MOULTRIE — The Colquitt County offense has the potential to be an explosive one this season and would like nothing better than to break loose on Saturday when the Packers play host to South Panola High of Batesville, Miss.
The Tigers, who are the defending Mississippi Class 6A champions, are 115-3 since 2002 and won their season-opener 38-0 last Saturday against Petal High.
If the Packers are to upset the South Panola, ranked No. 4 in the USA Today national poll, they will have put some points on the board.
And that offense starts with a veteran line that will have four senior starters.
And the lone junior is All-Region center Bryce Giddens, a 5-foot-11, 269-pounder, who took over the starting job midway through his freshman season.
Both guards are returning starters, although Garrett Brewer, a 5-11, 223-pounder, has moved from left tackle.
The other guard is Trey Rhymes, who at 6-foot, 323 pounds, is the heaviest member of the line.
At right tackle, senior Tommy Marshall will start after promising Preston Mobley, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound junior, suffered a foot injury at camp and is out indefinitely.
The most noticeable member of the line is left tackle Xzavier Ward, and not just because he is 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds.
Friday Night Football magazine has Ward ranked No. 36 in its list of top 50 seniors in the state. It ranks Ward as the No. 2 offensive tackle behind Dalton's 6-foot-7, 310-pound Watts Dantzler.
Ward has more than 20 scholarship offers, including ones from Georgia and defending national champion Alabama.
Colquitt County offensive line coaches Kevin Giddens and Joey Bennett are continuing to try to develop some depth from a group that includes Alex Murphy, John Grobe, Kris Bivins, Jeffrey Davis, Travis Register and Dalton Dillon.
The line gave up just one sack of quarterback Tyler Brown in last Friday's 15-9 loss to Cook High in a game in which the Packers rushed for 220 yards — including 135 by Tevin King — and threw for 216 more.