AAAAAA Finals: Roswell vs. Colquitt County (Preview)


Georgia Dome

Saturday, Dec. 12 | 8 PM



Colquitt County (14-0)

The defending champion Packers continue to make history while representing Georgia as one of the top high school football teams in the country. Under head coach Rush Propst, Colquitt County has become a nationally-recognized powerhouse. Within the state of Georgia, the Packers are the team to beat and for good reason. Colquitt County rides a 29-game win streak into the finals, but it is the complete body of work under Propst the past seven seasons that shows the true success and rise of the program, as well as the unprecedented playoff experience they carry into Saturday’s final. Following a 4-6 finish in Propst’s first season (2008), Colquitt County has averaged 12 wins per season in each year since. This will be the 31st playoff game the team has played in the last seven seasons. The Packers have won 25 of their 30 playoff games under Propst, including 15 of 19 on the road. The Packers are a perfect 9-0 at home in the postseason under Propst and have reached the finals three times since 2010. This year’s team is led by one of the most explosive offenses Propst has ever coached. The unit has averaged 47.9 points per game this season, while outscoring opponents by 29.2 points per contest. Senior quarterback Chase Parrish is the commander of the offense and threw for a school-record 431 yards and six touchdowns last Friday in the Packers’ 52-31 win at Mill Creek. Parrish has tossed 39 touchdowns this season and has gone for 3,190 yards through the air. His favorite target is the physical Arkansas-commit Kiel Pollard, who can do it all. Pollard has rushed for 11 scores while hauling in a team-high 18 touchdown passes this season. Pollard can take snaps out of the Wildcat, battle for jump balls and take slants or screens the length of the field on any snap. Ty Lee is another versatile piece to the offense and the shifty playmaker teams up with Ty Powell to form what has been an unstoppable stable of skill players. Both Lee and Powell accounted for two touchdowns in the semifinal victory over the Hawks.

Roswell (14-0)

The playoffs would not be complete without miraculous finishes and late-game heroics. The undefeated Hornets dialed up what was the most memorable finish of the 2015 postseason in last week’s semis. In the battle of unbeatens, Grayson took a 26-23 lead when kicker Will VanPamelen hit a 19-yard field goal that put the Rams with 35 seconds left to play. Roswell took over on its own 35-yard line with no timeouts left and in need of season-saving play. On 3rd and 10, quarterback Quintarius Neely hit Kendrick Jackson for a 35-yard crossing route that moved Roswell into striking distance. Roswell rushed to the line and Neely spiked the ball to stop the clock with 18 seconds to play. Neely dropped back the next snap and hit A.J. Smith on a 35-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass with 10 seconds to play, capping a remarkable 30-26 win over Grayson. Smith was well covered on the heave, but leapt up and snagged the winning touchdown on his only catch of the game. Roswell (14-0) overcame four lost fumbles in the victory and returns to the state championship for the first time since 2006, when the Hornets ended up sharing the title with Peachtree Ridge. Roswell’s Neely has led the offense at a championship level this season. The Lovejoy transfer has accounted for 2,444 yards and 31 passing touchdowns with just five interceptions, while adding nine rushing scores. In the backfield, Sheldon Evans has rushed for 1,684 yards and 27 touchdowns this year. Junior Jayden Comma hauled in a game-high 139 receiving yards off six catches in the semis and has 12 scores. Defensively, 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker Tre’ Lamar leads the middle of the field and juniors Xavier McKinney and Leanthony Williams spark a ball-hawking secondary. McKinney and Williams are both listed as four-star prospects and are in the top 25 for Georgia’s Class of 2017. McKinney is a 6-foot-1 safety committed to Alabama and Williams holds offers from Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Georgia amongst others.

The Matchup

Saturday marks the first time since 2009 (Camden County and Northside-WR) that the finals matchup in the state’s largest classification does not feature a Gwinnett County school. Roswell beat three Gwinnett schools this postseason (Brookwood, Collins Hill, Grayson) to reach the finals, while Colquitt County eliminated Central Gwinnet and Mill Creek on its road to the Georgia Dome. In order for Roswell to complete its perfect season, the Hornets will be tasked with limiting the explosive plays that Colquitt County uses as its metaphorical knockout punches. The Packers are a patient, fundamental and physical football team, but their downfield and perimeter blocking combines with a deep cast of playmakers that bring a level of explosiveness that Roswell has not faced this season. In the semifinals, the Packers busted out five touchdowns of 48 or more yards and three scores of 73 or more yards. Roswell must limit the playmaking ability of Colquitt County’s Kiel Pollard, Ty Lee, Ty Powell and company to gain control of the game.

Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply