MOULTRIE -- The Colquitt County High preparations for Friday's 8 p.m. scrimmage against Crisp County at Mack Tharpe Stadium should not be much different from those the Packers used last year when they got ready for the Cougars.
Much of the Crisp County offensive skill people return and the Cougars could be of a mind to turn the tables on their hosts.
The Packers went to Cordele for last year's scrimmage and drove 64 yards on 10 plays to a touchdown on their first possession and went on to a 28-6 victory.
The Packers rushed for 227 yards and held to the Cougars to just one first-quarter touchdown.
Colquitt would certainly settle for a similar effort on Friday with a cast that hardly resembles the one that went to Cordele a year ago.
Neither team had 2002 seasons to remember with fondness.
Crisp made the playoffs with a 5-5 overall record and 2-3 Region 1-AAAA record, but was bumped from the postseason with a 23-21 first-round loss to Douglas County.
The Packers were a disappointing 5-5 last year and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1990.
And while the Colquitt County staff has embarked on a rather large refurbishing of its offensive and defensive units, Crisp has key players back.
Especially on offense.
The Cougar offense will again start with quarterback Joe Joe Brown, a 6-foot-3, 191-pound senior who completed 207-of-362 passes for 2,289 yards and 19 touchdowns last year.
The Packers were able to contain Brown in last year's scrimmage with what was then an inexperienced secondary.
Brown completed just 10-of-24 passes for 71 yards and had one interception.
But he rebounded from that subpar effort to become one of the state's top quarterback prospects, drawing interest from Maryland, Clemson, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Louisville.
Brown also is a capable runner and rushed for more than 600 yards last season.
But he will leave much of the ball-carrying chores to senior Jay Jones, a 180-pound senior.
Jones caught three touchdown passes from Brown the week before Crisp met Colquitt County last year, but was injured in the first quarter of the game against the Packers.
After leading the region in scoring as a sophomore, he missed much of last year with an ankle injury.
Slotback Ira Coley should be familiar to the Colquitt County fans who traveled to Cordele for last year's scrimmage. The 160-pound sophomore bolted 75 yards for the Cougars only touchdown.
The speed he exhibited on that run also is put to good use in track season. Coley won the Region 1-AAAA 100-meter championship as a freshman.
But like the Packers, Crisp is having to rebuild its offensive line. Among the projected starters are center Wes Jacobs, a converted wide receiver, and Andre Ramsey and Qinton Ridley, both former band members.
Longtime Crisp coach Clay Hill (76-58 in 12 seasons) said the development of the offensive line before the team gets into its region schedule could be a key to the team's success.
Defensive is where Crisp has its most experience.
Six players return on defense, including Jones and Coley, who play both ways.
This Week's Circulars
MOULTRIE, GA.- Infant Jenna Grace Akin-Martinez, of Moultrie, passed away July 27, 2021. Cobb Funeral Chapel has been entrusted with arrangements.
MOULTRIE, GA.- Lamar Otis Knight, 61, of Moultrie passed away on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Funeral services will be held 4:00 PM Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at Cobb Funeral Chapel. Interment will be in Greenfield Cemetery. Born March 16, 1960, in Moultrie, he was the son of the late George Otis …
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