VALDOSTA — The Colquitt County middle school seventh graders officially opened Packer football season with a 20-0 victory over Lowndes at the Lowndes Middle School field on Wednesday.

The youngest Packer offense ran and passed for more than 250 yards, and the defense completed a tough goal line stand in the final minute of the game to preserve the shutout.

Jay Tolbert completed two passes totaling 42 yards to Andy Bush on the second and fifth plays of the game, as the offense moved quickly down the field on the opening possession.

The Lowndes defense held in the red zone, but the Colquitt County defense quickly got the ball back when Austin Hunnicutt forced and recovered a fumble inside the Lowndes 10-yard line.

The offense needed just one play to score, as Maleek Lewis carried around the left end and scored behind the blocks of Dee Williams and Cason Wells.

Williams, who would lead all offensive performers with 99 yards rushing and receiving, scored the two-point conversion to put the young Packers in front 8-0.

The Packer defense did not allow a first down in the first three quarters as Brandon Key, Kenny Cantrell and Tomarcio Reese swarmed the young Viking ball carriers.

Lowndes lined up in several formations and spread the ball around trying to find a chink in the Colquitt County armor, but found virtually no success for the first 26 minutes of the game.

Hunnicutt and Jamiyus Pittman camped out in the Lowndes backfield as Key and company came over the top to finish off play after play with punishing collisions.

The Packer defense forced three turnovers, including a Dallas Allegood interception forced by the pressure of reserve defensive lineman Bruce Hinson.

The second half saw an offensive explosion, as the young Packers completed successive scoring drives of 61 and 35 yards.

Quarterback Daniel Mobley capped off one scoring drive with a 6-yard designed run, and Robert Lingo broke two tackles and ran 35 yards for the final score of the game with just over 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Tolbert and Mack Hathcock shared the quarterbacking responsibilities with Mobley, and Hathcock also tallied 19 yards receiving on three catches.

Key got some spot action on offense as well, running a reverse 12 yards for a crucial first down behind another outstanding block by Wells.

Reserve Packer defenders played the entire fourth quarter, allowing the Lowndes offense their only drive of any significance before stiffening up inside the 10-yard line.

The eighth-grade Packers open their season at 5 p.m. today at Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe stadium, also against the Lowndes Middle School Vikings.

The seventh-grade team will return to action next Wednesday when it travels to mee Valdosta Middle School.

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