The Tift County Blue Devils ran into a surging team of Colquitt County Packers and found the going tough as they lost, 49-7, Friday night.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Tift had the ball for three snaps before they were forced to punt. Colquitt, starting at its own 42 got off to a hot start with an 8-yard run by Sihiem King. Quarterback Daniel Mobley completed a short pass, then King reeled off 14 more on a rush. Mobley and King would proceed to lead the Packers down the field all the way to the Devils’ five when Mobley connected with Bobby Hill in the end zone at 8:00 in the first quarter to give them a 7-0 lead.
The Blue Devils would then have another three-and-out. Mason Gann would boom a 51-yard punt, but the Colquitt County rushing attack immediately got 34 yards back on a 27-yard run by Javonta Woods. The Pack would look to be on the move again, but King fumbled at the Tift 16 yard line and the Devils’ David Scott would recover the football. Luck would be against Tift County, though, as Austin McCant would lose control of the football on the very next play and possession would go back to the Packers. Colquitt would be unable to take advantage of the turnover, however, as the Devils’ defense held strong. Roberto Vega would attempt a 47-yard field goal, but missed.
Colquitt’s defense also stay tough and three plays later, Tift had to punt again. As the first quarter ended, the Packers had reeled off 22 more yards on a King run.
To start the second, the Pack employed three different rushers on their first four plays before Mobley found Kiel Pollard for an 11-yard touchdown at 10:04 in the second quarter. The drive covered 56 yards in six plays and Colquitt was now up 14-0.
Colquitt would soon get the ball back on a Devil punt. Mobley would nearly be intercepted on the first play from scrimmage, but taking advantage of their lucky break, he came back to find Woods two plays later. Woods would weave his way through the Devils’ defense and find paydirt to complete the 52-yard play. The extra point sailed through the uprights and the Packers were now up 21-0.
The next possession for Tift would see their offense get into gear. They picked up their first down with about five minutes to go in the second quarter when quarterback Ryan Wedgeworth tore down the sidelines for a 21-yard gain. Wedgeworth would continue to be elusive as he escaped a sack and gained positive yardage on the drive. Tift would make its way down to the 30 and be faced with a fourth down and short yardage, but the snap went awry and McCant would fall on the ball for a five-yard loss, turning the ball back over to Colquitt.
The Packers wasted no time moving forward again. Mobley connected with Hill for 60 yards, which took them down to the Devils’ five yard line. A false start would knock them back five yards, but they managed to claw their way down to the one, where John Boatright fought through the pile for the score. Colquitt was now up 28-0 with 1:17 remaining in the half.
Tift’s offense began moving again after receiving the kickoff. They picked up 41 yards, but were halted again, this time by the buzzer to signal the end of the quarter. At halftime, the Devils had 63 total yards while Colquitt had 276.
The Blue Devils would kick off to begin the third quarter and the Packers would advance the ball out to their own 22. Mixing passes and rushes to wind their way down the field, Colquitt turned their field position around and were now at the Devils’ 23. From there, Mobley completed a pass to Hill, who took it into the end zone. The kick was good and three minutes into the second half, the Packers were up 35-0.
Wedgeworth would make a bit more magic with his legs and pick up another first down on the ensuing possession, but the team could do no more and Gann would kick another long punt. Cole Segraves would take over for Mobley at quarterback and prove to be just as effective. He completed four consecutive passes that took Colquitt from its own 25 to the opposite 35 yard line. The halfbacks would take over from there and Woods raced 27 yards for his second touchdown of the night and increase his team’s lead to 42-0.
Bad luck would again find the Devils on their next possession. A missed handoff gave the Packers the ball at Tift’s 32, but the defense stood strong and a combination of a sack followed by a penalty would knock the Pack back 15 yards and force a punt. Tift was unable to capitalize, though, and soon had to punt as well.
A good return allowed Colquitt to start just into Devil territory and from there they needed three plays to make it down to three yard line before Boatright punched it in. Vega’s kick would be successful the Packers were now up 49-0, just inside the fourth quarter.
Kris Miller would now put Tift County on his back and take over on the next possession. Repeatedly running out of his quarterback position, Miller bit off chunks of yardage, including a 22-yard run that moved the Devils to the 15 yard line. Two plays later, Miller took the handoff and running around the right side of his line, took the ball into the end zone for six points with 25 seconds left in the game. Frankie Mejia added the extra point. For the drive, Miller would have 11 carries and 75 of the team’s 77 yards. Time was allowed to run out after the kickoff with Colquitt taking the 49-7 final.
On the night, Tift compiled 164 yards, 122 of them on the ground. McCant and Miller would provide the bulk of the rushing yards, with 64 and 56, respectively. Wedgeworth added 32 more rushing and 28 through the air.
Colquitt’s offense would be balanced the entire game. They finished with 174 rushing yards and adde 219 more through the air.
Tift will be on the road Friday at Camden County