MOULTRIE — The extraordinary support from Colquitt County’s loyal football fans dates back decades.
Even in some of the less-successful seasons, the Packer faithful purchased their coveted seats, dressed in their best black-and-gold and cheered their hometown boys.
When they are at the top of their game, as they were for much of the 1990s and more recently since 2009, the enthusiasm has reached even greater heights.
The program has responded with unprecedented success over the last decade and the locals have had an up-close view of it at fan-friendly Mack Tharpe Stadium.
Since 2008, the Packers are 76-10 overall and 16-1 in playoff games on Tom White Field.
Since 2011, they are even better when playing between their stadium’s twin stands, going 64-5.
And when Colquitt County got its satisfying victory over Valdosta on Sept. 25, it marked the program’s 19th straight at home.
According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, it is not the longest current home winning streak in the state. Rome’s is at 36 and counting.
But it is tied for the second-longest with, perhaps surprisingly, Pelham.
And two longer streaks — 41 games by Eagle’s Landing Christian and 27 by North Gwinnett —- ended earlier this season.
But considering the calibre of teams the Packers have played over that span, the streak is significant.
And the average margin of victory in those games — 33.3 points — might be surprising to some fans.
Colquitt has defeated three programs — Valdosta (2018 and 2020), Thomasville (2018 and 2019) and Alcovy (2018 and 2019) — twice during the streak.
The largest margin of victory came earlier this season when the Packers ripped Banneker 51-0.
There have been three shutouts, two of which came in Homecoming games over Alcovy, 56-0 in 2018 and 52-0 last season.
The other was the exceedingly delicious 45-0 victory over North Gwinnett in the 2018 state quarterfinals that avenged the Packers 19-17 loss on an untimed down in the 2017 state championship game.
The last Packers loss at home came on Oct. 20, 2017, and it was a hard one for the locals to stomach.
Colquitt led Tift County 28-13 at the half, but had to struggle to tie the game at 35-35 on a Daijun Edwards 5-yard touchdown run and a Ryan Fitzgerald extra point with 4:24 left.
Tift quarterback Griffin Collier then led the Blue Devils down the field and Fernando Ramirez kicked an extra-point length field goal for the win.
The Packers also lost the following week to Lowndes and all five of their postseason games were played on the road, including the loss to North Gwinnett.
There would be no slipups in Moultrie in 2018, starting with a win over a Trinity Catholic team that traveled from St. Louis, Mo., to lose by 28 points.
Two big home wins that season came against Region 1-7A opponents Camden County and Lowndes that set the table for four straight home playoff wins.
After dispatching Etowah 34-5 and McEachern 49-29, the Packers got a chance to exact some revenge against North Gwinnett. Fresh in the Packers mind was the cold and dreary state championship game in Suwannee a year earlier.
Colquitt was on the brink of a third state championship in four years after scoring a touchdown with 42 seconds left.
But Colquitt could not hold the lead and the Bulldogs kicked a field goal after a pass interference on the last play of regulation and won 19-17.
In 2018, the Packers got five touchdowns from Ty Leggett and two interceptions from Jay Ward to crush the Bulldogs 45-0.
It was satisfying, but not nearly as nerve-wracking as the game the following Friday night at The Mack.
In the state semifinal against Archer, Fitzgerald kicked a 37-yard field goal on the last snap of regulation to send the game into overtime.
Colquitt got the ball first and Leggett scored on a 9-yard run and Fitzgerald converted.
On Archer’s possession, Semaje Banks scored on a 3-yard run and all the visitors had to do was convert to go to another overtime.
But Camari Louis sliced through to block the kick and send the Pack to a second straight state title game.
Coach Justin Rogers has led the Packers to nine straight home victories, including a 31-7 win over Grayson last year.
“It was the best we played all year,” Rogers said of the win over the Rams, who were then, as they are now, ranked No. 1 in Class 7A.
Colquitt also got a big 31-14 win over Warner Robins and took down North Cobb 35-7 in the first round of the playoffs.
Colquitt will get chances to extend the streak with regular-season games against Alcovy, Camden County and Lowndes.
And, perhaps, more home playoff games at the Hog Pen.