MOULTRIE – The start of the first Colquitt County football game of the 2019 season was delayed about 90 minutes by lightning on Wednesday at Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Stadium and then neither the sixth-grade Packers nor visiting Valdosta Middle School was able to cross a goal line in a 0-0 tie.
And not only were they unable to score during 32 minutes of regulation, each team also had four fruitless cracks at a score from the 15-yard line in an overtime period.
Neither team made a serious threat at the other’s goal line until late in the fourth quarter.
Valdosta drove from the Packers 41 to their 1, but fumbled the ball on a second-and-goal. Colquitt County’s AJ Robinson recovered to stifle the threat with 3:39 left in the game.
The Packers then turned the ball over on downs. Valdosta managed one first down on its next possession, but then it, too, turned the ball over with 17 seconds remaining in regulation.
With time for one play remaining, the Packers lined up on their 31-yard line in a “swinging gate” formation, with the offensive line, except for the center, lined up on the left side of the field.
After the ball was snapped, Brysun Hunt completed a pass downfield to Ty’Jaevean Lamar, who took the ball to the Valdosta 23 before he was dragged down as time expired.
In the overtime period, each team was given a possession at the other’s 15, but neither was able to score.
The Packers overtime possession ended with two straight long losses. Valdosta then advanced to the Colquitt County 9, before throwing a fourth-down incompletion that ended the game.
“It was not a bad way to start,” said Colquitt County sixth-grade coach Matt Key. “You’d like to start with a win, but we came out with a lot of positives.
“And you know, we’ve only been practicing less than a month.”
Key was especially pleased with the performance of his defense.
“No. 18 (Naryan Sumlin) really stepped up,” Key said. “He made some big tackles. He’s not real big, but he is tough as nails.
“Brayden Ruis and Nazavion Wynn also played real well.”
Nick Edge is the sixth-grade team’s defensive coordinator. Brennen Maxwell handles the defensive line and Brandon Key works with the linebackers.
Travis Register is the offensive coordinator, Brandon Cope coaches the offensive linemen, Tyler Hembree handles the quarterbacks and running backs and Brett Hightower coaches the receivers.
The sixth-graders will play next on Wednesday, September 4, when Eighth Street Middle School travels over from Tifton.
Colquitt County’s seventh- and eighth-grade teams will open their seasons today at Lowndes.