance to pad its lead when it marched to a first down at the Colquitt 11 midway through the fourth quarter.
But the Packers held on fourth down and on the first play after Colquitt took over, Andre Buie took a handoff and raced 85 yards for a touchdown to tie the score with 5:34 remaining.
Valdosta went three-and-out on its next possession and after a Tomcat punt, the Packers took over on the Valdosta 47.
On the first play, Packers quarterback Tyler Hancock faked to Buie on the same play that scored moments earlier and gave instead to Ronald Bell. The Packers fullback broke into the secondary and, like Buie, outraced the Valdosta secondary for the score.
Valdosta mounted one last drive, but Tomcat receivers dropped three straight passes, including the last one in the end zone, to end the threat.
On Wednesday, the seventh-grade Packers got three touchdowns from Travion Littleton and one each from Marquis Young and Thomas Griffin to defeat Valdosta.
"We played a whole lot better," Whitfield said of the seventh-graders, who were belted 38-0 by Coffee last week.
"That was a big win. Whenever you beat Valdosta, it's something to be proud of."
The 2-3 seventh-graders meet Hahira next Wednesday at Mack Tharpe Stadium.