MOULTRIE, Ga. — The top-ranked Colquitt County Packers scored on their first three drives and ran away with the Region 1-7A championship.
Jaycee Harden threw two touchdown passes and was on the receiving end of another as the Packers rolled to a 40-6 win against the No. 9 Lowndes Vikings at Mack Tharpe Stadium on Friday night.
“Obviously (Colquitt County) is the best team in the state,” Vikings coach Randy McPherson said. “Tonight they are. So we’ve got some work to do.”
The Packers (10-0, 3-0) earned the No. 1 seed for the GHSA Class 7A state playoffs with the victory. Lowndes (7-3, 1-2) locked up the second seed via tiebreaker and a will host the first round of the postseason. Camden County finished with the third seed and Tift County finished as a fourth seed in the region.
Harden was 17-of-24 for 206 yards with no interceptions for the Packers. Edwards rushed for 102 yards on 12 attempts with a touchdown, averaging 8.5 yards per carry.
Colquitt County struck first in the regular-season finale when Harden found Lemeke Brockington for a 17-yard scoring connection midway through the opening quarter for a 7-0 lead.
Colquitt County forced Lowndes to punt for a third straight time before using an eight-play, 73-yard drive to extend the lead to 17-0 after a 45-yard field goal with 9:58 remaining in the first half.
“None of our players slowed down, nobody quit trying,” McPherson said. “(The Packers) made some plays on us; they make plays on everybody, though.
“They have a great team. We have a young team. We got to keep plugging.”
Travis Tisdale kept the Vikings’ drive alive on their next possession with a 28-yard run to the left side in a third-and-30 play. But the Packers’ defense only surrendered three more yards on the drive and forced Lowndes to punt for a fourth time.
Lowndes’ defense forced the Packers to punt for the first time with 3:31 to play until halftime.
“I know we gave up 40 points, but our defense played hard all night,” McPherson said.
The Vikings punted for a fifth time before Colquitt County used a flea flicker and a 26-yard TD run from Edwards to make it 24-0.
Tisdale sparked the Vikings’ only offense just before the half.
The senior running back returned a kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown to bring the halftime score to 24-6. He carried 14 times for 68 yards rushing.
In Lowndes’ lowest-scoring outing of the season, it finished with 103 yards of offense. Colquitt County rolled up 430 yards of offense.
“Colquitt’s defense really manhandled our offense. We’ve got a week to figure out where we are and what we’re going to do,” McPherson said.
Lowndes hosts Cherokee in the opening round of the GHSA Class 7A state playoffs at Martin Stadium next Friday night.