MOULTRIE -- Dougherty High is 1-2 and has not defeated a Colquitt County team in its last 13 attempts, dating back 23 years.

But Friday's 8 p.m. meeting between the Packers and the Trojans at Mack Tharpe Stadium does not appear to be stacking up a gimme for the home team.

Dougherty lost 17-14 in its opener to Monroe and fell 39-26 to an extremely strong Americus team last Friday.

The Trojans scored first against the Panthers, but could not hold off a team that is likely to contend for a state championship.

Despite the defeat, Dougherty managed 18- and 20-play drives against a team that Packers coach Mike Singletary says is "better looking on the hoof than Central."

"Americus never slowed them down," Singletary said.

Dougherty's victory came by an 8-7 score over Worth County in a rain storm two weeks ago.

This year's Trojans team may have more offensive weapons that usual.

"They've got good running backs and they use two quarterback -- one that throws and one that runs. They throw the ball better this year.

"They are going to be a handful."

Dougherty traditionally has some of the biggest and most athletic players the Packers line up against, "and they've got those same kinds of people," Singletary said.

The Trojans were just 4-6 last year and won just one of five Region 1-AAAA games.

One of those losses came by a 31-0 score at Mack Tharpe Stadium.

But as Singletary pointed out, the games between the two schools have generally been closer.

And the Packers will need to keep Friday's meeting close as well.

The 35-14 loss to Thomas County Central two weeks ago was a seven-point game until the Yellow Jackets scored twice in the final 2:57.

The Packers will need to hold on to the ball better if they are to remain close against Dougherty, and, for that matter, the rest of the teams on the schedule.

"The fumbles hurt us horribly against Central," Singletary said. "But you're going to have fumbles. That's just the nature of the beast."

But Singletary said that overall he is pleased with how his offense, with its young backfield, is progressing.

"We've moved the football against two pretty good defenses," he said.

"And Sam (Heath, the Packers quarterback) has done most of what we have asked him to do."

Defense is what the Packers need to improve the most.

"They just blocked us," Singletary said of Central, which rolled up 401 yards of offense.

"They ran the veer so tight, our ends couldn't get down the line to it."

Two key members of the Packers defense -- linebacker Mike Mobley and safety Byron Jordan -- are nursing sore shoulders and their status for Friday has not been determined.

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