MOULTRIE – Charlie Pace scored his fourth touchdown of the game with 1:16 remaining as Colquitt County held off Valdosta for a 48-42 victory at Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium on Friday.
The Wildcats had scored with 3:02 left to go up 42-41, but a 41-yard completion from Neko Fann to Ontavious Carolina put the ball on the Valdosta 3 with just over two minutes left.
It took three tries, but Pace punched in what would be the deciding score.
Valdosta had one last possession starting with 1:10 left in the game.
The Wildcats got one first down on a pass interference penalty, but then threw four straight incomplete passes to turn the ball back over to the Packers with 32 seconds left.
The Packers led 34-15 with 5:50 left in the third quarter, but the Wildcats rallied to take a 35-34 lead with 10:59 left in the game.
But Fann connected with Landen Thomas on 41-yard touchdown pass 59 seconds later and Colquitt regained the lead.
Then the two longtime rivals swapped touchdowns in the final three minutes, with the Packers getting the final one.
Fann completed 10-of-13 passes for 252 yards and two scores.
Pace rushed for 122 yards.
Wheeler had four catches for 56 yards and Thomas had three for 126 and a pair of scores.
The Wildcats rushed for 246 yards, including 140 by Terrell Denson and 65 by Kaleb Robinson, and the Packers had to overcome 17 penalties.
But Colquitt persevered to beat the Wildcats for the second-straight year.
The Packers lost 50-49 the last time they played on Cleveland Field in 2019.
The Packers fumbled away the game's opening kickoff and the Wildcats needed just five plays to score on a 7-yard run by Robinson.
But the Packers blocked the extra point and Valdosta’s lead was just 6-0 with 9:49 left in the quarter.
But Colquitt bounced back quickly, driving 60 yards on 10 plays with Baby D Wheeler scoring a 2-yard reverse. Brett Fitzgerald’s conversion put the Packers up 7-6.
The Packers extended the lead to 14-6 when, on the first play of the second quarter, Fann spied tight end Thomas wide open in the Valdosta secondary and the pair of sophomores combined on a 75-yard touchdown pass.
Fitzgerald converted again and Packers scored once again with 8:57 left in the half on a 21-yard run by Charlie Pace to go up 20-6.
The was the extra point wide left and the Packers were penalized 15 yards on the kickoff for unsportsmanlike conduct on the touchdown.
The Wildcats were able to take over on their own 47 after the kickoff and used the short field to marched to a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joseph Gardner to Chris Wolfe with 5:35 left in the half.
Quan Gammage blocked the extra point, but the Packers' lead had been cut to 20-12.
Colquitt was unable to move on its next possession and after a punt, Valdosta again started from its own 47.
The Wildcats final possession of the first half resulted in a 37-yard field goal by Mattis.
The Packers raise their record to 3-1 as they prepare to meet Heritage High of Conyers next Friday at Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Stadium.