BAINBRIDGE -- Colquitt County got a 45-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run by Sherard Reynolds and a last-minute goal line stand to defeat Bainbridge 12-6 on Friday in the season-opener at Centennial Stadium.
With the game tied 6-6, Reynolds took a handoff from quarterback Sam Heath, circled the left end and raced 45 yards with 9:11 left in the game to put the Packers up.
But Bainbridge took over at its own 39 with 5:37 remaining and marched to a 4th-and-goal at the Packers 6 with 58.4 remaining in the game.
The Packers rose up and denied Joe Perkins, holding him short of the goal line, and Colquitt ran out the clock.
Curtis Jackson and Dantrell Hunt made big hits in the final series as the injury-plagued Packers opened with a 1-0 record.
Bainbridge had chances to take the lead twice in the third quarter, but Ron Fowler missed field goal attempts of 39 and 33 yards.
And the Bearcats' third lost fumble of the night turned into the winning touchdown for the Packers.
Ty Akins fumbled after taking a short pass from Patrick Riley with 2:29 left in the third quarter and Colquitt's Mike Mobley came up with the football on the Colquitt 21.
The Packers marched to the Bainbridge 45 where Reynolds swept the left end for the winning touchdown.
It was his second score of the night. Reynolds scored on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Sam Heath in the second quarter.
The Packers took advantage of the first of two straight fumbles by Phillip Gamble in the first half to take a 6-0 lead with 3:53 left in the first half.
Colquitt linebacker Anterrio McIntyre fell on a Gamble fumble with 7:33 left in the half.
The Packers managed two first downs and marched to a third-and-13 at the Bainbridge 13 when Heath connected with Sherard Reynolds on a crossing pattern and Reynolds took it in to give the Packers a lead.
Marshall Faircloth's first varsity extra point attempt was wide left.
Gamble then took the kickoff and raced 48 yards to the Packers 45, but fumbled again and Colquitt's Dejuan Johnson recovered. After a personal foul penalty on the Bearcats, the Packers took over at Bainbridge 49.
But three plays later, Byron Jordan relieved Heath at quarterback and launched a long pass that was intercepted by Mikel Wynn at the Bearcats 5.
Gamble then redeemed himself for what had been to that point a dreary first half. Earlier in the quarter, on his first carry, Gamble had bobbed and weaved but was hit for a 19-yard loss.
But on the first two plays after the interception, Gamble ran for 7 and 11 yards. After a personal foul call on the Packers, Bainbridge quarterback Patrick Riley hit a streaking Ty Aikens for 37 yards to the Packers 25.
Riley ran it to the 16 and Gamble took it in from there to tie the game with 34 seconds left in the half.
But Colquitt's Antonio Wise blocked Ron Fowler's extra point attempt and the game remained tied at the half.
The first half was marked by penalties,with the Packers being flagged six times for 45 yards and the Bearcats four times for 35 yards. The two teams combined to punt six times in the first half and each team threw an interception. Colquitt's Dantrell Hunt picked off Riley in the first quarter. Hunt had another interception in the second half.
The Packers were forced to start the game without two expected starters when running back Danny Butts and linebacker Brandon McDonald were not in uniform after not practicing the last two days. Cornerback Bud McNeal was unable to dress to rest an arm broken last spring.
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This Week's Circulars
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. [mdash] Linda Hamilton, 79, of Jacksonville, Florida, passed away on Monday, April 19, 2021 at Community Hospice of Jacksonville. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
MOULTRIE [mdash] Terry Eugene Kelley, Sr., 69, of Moultrie, passed away on Friday, April 16, 2021, at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
MOULTRIE [mdash] Benita Fran Powell Tillman, 61, of Moultrie, passed away on Sunday, April 18, 2021, at Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
MOULTRIE [mdash] Jose A. Galarza-Fuentes, 72, of Moultrie, passed away on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
TAMPA, Fla. [mdash] Captain Mercer Joyce Tyler, 90, of Tampa, Florida, passed away on Thursday, April 15, 2021 at his home. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
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