Paul Leavy/The Valdosta Daily Times Lowndes High Viking Gerald Demps looks for running room as he heads to the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter.

VALDOSTA — The state’s No. 1 ranked team in Class AAAAA took its first step toward a possible second-consecutive Region 1-AAAAA crown Friday night in impressive fashion.

For the Vikings, it was a step which carried on for 383 yards of total offense, leading to a 51-0 victory against Colquitt County.

Colquitt County and its heralded coach Rush Probst came in to Martin Stadium as a gun-slinging team, relying on the pass first to move the ball.

The Vikings defense stymied the Packers’ (1-3, 0-1 in Region 1-AAAAA) passing game, as Colquitt County threw for just 57 yards in the first half and 18 in the second.

It was a thoroughly dominating performance by the Vikings (4-0, 1-0), as big defensive plays led to scores in the first half, special teams picked up its play in the second and the junior varsity team performed well in the game’s closing quarter.

“It’s a great way to start out,” Lowndes Coach Randy McPherson said. “I’m just so proud of the players. Our coaches had them ready to go, and the game plan worked great.”

Colquitt County attempted to throw a wrench in the game plan early, as the Packers used the opening kick-off for a successful on-sides kick, but the Vikings’ defense showed why it has allowed just seven points throughout four games.

On Colquitt County’s second possession, quarterback John Michael Harrison looked to pass on third-and-six from his own 48-yard line but was met by Lowndes’ defensive lineman Chris Stinson.

Stinson dropped Harrison for four yards, picking up his first of two sacks adding to a total of three for the Vikings.

The Vikings looked to protect themselves from the pass all evening, leaving a three-man rush to contend with the Packers’ offensive line much of the night, and was still successful.

“Most of the time we didn’t rush but three guys,” McPherson said. “And we were still getting pressure.”

Stinson’s first sack led to a drive of big plays for the Vikings as Khary Franklin had a run of 13 yards, Tyler Hunter rushed for 23 yards and Greg Reid tallied 28. The four plays totaling 70 yards led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Hunter.

On the Packers next drive, the Vikings’ defense came up with a big play again, this time Gerald Demps caused a fumble by Traivon Littleton which was picked up by Stinson. On their ensuing drive, the Vikings made the mistake count when Reid scampered 25 yards for the score.

Reid finished the game with 70 yards on seven carries, and two touchdowns, including a 46-yard punt return in the third quarter.

Colquitt County fumbled the ball a total of four times, giving it to the Vikings three times.

The Vikings’ offense moved the ball well throughout the game as they rushed for six touchdowns, as Demps had two, and Reid, Hunter, Franklin, Troy Braswell and Geraldo Orta each had one.

Demps and Hunter each had 35 yards on the ground for Lowndes, on three and five carries respectively.

“When we find something that’s working, we’re going to stick with it,” McPherson said. Once again our offensive line really did well.’

After taking a 24-0 lead at half time on runs by Hunter, Reid and a 24-yard rush by Demps, along with a 31-yard field goal by Mark Willis, Lowndes went into the locker room ahead 24-0.

The Vikings had even more success in the third quarter, as they put up three touchdowns, including Reid’s big punt return.

Franklin then had a 42-yard touchdown to bring on the B-team.

“Everybody got to play, and everybody played well,” McPherson said. “It was a great night.”

The Vikings look to continue its run through the schedule, which currently has the No. 4 ranked team in the nation out-scoring opponents 166-7, Friday as they travel to Tift County.

“We definitely got better as a team this week from last week,” McPherson said.

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