The Colquitt County High football team has scored 35 touchdowns in its first nine games this season, not a bad number, especially considering the Packers managed just one in the 16-8 loss to Warner Robins.
Seventeen of those touchdowns have come through the air, with starting quarterback Cole Segraves throwing 13 and backup Daniel Mobley throwing three others.
The Packers also have rushed for 12 touchdowns. Again, a number that should be expected.
But Colquitt County’s other six touchdowns are the ones that are most noteworthy.
Those are the non-offensive touchdowns. Not only have the produced 36 points for the Packers, they have not been approached by the opposition.
Colquitt has given up just 14 touchdowns this year. Not one has come on a return.
The Packers got two non-offensive touchdowns in last Friday’s 38-14 victory over Coffee in Douglas.
Trey Scott returned a punt 38 yards for a touchdown to put the Packers up 24-3 with 45 seconds left in the first half.
And in the third quarter, just two plays after the Packers threw an interception, linebacker Anthony Brumbley stripped Coffee’s Tyreek Hill of the football and took it back 75 yards for touchdown.
“Those are huge,” Packers coach Rush Propst said Wednesday as his team prepared for its Region 1-AAAAA championship-deciding game at Valdosta on Friday. “We got a strip-and-score and returned a punt. That’s 14 points.
“You don’t lose ball games when you can do that.”
Scott’s touchdown was his second of the season.
The Packers starting safety got Colquitt going quickly in its Region 1-AAAAA opener against Tift County when he snatched the ball away from Blue Devils receiver Jekevin Jackson and raced 48 yards for a touchdown.
Jackson had just caught a pass from quarterback Tadric Jackson on the third play of the game when Scott tried to pry it loose.
When linebacker Sharmaine Washington leveled Jackson, Scott took the ball and sailed untouched to the end zone and the Packers were up 7-0 less than two minutes into what became a 46-12 victory.
Scott’s score was the first of two the defense tallied against the Blue Devils.
In Colquitt’s 29-point second quarter, the Packers tipped a Tadric Jackson pass and senior safety Dondray Copeland picked it out of the air and followed a convoy of blockers to the end zone for his first varsity touchdown.
The Packers first non-offensive touchdown came in the season-opener when Ikeem Blakely sacked Cook quarterback Zach Folsom in the second quarter, causing a fumble.
Senior defensive tackle Brett Smith picked the ball up and lumbered 10 yards to the end zone.
The next Friday night, the Packers found themselves trailing Madison County (Fla.) 7-0 in the second quarter when freshman linebacker Bull Barge plowed into Deonshay Wells, separating the Cowboys running back from the football.
Cornerback Stacey Blackwell picked up and sprinted 38 yards down the sideline to the end zone and Colquitt had battled back to a tie.
The Packers ability to generate points from its defense and special teams has helped the team take an 8-1 record into Friday’s game against the Wildcats.
The winner will claim the Region 1-AAAAA championship and can play its first two playoff games at home.
If the Packers lose, they will be the region runner-up and will be guaranteed of its first playoff game at home.
The No. 2 seed was on the line when Valdosta traveled to Moultrie last year.
Tevin King scored four touchdowns and rushed for 151 yards, but the Packers were unable to hold off the Wildcats and lost 36-29.
The loss sent the Packers out on the road for their first two state playoff games, which turned out to be victories over Jenkins and M.L. King.
The loss was disappointing for the Packers and Propst said he didn’t think his players were in the right frame of mind to face the Wildcats that night.
He does not think that will be the case on Friday.
The team has swept through its other three region games and is playing well offensively, defensively and on special teams.
“The team that blocks best, tackles best and executes best will win the football game,” Propst said.
“Emotion is a big part of football and is a big part of this game. But we can’t get too high. Sometimes you worry about your team being too ready.”
PACKERS NOTES: Propst said much of the Packers success this season is due to several seniors who are not starters, but have made big contributions as role players.
He singled out defensive players Copeland, Quan Nelson, Vann Pitts and E’Darius Davis on defense and Matt Sailor, Taveras Ward and Gradyn Grobe on offense.
“Those guys deserve kudos,” Propst said. “Their play has made a big difference on this team.”
Colquitt County received another block of tickets from Valdosta High on Wednesday and sold them out in 45 minutes.
The Packers sold 1,200 tickets in three hours on Monday.